On the heels of my earlier success with homemade sufganiyot and a recent taste of Applewood-Smoked Bacon Beignets with Maple Crème Fraiche at Melissa Perillo’s San Francisco restaurant, Frances, I’ve been obsessing about fried balls of dough.
As foodie obsessions so often do, the two dishes—sufganiyot and bacon beignets—collided in my head in totally inappropriate, but exceedingly appetizing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup fashion. I simply could not get this thought out of my mind: Maple-glazed bacon… sufganiyot. Surely hoards of Jewish grandmothers are rolling over right now and for that, I apologize. But, come on, admit it. You think I’m onto something, too, don’t you?
For these maple-glazed bacon—we’ll call them beignets—I used the exact same recipe for the dough as I did for my sufganiyot, but I stirred in 4 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon along with the buttermilk and egg. For the glaze, I replaced the milk in the sufganiyot’s powdered sugar glaze with maple syrup.
These beignets couldn’t be more perfect for celebrating mardi gras. Fat Tuesday, indeed.
- 6 tablespoons warm water
- 1 packet (2 ½ teaspoons) quick-rise yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- Vegetable oil spray
- About 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir to mix and let sit about 10 minutes, until bubbly. Add the buttermilk, egg, bacon, and salt to the yeast mixture and mix with a fork until well combined. Stir in 2 cups of the flour (the other ¼ cup will be used when forming your dough balls), adding it in several additions. When it gets too stiff to continue mixing with the fork, use your hands. The dough will be fairly sticky. Knead for a minute or two with your hands, until you have a fairly firm ball (it will still be pretty sticky). Wash out the bowl and coat it with vegetable oil. Place the dough ball in the oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm spot in the kitchen to rise for 2 to 3 hours, until at least doubled in size.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray or coat with vegetable oil. Transfer the dough to a floured board and punch it down. With floured hands, break off small pieces of the dough and form into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops lightly with vegetable oil spray and then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 30 minutes.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until very hot (a small bit of dough should sizzle vigorously and begin to brown within about 30 seconds of being dropped in. If you have a deep-fry thermometer, the oil should be at about 375º Fahrenheit.)
- While the oil is heating, set a large plate topped with a double layer of paper towels and a baking rack set over a baking sheet next to the stove. Make your glaze by stirring the powdered sugar and maple syrup together in a small bowl and set that next to the stove, as well.
- When the oil is hot, drop 3 or 4 dough balls in at a time. Let cook about 30 seconds, until golden brown on the bottom, and then flip over and cook another 30 seconds until dark golden brown all the way around. Using a slotted spoon, remove the donuts and place them on the paper towel-lined plate. Drop in your next round of 3 or 4 dough balls, and while those are cooking, drop the first batch of dough balls into the glaze mixture, turn to coat an all sides, and transfer to the rack. Finish cooking the second batch of donuts, transfer them to the paper towel-lined plate, and continue the process until all of the donuts are cooked.