These beignets are definitely not traditional. Not only are they baked, but they are infused with amazing saffron flavor! Delicious Saffron Baked Beingets are perfect for any breakfast or brunch.
- been to New Orleans
- had a beignet
- Cafe du Monde ANYTHING
- had King Cake
- had a muffalata.
I HAVE made gumbo and jambalaya and eaten Bananas Foster. That’s about it.
I did A LOT of research about these babies. A LOT! Since I’ve never had one, I wanted to make sure I got them right. Oh yeah. NAILED IT! At least flavor-wise. These beauties are golden delicious goodness in an easy to make dough made healthier by baking them instead of frying them.
But, I didn’t want them to be all plain beignets. I wanted to “kick it up a notch” so to speak. I’m not sure how I stumbled on it, but someone was talking about a cooking challenge on their blog. One where you have to use an ingredient you’ve never used before. This person chose saffron. Light bulb! I LOVE saffron! Because it’s so expensive, I think it’s under-used. However, a little really DOES go a long way!!
Just look at that golden goodness floating around in the milk. I love how saffron instantly turns anything it touches into gold. It was steeped with the milk to infuse that luscious flavor all throughout the dough. Don’t waste any of those threads of goodness.
See how beautifully yellow it made the dough? And I didn’t bother with straining the milk. I figure the action of kneading the dough in the mixer would break them up enough. If there’s some larger pieces, so be it. They’re just so pretty!! Maybe it’s wishful thinking that spring will be here soon. We’re supposed to get freezing rain and ice and then snow on Monday? Yipee. *sigh*
Maybe I’ll have to bake up some more beignets. I was completely surprise with how easy the dough was to make, how soft and pliable it was, and how utterly tasty they are! HOLY WOW!
They have just the right amount of sweetness in this light and airy dough. It’s almost like a brioche the way they come out. Fluffy in the middle, nice and crisp on the outside. Just fabulous! I don’t impress myself all that often, but I have done just that with these tasty beignets. A light dusting of powdered sugar and that’s all they need. No dipping sauce, no glaze, no drizzle. They’re perfectly tasty just like they are.
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons butter, diced
- Powdered sugar
- Scald milk with the saffron. Allow to cool to between 100 to 105.
- Add the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add cooled milk and allow to sit 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add the egg and stir with a whisk until combined.
- Combine the 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, remaining sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture. Using the dough hook, stir on medium-low speed until the dough starts to come together. Beat at medium speed, add additional flour as needed, until a soft dough forms into a ball. Knead an additional 5 to 6 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly flour surface and knead a few times. Let rest 15 minutes.
- Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into eight 3 x 4 inch rectangles. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment or a silpat baking mat. Cover with a towel and allow to rise 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
- Sprinkle with powder sugar and serve.