When you think about Mardi Gras you think about New Orleans, and when you think about New Orleans you think about beignets! The word beignet refers to fried dough but depending on the country the pastry can vary. They can be square or round, savory or sweet, fruit-filled or plain dough. In New Orleans they are the natural accompaniment to your café au lait and they come piping hot in groups of three on a plate with a heap of powdered sugar on top.
Mardi Gras is just around the corner, and if you can't be in New Orleans, you may as well celebrate at home with these delicious treats.
Unfortunately for vegans, the dough for traditional beignets contains milk and eggs. But these two ingredients have simple substitutes, making for a very easily veganizable recipe.
This dough makes a LOT of beignets, so keep that in mind and cut the ingredients in half if you want less (but really, do you?).
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110°F)
- 1/2 cup granulated vegan sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 4 Tbsp water (this is the equivalent of 2 eggs)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (extra virgin or refined –- either way it should be solid)
- 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar (if you are concerned about bone char, make your own vegan powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, then add sugar, salt, egg replacer, coconut milk, and blend well.
- Mix in 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth.
- At this point I recommend using a stand mixer if you have one.
- Add coconut oil and rest of flour.
- Transfer to a large oiled bowl and cover with a warm damp towel. Put in a warm area for 2 hours to let rise.
- After 2 hours, the dough will have risen and will be very sticky. You may want to chill for a little to have it be easier to work with, or just use a lot of flour when rolling it out.
- Roll out dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness and cut into squares.
- Heat oil to about 350°F (I had it just above medium).
- Carefully place squares into oil and fry until they are golden.
- Place them on paper towels to drain the oil, and then transfer to a plate.
- Sprinkle (or dump) confectioners sugar onto the hot beignets. Serve warm with coconut milk café au lait!