Feb
16

Gluten-Free Beignet Recipe

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This winter, our family went to the movie theater to watch Disney’s latest animated film “The Princess and the Frog.” We loved the movie. And, although I haven’t spent a lot of time in New Orleans, I was reminded of the fun times and good food I’ve had there in the past. In the movie, there were scenes where Tiana (“the princess”) makes or powders beignets (pronounced ben-YAYs), a kind of doughnut that was made famous by Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. While watching the scenes, I wondered about making these gluten free. Of course, I couldn’t find a gluten-free recipe, so I had to come up with my own.

I am so excited to share this recipe with you. I’ve never actually eaten a lot of beignets – only when I’ve been at the French Quarter in New Orleans. They really are a delicious treat. If you’re not familiar with them, I would describe them as a square doughnut, or bread dough deep fried into little square pillows, and topped with powdered sugar. They are so yummy! If you aren’t celebrating Mardi Gras with a Gluten-Free King Cake this year, then you should definitely indulge in these little gems.

Gluten-Free Beignet Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup warm water
1/4 Cup sugar
2 tsp yeast
3/4 Cup almond milk (Regular milk should work, too.)
1/2 Cup butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Cups brown rice flour (I use Authentic Foods finely ground.)
1 Cup potato starch
1/2 Cup sweet rice flour
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 liter vegetable oil for frying beignets
powdered sugar for dusting the beignets after cooking

Directions:

  1. You’ll need a large pot of vegetable oil to fry the beignets. Electric deep fryers are great for keeping the temperature consistent. However, you can use a pot of oil on the stove top, but you’ll need to watch the temperature closely. You should fry the beignets between 360° - 380° F.
  2. Start by combining the yeast with the sugar and the warm water (110° - 115° F is recommended but I don’t usually check the temperature.) in a small bowl. Set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the brown rice flour, potato starch, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Add in the melted butter, milk, and eggs and mix thoroughly.
  4. Now stir the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. The dough should start to pull together into a soft ball.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper and top with plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8″ thick.
  6. Using a pizza cutter, cut the beignets into 2-1/2″ squares. You should be able to make 24 – 30 beignets.
  7. Fry the dough in the heated oil 1 – 3 beignets at a time. Don’t fry too many at once, as it can lower the temperature of the oil too fast. Thus, inhibiting the beignets to puff up like they should. Once the beignets start to brown, flip them over using a slotted spoon or tongs. Once the beignets have been lightly browned on both sides, carefully remove them from the oil and place on paper towels to absorb extra oil. The beignets should only take one or two minutes to brown on each side.
  8. Generously top each beignet with powdered sugar and serve while warm.

Additional Notes:

  • These aren’t terribly sweet. Most of the sweetness comes from the powdered sugar, so you can easily adjust it to your liking. You can even drizzle a little honey on it, like my husband did,  if you have a sweet tooth.
  • In case you’re wondering: I didn’t find it necessary to wait and allow the dough to rise. I simply cut them out and fried them up.
  • This dough wasn’t very sticky, so you might be able to roll out the dough without using the parchment paper and plastic wrap, but I find it convenient. A little dusting of potato starch on the counter and rolling pin should work fine.
  • Just roll out the dough once. I tried to re-roll the dough (balled it up and rolled it out again) to cut perfect squares. As a result, the dough fried up flat and a little tougher.
  • Watch the temperature of the oil while frying. If it’s too low, the beignets won’t puff up. If it’s too high, the center won’t cook through and will be a little gummy. If you’re having trouble, try putting two pieces of dough into the oil at a time when it’s at 380° F.
  • Although I don’t believe it’s traditional, I think these would be nice with a little cinnamon mixed into the dough. I might try that next time.
  • In order to save time for breakfast, the traditional meal time to eat these, make up the dough the night before and keep the dough in the refrigerator. In the morning, roll it out, cut it and fry.

Notable Links

  • I did eventually find another recipe for gluten-free beignets. This one by Teri Gruss at About.com uses a cake mix for the flour.
  • There are more tips for cooking beignets at Cafe Du Monde .
  • I’m linking this to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays because I only used 1/4 Cup sugar in the dough and I reduced the lactose content by using almond milk.
  • For more gluten-free recipes, visit The Gluten-Free Homemaker at this week’s edition of “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free?
  • Know a fan of Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog”? Here are some coloring/activity pages my daughter has enjoyed.

