Something Strange and Delicious: Spirit Catching Beignets for Joseph
Second day of Something Strange and Delicious to celebrate the release of Susan Dennard‘s fantabulous steampunk fantasy, Something Strange and Deadly. Go check it out and love it. Buy the book. Make the food. Enjoy. And/or enter the giveaway here to win yourself a hardback copy of the book plus a steampunky plate that may or may not be related to the second book. Something Strange and Delicious pairs two of my favorite things–Sooz’ book and baking–with two of Eleanor Fitt’s favorite things–the Spirit Hunters and baked goods. Open internationally.
(By the by, you can also win by checking out the Something Strange and Deadly Outbreak contest run by Sarah J Maas and Erin Bowman.)
Today I decided to make something special for my favorite character, Joseph Boyer: beignets. (Why yes, I would eat him up as fast as I ate these beignets…your point?) They’re quintessentially N’Orleans, which reminds me of the lovely Joseph, plus the crunch of the outside hides a moist and gooey inside.
The best part? Beignets are surprisingly easy. Just whip up a bread dough (I used the buttermilk dough provided at this site).
Once the dough’s mixed, floured enough to handle, and risen, roll it out to about half an inch width in a rough rectangle.
Depending on the size you cut this larger rectangle, you might be able to fill the beignets with jam, sauce, even something savory like caramelized onions or a pork-dumpling mixture. However, since this was my first time making beignets, I decided to forego the fancy schmancy business in favor of a fried flavor I think Joseph Boyer could get behind:
Blood. Orange. Olive Oil.
Just right for a hunter of the Dead.
I’m lucky enough to have come in contact with Queen Creek Olive Mill and their variety of flavors. My mother, lovely lady that she is, sends it to me for cooking/baking–mostly for frying pancakes and other sweeter breakfasts, let’s be honest: it’s the perfect medium to fry Joseph’s beignets rather than peanut oil, which is surprisingly hard to find in Japan. (Also, I was working with a small pan, so I didn’t want the beignets too large, which meant no jams.)
Crispy, light, with the slightest tang of dark citrus, I believe these Blood Orange Beignets would be Joseph Boyer approved. As Lottie would say…these are “Spirit Catching Beignets.” Perhaps even the “Bee’s Knees.”
If you haven’t had a chance to get your hands on the book yet, enter the giveaway! Open until July 31st. The more entries, the more winners.
Spirit Catching Beignets for Joseph
Very slightly adapted from Epicurious. (I worked with a 1/3 batch, cut into 1 inch squares, and it made about 25+).
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or mostly milk, plus some lemon juice, for those who live in Japan and can’t find buttermilk)
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour plus extra for flouring work surface (I used at least twice as much, it’s so humid here)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat the milk until small bubbles appear at the edge, then pour into a bowl and add the buttermilk. Whisk in the yeast and sugar until dissolved; set aside for several minutes. Finally, add the rest of the above ingredients until the dough forms a loose ball. Cover and let rise for about an hour.
Roll the dough into a 1/2 inch thick square, then cut into smaller squares (whatever dang size you like). Fry in the oil of your choice (Blood Orange recommended, especially to attract then destroy the Dead), and smother in powdered sugar.
Good eating, minions. Tomorrow, hopefully, we’ll be making some croissants to satisfy Eleanor.