1.25.2016

Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey + speaking of baking

Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey





Hello, friend.

Baking. The science of culinary perfection. Exact measurements and proper conditions dictate the outcome. Mix up sugar for salt or forget to temper the chocolate and disaster will surely strike. Baking is an exact science, a process that requires extreme precision and execution while also demonstrating grace and simplicity. It’s a balancing act. Understanding the processes before you step off on your baking endeavors will support a greater chance of a positive outcome. Like the old saying goes, “Measure twice, bake once” (or something like that! I’m a little fuzzy on the exact phrasing). Baking is a process that requires preparation, training, and a willingness to make mistakes and learn from them, much like speaking.

For the longest time, I did not love baking. I love eating baked goods, don’t get me wrong. I have a definite sweet tooth. In my opinion, dessert is the best part of the meal! Though I much rather cook a steak or sauté onions to a deep golden caramel brown than frost a cake or whip egg whites to stiff, beautiful meringues. Even though I rather photograph baked goods, I find a stronger sense of self when it comes to the savory. When it comes to baking, I sometimes find a deep sense of doubt looming over my head. It was the act of failure that scared me. I know that cooking fails are inevitable. I have had my fair share, from catching my oven on fire (twice!), catching my grill on fire, failing to grease my tart pan (it was a sticky, crumbly situation), failing at a salted caramel sauce, and even attempting a carnitas pork stew. 

I finally realized my lack of baking happiness after I started doing photography for Clabber Girl. I’m the kind of home cook who measures by sight; that’s how my mother and grandmother always cooked, so I’m blaming genetics. With cooking, you can sometimes get away with moving away from the recipe ever so slightly and develop it the way you want (to an extent), but baking is a different story. As I spoke about before, baking is an exact science. With baking, I felt restricted. I felt as if I couldn't be expressive and be creative like I could with cooking. 

It wasn’t until I started blogging and working with Clabber Girl that I started to love baking. What I began to realize was that baking forced me to be in the present moment. It wasn’t restriction; it was appreciation. It taught me how to enjoy the process. I was able to find creativity, but just in different ways. From cutting butter into flour or watching a cake rise, it was the step by step, precise nature of it all that kept me coming back, challenging me to grow as a baker AND a cook, and spawning my creativity for the baking arts. Baking taught me to fear less and enjoy the now, to learn the balance between precise and relative, sweet and savory, and being critical of my fluency and not being so hard on myself. Baking allowed me to find joy in the journey. Much like stuttering, baking has taught me to find the equilibrium, and that is something I truly kneaded to understand. 


This post was written as a bi-monthly column for the National Stuttering Association. 

Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey
Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey
Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey

coffee for two Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey
Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey
Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower HoneyBeignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey
Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower HoneyBeignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey
Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey

Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey

So it’s almost Marti Gras! I decided I needed to post something festive for the upcoming celebrations. I’ve never been to New Orleans, so I can’t say I’ve had a REAL beignet, but these are pretty dang good. The outside is crispy and golden and as you pull the bread apart, you reveal a warm buttery inside. The orange spice honey adds a bright note to the beignets. It's the perfect way to use up that lonely orange in your fridge. The honey addition was inspired by the Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog” (which, by the way, is my favorite Disney princess movie). In the film the main character, Tiana, makes beignets and dusts them with powdered sugar and drizzles honey on top. Yes, I got my inspiration from an animated Disney movie. Don’t judge me.

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen


Ingredients

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk*
7 cups bread flour
1/4 cup shortening
Nonstick spray
Oil, for deep-frying
3 cups confectioners' sugar
½ cup wildflower honey
Orange, juice of half
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon lemon juice


Directions

For the Beignets. Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, salt, and evaporated milk. Mix egg mixture into the yeast mixture. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and the remaining four cups of the flour and mix until well combined.

Transfer dough to a flour work surface and knead until smooth. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and/or tea towel and let rise for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oil in a skillet or deep fryer to 350 degrees F.

Transfer dough to a floured surface and roll out to ¼ inch thickness and cut with biscuit cutter or into 1-inch squares. Fry, in batches, 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown all over. Take beignets out and drain on a paper towel. Allow to cool slightly. Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle orange spiced wildflower honey on top. Serve immediately.

For the orange spiced wildflower honey. In a small bowl, stir together the honey, juice of an orange, cinnamon, and lemon juice until well combined. Cover and store in the refrigerator. 


Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey Beignets with Orange Spiced Wildflower Honey

No comments:

Post a Comment