38 Comments

1

I have to try this one! I experimented on Valentines Day by making gluten and dairy free raised donuts (they were close, but not quite.. need to experiment on that one a bit more). Sounds perfect for an extra fun treat. The idea of the shape is great (I had too many donut scraps) with yummy stuff on it? Brilliant!

Mmmm… I think I may need to move our tread mill directly into the kitchen or risk needing bigger pants…

2

Angela – I understand the need for the treadmill. :) I’ve been making so many treats this winter. Being snowed-in doesn’t help because I’ve got so much time for baking. I told my husband I would stop, or at least slow down after Mardi Gras. So, I guess I’m done for now.

3

Wow, those are impressive, Heather! It’s always a great feeling when you set off to make something gluten free on your own and it works. :-) Yeasty things can be a challenge. You did well! Thanks so much for sharing,

Shirley

4

I love it! These and a cafe au lait …..memories

thank you for sharing! I think I even have all the stuff…so I may be making these real soon.

Live Laugh and Enjoy1
Fire-Eyes

5

Wow, those look just yummy!!

6

These look amazing! I have not attempted deep frying yet in my little European kitchen, but when I do I should try these. Here king cake is eaten on Jan. 6th, called “la gallette des rois” – but I don’t think I should wait until next year to try these gorgeous GF beignets!

7

I’ve never had these before, but they look great. I like your idea of adding some cinnamon. I hope to give them a try soon.

8

That looks really yummy.
It looks like it is quite the process, but worth it.
Thanks for sharing.
Have a great weekend.

9

Mmmm. Pastry. I miss pastry. I’m gonna have to try these!

10

I am totally impressed. I know that they’re good if you published the recipe…you have such high standards. On my ‘to try’ list.

Thanks for linking up.

11

I hope y’all will let me know how it turns out for you.

Amy – I think you give me too much credit, but thank you!

12

[...] Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette)8. Cara’s you-won’t-believe-how-good-they-are-brownie!9. Heather @CeliacFamily (Gluten-Free Beignets)10. Jenna @ Newlyweds (Baked Custard [...]

13

I wholeheartedly recommend this recipe! It’s easy and very, very good. It’s close to the ones we’ve ordered in restaurants! Thanks so much for sharing. I don’t think I would have tried to make beignets otherwise.

14

Thanks, Eva. It’s always good to know that a recipe I post works for other people, too. I appreciate the feedback!

15

Tried a modification of these tonight and they were fabulous! We were our of brown rice flower so used tapioca flour instead. Worked great! This is a keeper.

16

Melia – So glad the recipe worked for you. Thanks for sharing your modifications. Good to know that it will work with other gluten-free flours.

17

I am so excited to try this recipe. Every year I go to the Pampered Chef conference in Chicago and the girls and I go to The Grand Lux restaurant off of Michigan Ave. They ALWAYS order Beignets and I never can have them. They drool over them and I always have wondered what they tasted like. I am going to make these on Sunday, Father’s Day. Maybe my very picky husband will actually like them too!! I will write back with how it goes!

18

I’m looking forward to trying this version. I grew up in Louisiana and we always had “grand pate” or beignets. In the recipe I have from my grandmother’s church cookbook La_Cuisine_de_Mamere’from Iris McClung o Gramercy, LA (a tiny town on the Mississippi river) it calls for 1 package of yeast, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 Tablespoon of sugar per 3 cups of flour. The original recipe is for 9 cups of flour and she uses the grandma measurements of 2 cooking spoons of vegetable oil for the whole batch and 4 cups of water. She just lets it rise while her oil is coming to temperature.

In my experience of cooking these through the years – the amount of water depends on the humidity and we never rolled them out a second time – you just ended up with some fun small pieces at the end, which I used to test my oil temperature.
I’m going visit a friend and will give them a try and let you know how it goes.

19

Is the recipe also milk free?

20

I did make the recipe with almond milk, which is dairy-free and casein-free. However, you’ll notice that I did use butter, which is not. I have not tried it with butter substitutes myself, but you should be able to make it work with a dairy-free alternative. If you give it a try, please let me know how it works so that other readers can benefit from the knowledge.

