Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Les Bugnes Lyonnaises

 
 
Shrove-Tuesday has been and gone. It didn't occured to me until this morning that I had missed the yearly Bugnes' saga. You see, every year, the day before Lent, my dad got up at 5am to bang pots and pans and made a "pâte à beignets". A couple of hours later, he would proudly deep-fry his "bugnes Lyonnaises" .
 
At that point, the house would reek of hot oil. By then, my mother would  turned as red as if she, herself, had been deep-fried, she would scream at all that sugar and fat, refusing blankly to eat the most wonderful bugnes Lyonnaises that ever graced any breakfast table. The delicious doughnuts, would then mysteriously disappear from their home, till the following year when the ritual would start again.
 
But this year, there was no ritual. An no doubt that my dad's many mates will have looked at the charcuterie and boulangerie's windows, shaking their silver heads, probably telling one another "that nobody made bugnes like Michel".
 
Bugnes, a speciality from Lyon, are traditionally eaten for Mardi Gras. Though found in other cultures, bugnes were first recorded in Pantagruel written in Lyon by Rabelais (16th century writer and doctor). They are thin and crispy doughnuts, sprinkled with icing sugar. They are really worth a go, even if Shrove Tuesday has been and gone.
 
Les Bugnes Lyonnaises
 
Ingredients
250 g white flour
50 g unsalter butter
50g sugar for the dough and ice sugar to decorate
2 beaten eggs
Salt
oil to deep-fry the bugnes you will need about 1/4l
some recipes include orange-blossom water, it is nice with and it's nice without.
 
Method

The dough needs to be prepared 2 hours in advance making as much noise as you can

Combine all the dry ingredients together, add the butter a little at the time and mix (by hand or with the mixer)
 
Get the dough out of the mixer if you are using one, put in a salad bowl make a hole in the middle and pour in the beaten eggs
 
With your hands combine all the ingredients until the dough is shinny and smooth,
Leave to rest for 2 hours at room temperature
 
Flour the table a little, roll the pastry as thin as you can, cut 6cm stripes preferably with a zig-zag cutter.
divide the strips into length of 14cm and slit the middle vertically over half.
If you feel adventurous lift the strip and pass the bottom end through the slit it will make a sort of knotted butterfly.
 
Heat the oil in a deep pan, when very hot place each bugne in, this part is fast working, when they puff get them out and place them on kitchen paper before sprinkling with icing sugar.
 
Eat as soon as they are cooled down, can keep for a couple of days in a metal container.
Picture's copyright to JPS68 via Wikipedia

 

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