Monday, February 26, 2007

Bugnes - the recipe

As promised (but with a little delay... sorry about that), here is the recipe for bugnes, the Lyon region "mardi gras" beignets.

  • 250 g (14 fl. oz.) all purpose flour
  • 50 g (slightly less than 1/2 stick or 4 tbsp) unsalter butter
  • 50 g (2 fl. oz.) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water (optional)
  • salt
  • about 1/2 liter (1/2 quart) sunflower oil to deep-fry the bugnes.
  • powdered sugar (a few tablespoons)
Prepare the dough at least 2 hours in advance:
  1. Sift the flour over a large bowl.
  2. Combine with the sugar, orange blossom water and a pinch of salt. Add the butter in very small parcels and mix a little.
  3. Dig a hole (in french we say "une fontaine" -a fountain) in the center of the flour mix. Beat the eggs and pour in the hole.
  4. With the hands, combine all the ingredients and knead for only a minute or two, until the dough gets homogenous. Make a ball out of it and let it rest for at least 2 hours at room temperature under a clean cotton cloth.
  1. Roll out the dough (on a flat, floured surface) as thinly as possible (about 2 mm) in a somewhat rectangular shape. This should be fairly easy as the dough should be elastic and moist.
  2. Cut out stripes about 1 1/2" to 2" wide. Divide the stripes into smaller rectangles, approximately 4" long. The bugnes on the pictures are small but feel free to make the stripes longer or wider if you prefer. Bugnes come in various sizes.
  3. Twist the rectangles as follows:
    • With a knife, make a 1 1/2" long slit in the center of each rectangle, lengthwise.
    • Take one of the rectangle's small sides through this hole and reshape, as shown on the pictures above.
    • If you go with longer stripes of dough, there might be enough length to make two knots.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan (oil should be about 1" or 1 1/2" deep) until boiling hot. Place a few knotted stripes of dough in it, making sure they don't touch eachother.
  5. Flip once, after only a few seconds, then wait a few seconds longer (this goes fast!).
  6. Take out as soon as the bugnes have a nice golden (but not too dark) color. Drain on paper towels placed in a plate.
  7. Once all the bugnes are cooked, sprinkle with powdered sugar (it's easier to sprinke evenly if you use a small strainer and shake it overn the bugnes).
You can start eating them as soon as they are ready. If there are any left, store them in a metal box (lined with paper towels). Eat them any time of the day as a snack, on their own.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Tes bugnes me donnent trop envie! Elles sont superbes...

Elvira said...

J'adore ces petits beignets! :-)

La maisonnette de Barbichounette said...

C'est plein de souvenirs !!!!

Estelle said...

Merci les filles :-)

Jen said...

These look and sound just like a Polish cookie called "Chrusciki" My family makes them for special occasions. Too funny!

Orchidea said...

In Italy we call them "Bugie" and they are typical for Carnival.

Anonymous said...

help!!!! im trying to find a recipe that my mother made when i was a child. They look similiar to your bugnes but these r made with a batter and you use metal form with long metal handles. usually the molds would be in shapes like a tree or snowflake. But they r fried and dusted with powdered sugar. can u help?

diana said...

This recipes is so good and I think is well known in many countries.
Is is very popular in Romania, too, and theese are called "minciunele', which it means "little lies".
Your blog is very intersting; I started a blog, but a have now only a few recepis - at

Mar said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm se ven super deliciosos!!!, estaba buscando esta receta y me parece imperdible!, los prepararé y te cuento, gracias!!!

Nathalie with an "H" said...

I am French and grew up watching my mom make these every February but I had never made them. I tried last night for the first time I totally failed. I am a pretty darn good cook and baker type of girl. I don't understand. They just didn't puff out. They were heavy. Tasted good but the texture wasn't what I wanted at all. Did I handle the dough too much? Was the oil not hot enough? Aren't they supposed to rise and be hollow inside? Help please :)

Anonymous said...

Made them them!
Just needed to add some flour before rolling the dough (a little sticky , too much butter maybe).
Everyone loved them at my party.

Just came back from Lyon where I was raised, pretty authentic.

Estelle said...

Hi All,

Oh no, Nathalie, I'm so sorry it didn't work out :-(
Yes they are supposed to puff and rise to the surface of the oil. All your points are valid: the dough should be made very quickly so it remains moist and elastic and the oil has to be super hot (dipping dough in it will make it bubble up). The dough has to be rolled as thin as possible. You can even use a pasta maker to roll the dough thin enough... If not moist enough you can always add a third egg.. Depending on their size, I guess 2 might not always be enough.

And I agree with the last comment, as always when you roll out a dough, you need to have a little flour on the table...

Diana said...

These bugnes look delicious! I cannot wait to try out these French Pastries! Not only do the French have a beautiful language but they also reign as the Pastry Kings!

Dominique said...

ca me donne envie de retourner en France

Kat T said...

They are called Rosettes.