Use A Pizza Wheel To Effortlessly Cut Beignet Dough

Simple but scrumptious, a serving of hot and fluffy homemade beignets always hits the spot. To make your next batch even more of a success, use a pizza wheel to effortlessly cut through the dough. This technique results in flawlessly uniform squares that are perfect for deep-frying and lovingly dusting with a blanket of powdered sugar.

You might be thinking, why not use a sharp knife to cut the dough into a checker pattern? While it's true that you could employ a knife to create those characteristic square-shaped nuggets, this move has a couple of negatives. Firstly, if you've rolled out a large piece of yeasted dough, a single cut that's equal to the length of the knife won't be long enough to cover the breadth of your rectangle. You'll either have to run your knife along the tender dough, which can cause it to snag, or cut it in stages; place your knife down on the dough, lift it, and move it along to make the next neat cut.

Finally, a particularly soft dough is also likely to stick to the blade of a knife, making for even messier edges that don't look as pretty once deep-fried. A pastry cutter or dough scraper are two other potential tools you could experiment with using, but a pizza wheel is faster and most likely a kitchen utensil you already have in your cutlery drawer anyway.

Prepare large batches of beignet dough with a pizza cutter

The fluid motion of a pizza wheel means you can neatly cut through large batches of beignet dough at speed. Simply cut the dough into equally spaced columns before gliding across it in horizontal lines to make squares. The wheel will cut precise, continuous lines through the dough, as long as you have a steady hand, creating an abundance of evenly sized squares that have immaculate sides. Why is this important? Because beignets that have the same dimensions will cook at the same rate when deep-fried. Each fluffy square of goodness will boast a perfectly cooked middle and a golden balanced color on the surface, ready to be generously topped with a sifting of confectioner's sugar.

Need a couple more tips to make the perfect New Orleans beignets? Allow your dough to rise for up to two hours so it can double in size before rolling it out to create a fluffier interior once your squares are deep-fried. Secondly, drop your cooked beignets in a bag of powdered sugar, instead of sprinkling the sugar over the top, to guarantee that each puffy pastry is evenly coated. This little trick also minimizes the mess on your countertop because it keeps those floaty clouds of sugar within the confines of the bag.