Beignets originated in France and are most probably the predecessor of our Dough Nuts. But they've done a bit of travelling and evolving over time.
Around 1763 the new French settlement in the New Orleans area was founded and understandably the settlers took with them tastes of home and recipes. 200+ years is quite some time for a recipe to adapt and be adapted and The New Orleans Beignet is arguably a great deal better than it's ancestors. But you don't need to visit the Mississippi delta area to enjoy them. You can make them with ease at home right here in Yorkshire!
Don't believe me? Here is the recipe:-
2 1/4 teaspoons dried active baking yeast
375ml warm water (45 degrees C)
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
250ml evaporated milk
875g 7 cups all-purpose flour
55g butter or margarine
1L vegetable oil for frying
4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, evaporated milk and blend well. Mix in 500g of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the butter or margarine, and then the remaining flour. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.
2 Roll out dough 3mm thick. Cut into 6cm squares. Fry in 180 degrees C hot oil. If beignets do not pop up, oil is not hot enough. Drain onto kitchen paper.
3 Dust icing sugar on hot beignets. Serve warm.