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I made beignets and I want to hurry and bake them before going to sleep tonight. Do I have to let them sit overnight or will they be fine if i just put them in there for a few hours then fry?

This is the recipe:

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs active dry yeast
1 egg replacement
2 Tbs vegan butter
1/2 cup soy creamer
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Oil for frying
Enough powdered sugar to choke out an army

In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, combine the water, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit until the yeast gets bubbly and happy, about 5 minutes. Add in the butter and the egg replacement and beat until combined. Add in the soy creamer and half the flour and beat for 1 minute. Add in the salt and the rest of the flour and finish with the dough hook. If you don't have a dough hook, knead the dough by hand.

Spray cooking spray or a light bit of oil into a bowl or dish with a lid. add in the dough and turn to coat. Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight. Heat your cooking oil to 360 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to approximately 1/4 to 1/3 inch thickness. 1/2 inch thick is too thick.

Cut the dough into 3" x 3" squares or diamonds. Place into the hot oil carefully, making sure not to crowd the oil. The beignet should float to the surface almost immediately. Cook on each side for about 20-30 seconds, or until a rich golden brown.

Once golden brown on both sides, remove from oil and allow to rest for about 1 minute. With a sieve, sprinkle the powdered sugar generously onto the top of the beignets. Enjoy, traditionally with a cafe au (almond) lait.

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It would help to see the whole recipe. If they're proofed overnight in the refrigerator, then a few hours at room temperature is probably fine. –  sourd'oh Feb 1 at 0:08
    
@sourd'oh its a vegan recipe on effyeahitsvegan.com but my friend said she didnt put them in overnight but hers werent vegan –  Brooklyn Feb 1 at 0:26
    
is it overnight refrigeration? –  sourd'oh Feb 1 at 0:55
    
@Brooklyn, is the recipe that I put in the right one? –  Mien Mar 5 at 12:20
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One of my classic Hungarian cookbooks has a long chapter on yeast-risen donuts, and it is adamant that the donuts must never, ever catch a chill for even a moment. The suggestion of an overnight stay in the refrigerator would send the author into conniptions, I think. –  Marti May 4 at 15:25

2 Answers 2

Warning: this answer isn't about traditional beignets, but about New Orleans beignets, which are actually made from yeast dough, like donuts. It refers to this recipe which the OP is most likely using.


For yeast dough, the difference between long and short rising times is that longer times give you more flavor development. Beignets are so chock-full of sugar and fat that they don't need the subtle flavoring of long fermentation. They can be made with very short rising times.

I don't know why the recipe tells you to refrigerate overnight and then forgets to tell you that the dough should come back to temperature. There are some rich doughs which are baked from cold in order to hold their shape (brioche and other butter-rich relatives), but due to the physics of deep frying, you don't want fridge-cold dough in your pan. But there is surely no need to get it thoroughly cooled; the recipe is probably advising the long stay for fermentation or convenience reasons, not because you need chilled dough. One possibility which comes to mind is that the soft dough might be a bit hard to roll when warm, but a combination of non-stick mat, clingfilm and flouring usually takes care of that.

If you keep your dough out of the fridge, it will be ready much earlier, and you can fry it as soon as it is properly risen. But because this recipe has such an insanely high yeast ratio (equivalent to 7.5% fresh yeast in baker percentages), you have to watch it closely, it might rise very soon.

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I will say, nearly any yeast product benefits taste-wise (sometimes drastically) from a long, slow, cold rise compared to a shorter, warm rise. –  rfusca Mar 5 at 16:10

I never refrigerate my beignets overnight. the longest I have ever chilled the dough is about 4 hours. Most important thing to remember is to make sure you let them rise to room temperature once you remove them from the refrigerator. Never put cold dough in the oil to fry.

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