Big-Easy Beignets


  • 1 1⁄2 cup Warm water (105° to 115°), divided
  • 1⁄2 cup Granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 (1/4 oz.) envelope Active dry yeast
  • 1⁄4 cup Trans fat-free soybean oil-based shortening
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Evaporated milk
  • 2 Large eggs, beaten
  • 7 1⁄2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 6 cups Soybean oil (for deep frying)
  • 3 cups Powdered sugar, sifted


Combine a ½ cup of warm water (between 105°F to 115°F) and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle with yeast; let stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the remaining 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 to 2 minutes until boiling. Combine shortening, remaining sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add hot water and evaporated milk; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Stir in yeast mixture and eggs.

Reduce the mixer speed to low; gradually add flour, mixing until dough forms a ball. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and flip to grease top. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface; roll to ¼-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares.

Preheat soybean oil to 375°F in a heavy frying pan or small deep fryer.

Fry the beignets in batches for about 1 minute on each side. Repeat with the remaining dough squares. Drain on paper towels. Dust immediately with powdered sugar.