If you've ever been to New Orleans, you know that Cafe Du Monde is where it's at! They are famous for their amazing beignets and it's totally worth the hype. I, however, live nowhere near New Orleans, so for Mardi Gras this year I decided to make my own homemade beignets. Specifically, these deep fried sourdough beignets!! The dough is light, pillowy, and fried to perfection. Then covered in a mountain of powdered sugar. Pure bliss I tell you.
As far as sourdough recipes go, these beignets are super easy to make and the dough is very forgiving! It can stay in the fridge anywhere from 12 to 48 hours, which gives you a ton of flexibility when making your beignets!
You just need 7 simple ingredients to make these sourdough beignets!
- Sourdough starter - You can't have sourdough beignets without sourdough starter!
- Sugar - There's only a tiny bit of sugar in the beignet dough because they get most of their sweetness from being covered in powdered sugar!
- Optional - You can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste for extra flavor if desired.
Let's Talk Sourdough
Don’t have a sourdough starter? Never fear! Just check out my Sourdough Guide for all my tips and tricks!
For all of my sourdough recipes, I measure the ingredients in grams. If you don't have a kitchen scale, I highly recommend getting one! They have tons of super affordable ones on Amazon that work great!
Since we're using ripe sourdough starter and the dough also requires chilling time, a little bit of planning is required. Depending on how active your sourdough starter is, you'll want to feed it about 6-8 hours before making your dough. Then the dough has to rise at room temperature for about 4 hours. Then the dough is refrigerated for 12-48 hours.
This might sound like a lot, but 98% of the time is hands off time where the dough is just hanging out and doing its thing.
- Day 1
- 8 am: feed sourdough starter
- 2 pm: make dough
- 2-6 pm: let dough rest at room temperature
- 6 pm: refrigerate for 12-48 hours
- Day 2
- 12 pm: make beignets for brunch!
Making the Beignets
The dough is incredibly easy to make! You just combine all of the dough ingredients in a stand mixer and knead together with the dough hook attachment for about 5 minutes. The dough should come together in a nice ball and be soft and supple (but still just a tad sticky).
Then cover the bowl and let the dough rest at room temperature for 4-6 hours (the colder the room, the longer the rise). This time allows the yeast to start working.
After the initial ferment, transfer the bowl to the fridge for 12-48 hours (I usually just do overnight). This second bulk ferment allows the flavor of the dough to fully develop.
When you're ready to fry the beignets, heat about 2 inches of canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or dutch oven (I prefer a deep dutch oven to prevent oil splatters). While the oil is heating, roll out your dough onto a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thick. Then cut the dough into 2-3 inch squares.
Fry the beignets 3-5 at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan. Flip the beignets often and fry until both sides are puffed and golden brown.
Remove from the oil and let drain on a cooling rack.
After the beignets have cooled for 1-2 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar! And by dust I mean cover in an avalanche of sugary goodness.
The sourdough beignets are best served hot so be sure to chow down immediately!
That's it!! Super easy and soooo good!
No. This recipe is specifically designed for deep frying and won't have the same results if baked.
The beignets are best eaten the same day but can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Sourdough Recipes
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- 227 grams ripe sourdough starter
- 361 grams all purpose flour
- 65 grams granulated sugar
- 178 grams buttermilk, substitute whole milk + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 30 grams unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- canola oil, for frying
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the sourdough starter, flour, granulated sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, and salt.
- Knead on low speed for about 5 minutes until fully combined and smooth. The dough should form a nice ball but still be slightly sticky.
- Cover the dough and let rest at room temperature for 4-6 hours or until doubled in size. Place the bowl in the fridge and let the dough continue to ferment overnight (or up to 48 hours).
- When you're ready to make the beignets, heat about 2 inches of canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or dutch oven. It should take 5-10 minutes for the oil to heat to 350°F.
- Lightly flour the countertop and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about ¼ inch thick. Then cut the dough into 3 inch squares.
- Fry 3-5 beignets at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan. Flip the dough often until they are puffed and golden brown on each side.
- Transfer to a cooling rack for about 2 minutes to drain off the excess oil.
- Dust very generously with powdered sugar and enjoy while still warm!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
These look delicious! Do you have to do the cold ferment or can you cook right after bulk ferment?
Kyleigh Sage says
I recommend the cold ferment because the dough is much easier to handle when it’s cold! But they should still fry up well after just the bulk ferment
I find this recipe to be very balanced. One thing I would love to figure out though, how do I get them to be light and fluffy? I’ve made this exact recipe three times now, and my beignets always end up too dense? I’ve tried using bread flour instead, I’ve also made sure to not over proof… I’ve tried hotter oil less time, lower temp more time etc.. They seem more dense caky and not pillowy. Any recommendations? Im looking for big bubbles and fluff!
Wow these are wonderful and SO easy! Thank for the excellent recipe!
These were amazing!! I love finding ways to use my sourdough starter and I'm so happy I tried this recipe
I absolutely love these! The sourdough starter really helps them puff up and they taste just like the ones I had in New Orleans!
If you LOVE beignets but can’t make it to New Orleans (because why vacation somewhere SO HAUNTED!???) these are perfect! So yummy and fun to make when you have a few friends over (cause beignets are always best hot n’ fresh)