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Gluten free beignets. Just the sound of those words causes me to sigh (happily).
For those of us in the gluten free community, a Beignet may seem like a faint, sweet memory, but now it doesn’t have to be.
At this Mardi Gras time of year, when we think all things New Orleans, take heart knowing these amazingly festive and special doughnuts, and even King Cakes are again within reach! So grab your plastic beads, and let’s make some Gluten Free Beignets!
This quintessential New Orleans treat, the Beignet: (pronounced: ben-yay), is a crispy-on-the-outside, feather-light, heavenly doughnut, flash fried and smothered in confectioner’s sugar … and totally full of gluten. They are unique to New Orleans, so I haven’t been lucky enough to have one since my parents’ trip to Bourbon Street in the ’80s, when they brought back boxes of famous Café du Monde Beignet Mix.
For years, the thought of ever enjoying such a soft, airy, gluten-free puffed doughnut seemed like an unachievable dream to me.
Now, sharing my gluten free beignet recipe with a host of friends and family (and two Louisiana natives), I am happy to pronounce my gluten free beignets are a resounding success! Made with my award-winning gfJules Flour, you would never know these delicate puffs are gluten free. No grit, no denseness, no funky taste. Just gluten free beignet perfection.
Whether you have had and now miss Beignets since going gluten-free, or are just curious to try these little puffs of New Orleans deliciousness, give this recipe a try, even if it’s Mardi Gras time!
My children have never been to New Orleans, so when they tasted these gluten free Beignets, they announced that they taste just like funnel cakes, only better because they’re fluffy! Sounds pretty yummy to me!
To make these beauties, you prepare the dough as outlined in the recipe, then cut into parallelograms (see, and you thought you would never use high school geometry again).
Then they rise for an hour or two or even overnight (covered, in a cold garage works great!). Once they’ve risen, you simply fry them. Check out my specific directions below for the oil temperature and for how long — it’s not hard or complicated, but it is precise.
This year I plan to try them in my new Air Fryer! I’ll report back and let you know how that experiment goes!
Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!Print
Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast; stir and set aside to activate the yeast. Allow mixture to sit until it becomes frothy, at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat together the egg and milk. Add 1 cup of the gfJules™ Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and the salt. Beat until integrated.
Cut the shortening into small chunks and mix in with the 1 cup flour, egg and milk. Slowly beat in remaining flour and the proofed yeast mixture until completely mixed. The dough should start to pull away from the sides of the bowl and not be stiff or sticky at this point.
Turn the dough out onto a clean surface or pastry mat lightly dusted with gfJules™ Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. Roll gently into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle.
Using a large, sharp knife, cut strips of dough 2 inches wide, on a diagonal (not straight up and down, leaving a diagonal edge to the strips). Cut across these strips 2 inches across in the same way, creating 2×2 diamond-shaped Beignets.
Cut in this way, you should have approximately 24 Beignets with extra dough scraps.
Leave any scraps of dough to test the temperature of the oil – do not knead together and cut again. Place cut Beignets onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel or parchment paper.
Allow to rise in a warming drawer or an oven brought to 200° F, then turned off. The Beignets will roughly double in size after rising for 45 – 90 minutes (I’ve left them covered overnight to rise as well, and they turned out great!)
After the Beignets have risen, pour vegetable oil into a large saucepan to a depth of 2-3 inches. Heat the oil on medium-high to approximately 370° – 385° F.
Test the temperature of the oil by using any risen scraps of dough remaining. Gently submerge a piece of dough in oil – if it rises to the top of the oil immediately and begins to bubble, the oil is hot enough; if it does not rise to the top of the oil, it is not hot enough. If the dough turns dark brown within 30 seconds of being submerged, the oil is too hot.
Once the oil is to temperature, gently submerge 2 – 3 Beignets in hot oil and cook until lightly browned and puffed on each side – approximately 1- 2 minutes only.
Remove with a skimmer or slotted spoon to drain on paper towels, and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar liberally over top of each Beignet. Serve warm.
Measure 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice and pour into a small saucepan.
Over low-medium heat, stir milk occasionally to prevent a skin from forming or the milk from sticking to the pan. Heat until the milk is reduced by half to measure 1/2 cup of liquid (allow approximately 30 minutes for this process).
Once reduced, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding to dough per recipe.
Alternatively, mix 2/3 cup warm water with 1/2 cup powdered milk – I used Vance’s Dari-Free potato-based milk for a non-dairy substitute. Whisk together, then measure out enough for your recipe.
I can’t wait to hear how much your family loves this treat!
And if you try it an air fryer first, let me know!!!