Lemon-glazed beignets with honey-roasted hazelnuts
This recipe requires ingredients that can commonly be found in a home pantry. We originally started making beignets at the resort to use up excess brioche dough. We served them as morning pastries or with afternoon tea, and they were a huge hit. Beignets can be served at room temperature or hot from the fryer.
Preparation time: 2 hours, +5 hours rising time
Cooking time: 1 hour, including frying, toasting and glazing
Special equipment: Deep-fry thermometer
Planning ahead: Because of the long proofing time for the bread, I suggest starting this recipe in the early morning. Alternatively, start the night before and leave the dough in the refrigerator for the second proof. This will slow down the process so you can leave the dough until morning
Add the yeast to the warm water and let sit for 8-10 minutes. Stir well to dissolve. Set aside. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, eggs, and yeast mix. With a dough hook attachment, mix on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until a sticky dough forms. At medium speed, add the butter in 3 stages, scraping the bowl each time until the butter is combined. Once the butter has been added, increase the speed to high and mix until the dough ball forms around the dough hook, about 3 minutes.
Place the dough in a bowl and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm dry place. Let stand for 1 ½ hours, until the dough is twice its original volume.
Fold the dough 3 to 4 times to knock out the air. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5-6 hours while the dough rises.
About two hours before serving, weigh out 7 oz of the dough for the beignets. The remaining dough can be frozen or baked into brioche.
Lightly flour a smooth, flat work surface. Roll the dough into a 2-foot long cylinder, about ½ inch in diameter. If the dough feels as if it won't stretch further, allow to rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Transfer to a cutting board and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise until the dough looks soft and inflated, about 1or 2 hours. Cut on the diagonal into 12 pieces, 2-inches long. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a bowl, combine honey, corn syrup, granulated sugar, and salt. Add the hazelnuts and toss to coat. Spread the hazelnuts in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the nuts until they start to bubble, stirring occasionally to disperse the glaze. The nuts are done when the glaze has thickened and the bubbles have slowed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the tray. When the nuts are completely cool and dry, chop with a chef’s knife.
Combine all the ingredients together. Set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring 3 inches of oil to 375°F on a deep fry thermometer. On the counter next to the stove, prepare a baking sheet with a wire rack over a layer of paper towels. One at a time, place the dough into the oil, moving and flipping it with a slotted spoon to ensure even cooking. When golden brown, carefully remove from the oil and rest on the rack. Repeat until all 12 beignets are cooked.
Set up the bowls of glaze and nuts. Dip each beignet in the glaze, then into the nuts. Toss until evenly coated. Repeat until all beignets are coated with nuts. Serve family-style.
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons of salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1¼ cups butter, cut into small pieces
- All-purpose flour for dusting
- 7 oz. brioche dough Canola oil
- 2 cups hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
- 2 tablespoons wildflower honey
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup powdered sugar