New Orleans Style Beignets
1 1/2 cups water (110 F)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest
6 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment combine the water and sugar. Add in the yeast. Let the yeast activate for 10 minutes. Add in the milk, butter, vanilla, and lemon zest.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt. 1 spoonful at a time, add the flour mixture to the stand mixer, mixing on medium speed. Mix the dough for 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, and cover with plastic. Let the dough rest for 1 hour.
Generously dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cover the dough with a damp towel and proof for 30 minutes.
Cut the beignets into medium sized squares.
Heat 3 inches of Canola Oil to 375 degrees. Add a few beignets to the oil. Cook for 30 seconds per side. Transfer the beignets to a wire rack and generously dust with Powdered Sugar.