21

[...] Cake recipe, and my King Cake recipe. This weekend I added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to my recipe for gluten-free beignets, and fried them up for a nice breakfast treat. Since I didn’t get to make it last week, [...]

22

I just made these today and they are amazing! I wish I had more, I cannot stop thinking about them. Thank you so much for sharing. We had a hard time keeping our oil at the right temperature, but when the oil was hot enough, they came out perfect.

23

Thanks for sharing your results, Andrea. It’s always nice to hear when recipes work out for others.

24

And, I made the dough and left some on a cookie sheet, uncut, wrapped in the refrigerator for 2 days. I just cut it and fried it today and it still came out great.

25

These are FANTASTIC but I got a yield of twice as many as you. The texture is perfect and there isn’t a hint of gluten free taste to them. I’m so thrilled to have these for our New Orleans nights! We used our electric fondue pot to keep our oil hot and it worked perfectly. We fried them all up while we had the fryer going, and have found that they reheat perfectly in the toaster oven. YUMMY!

I saw the cake mix recipe for beignets and I think they would be really weird tasting & too sweet once sugar went on top. I was really happy find a more authentic recipe!

26

Thanks for the addition, Andrea. That would be great to serve in the morning with coffee and tea, wouldn’t it? You could have it made up the night before, just waiting in the frig. Then, cook them up quickly in the morning.

27

Zebe – I’m glad it worked so well for you! Thanks for the tip about the fondue pot. I didn’t even think about using ours. I’ll have to try it next time.

28

[...] Gluten Free Beignet This entry was posted in Breads, Cakes & Cupcakes, Desserts, Uncategorized, Yeast Bread. Bookmark the permalink. ← Gluten Free Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes [...]

29

I tried these today in honor of Mardi Gras this week and thought I would comment because I replaced the melted butter with olive oil (refined so it doesn’t have the strong taste) so they would be dairy free. The dough was a little sticky and wouldn’t come up off of the parchment paper very well at all. I had to scrape it off and then flatten it out between my hands in order to fry it. They still tasted pretty yummy but didn’t puff up much so if you have to make some dairy free and use oil, you might want to add more of one of the flours.

Thanks for the recipe and for this great site!

30

I am doing the Snoopy Dance right now! Being from Louisiana and somewhat newly GF, it is torture to watch my family eat the things I grew up with – specifically beignets.

My wonderful friend, Judi, found this page and we’re going to make these for my birthday (I think she just wants me to bring over my coffee and chickory to make cafe au lait – LOL!). So excited to try this! Thank you!

P.S. If you make the beignets and top them with cinnamon sugar and then drizzle with honey, it’s very similar to the sopapillas you get in Mexican restaurants. Cinco de Mayo anyone? :)

31

[...] brunch items to serve, including Creamed Eggs made with hard-boiled eggs, Banana Coffee Cake, Beignets (fried bread dough dusted with sugar), and Tropical Fruit Salad with a Poppyseed Dressing. [...]

32

[...] need a plan for breakfast and lunch, too. Breakfast this week: French Toast, Cinnamon Rolls, Beignets, Egg Casserole, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Smoothies Lunches this week: Hot Dogs, Turkey [...]

34

[…] Year’s Day – I promised the kids Beignets for breakfast. For dinner: Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sweet Potato Fries and Green […]

35

[…] free, vegetarian (Heather shares two choices of fillings for her King Cake. She also has a great Beignet […]

36

[…] recipes to help celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday, you might want to try one or all of these: Beignets, King Cake, Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice. We’re going to celebrate with […]

37

Wow! I cannot thank you enough for this recipe! I substituted the eggs with Ener-G egg replacer and used soy-free Earth Balance instead of butter, thus making them vegan. It worked great. I ended up making more like 40 or so, and couldn’t get the fry temperature lower than 400 degrees. But they cooked great and very quickly. I’ve been gluten free for 14 years and have 4 kids aged 6-18. This was by far the tastiest gluten-free pastry we’ve ever had, and so much fun for Mardi Gras! Thank you!

38

Becky – Thanks so much for taking the time to share your modifications! I’ve never used the Ener-G replacer, so I’m glad to know that it worked so well for you and your family.

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