Bugnes are some sort of beignets that are popular in Central-Eastern France, the most known being the bugnes de Lyon. There are two sorts: the soft and the crunchy, the difference between the two being the presence of yeast (soft) or not (crunchy). It is not difficult to make, but takes a bit of time as the dough has to rise.
Time: 3 hours
Ingredients for 50 bugnes:
- 1 lb all purpose white flour (450g)
- 4 oz of butter (125g)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (75g)
- confectioner sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 2 packets of yeast
- 2 drops of orange flower extract
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup of milk
Preparation of the bugnes:
Put the eggs, the milk (lukewarm), the powdered sugar and the yeast in a bowl. Mix for 5 minutes and then, let it sit for 30 minutes. Add the pinch of salt, the orange flower extract, the melted butter and then, slowly add the sifted flour, while mixing the ingredients (I use the hook in a KitchenAid mixer), until obtaining a soft dough that does not stick (you can add more flour if too sticky). Let rise for 2 hours.
On a tabletop, put a very thin layer of flour so the dough does not stick to it, and spread it with a rolling pin. Use a cutting wheel to obtain a perfect rectangle (redo this step with the discarded dough - there is no waste!).
Again with the cutting wheel, cut smaller rectangles (you can even use molds if you would like a specific shape) and, in each rectangle, make a small incision.
In a frying pan, pour some vegetable oil (1 inch deep), at medium heat. Cook the bugnes in the pan, but be careful: it goes fast. What I did was to count to 5 slowly, then turn the bugne on the other side, count again to five, and then remove them, putting them directly in a bowl containing confectioners sugar. Turn the bugne in the sugar until fully coated.
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