Aug. 11th, 2013

vampyrichamster: (Default)
Made baked beignets again yesterday. This time, the yeast sponge, bread dough and cut dough all rose well, but something was off in the final product. You know how health foods try to taste like normal food but don't? Not even in the way some alternative foods taste good in their own right, but things like health-food crackers, which look similar to crackers yet have the brittleness of shale and a flavour not too far distant. Beignets should taste like Paula Deen food. They should be like little squares of suicide notes that you can't stop eating. Think of funnel cakes. Beignets are the bread versions of funnel cakes.

My baked beignets tasted like leavened bread squares, lacking in any richness and which powdered sugar could not save. I think that baked beignets are still possible, but only if we reverse engineer them to make up for the fat that goes into deep frying. I'll be frank here -- I like deep fried foods, but I don't have a kitchen that would fare well with deep frying. Too much wood flooring and 100-year-old plaster than I care to wipe down. This would be seriously beyond the capacity of any spatter-proof lid to hold back as well. So a reverse engineered baked beignet would require a few modifications. Heavy cream and evaporated milk instead of just 'milk'. Lots of butter. Eggs. Enough eggs to make challah. Really, I imagine the ideal baked beignet to be closer to mini-brioches with sugar on top. Like so.

The recipe I linked to, above, calls for shortening. I can't abide Crisco -- it just smells and taste weird. So we're looking at either beef tallow (time to collect broth fats...) or butter. Given how I felt the beignets didn't rise enough both times I baked, we're looking at tallow. Or combination tallow and schmaltz? Oooooh.

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