I do love my donuts on Fat Tuesday.
The tradition in my family is of course pączki, the Polish variant that, at least from the bakery in my extended family's neighborhood, are filled with an overly sweet fruit filling, are roughly the size of a human head and last long after Fat Tuesday (or Pączki Day, and yes my father still calls it that) is over, kind of defeating the purpose of ridding the house of said foods. However, there's no Polish bakery down here. So last year I bought a donut pan and attempted to make baked banana bread donuts, a variation of the Mocha Hazelnut Donut Muffins I've made in the past. I never perfected the recipe, and the pictures are still on my computer waiting for that to happen.
But Sourdough Surprises picked Beingets for February's challenge. French for “fritters,” beinegts are soft pillows of dough that typically deep fried and are NOLA's answer to donuts. Banana Bread donuts are on the back burner. And that back burner does not contain a pot of frying oil. I'm still not going to burn myself, so I did a little searching and found Good Housekeeping's Baked Beinegts recipe, which I modified for sourdough:
Baked Sourdough Beingets
Adapted from Good Housekeeping
Makes 36 Beingets
1 cup fresh sourdough starter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter or margarine, cut up
1 large egg
1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- In large bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining granulated sugar until combined. With pastry blender or 2 knives used scissors-fashion, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
- Beat egg and sourdough starter. Make well in flour mixture; pour in starter. Stir until combined and soft dough forms.
- On lightly floured work surface, knead dough lightly several times until dough is smooth. Spray same bowl (no need to clean) with nonstick cooking spray and place dough in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 10 minutes.
- Spray 2 large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Punch down dough. On floured work surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough to 9-in. square. Cut dough into 6 strips, then cut each strip into 6 pieces, making 36 pieces. Transfer Beignets to prepared cookie sheets, placing about 1½ inches apart. Spray sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray; cover beignets with wrap, sprayed side down. Let rise 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake Beignets 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating sheets between upper and lower racks halfway though baking. While Beignets are hot, toss with confectioners' sugar.
No matter how much I was telling myself that they were for breakfast the next day, I couldn't resist:
They were good. They didn't brown too well (probably because I was running low on cooking spray) but they were soft and light. But they were missing something. I will be adding a touch of vanilla if I make these again.
And then while making our Fat Tuesday dinner of Sourdough Pancakes...
I promptly burned myself on bacon grease. Well, I can't avoid it all!