Potato beignets are a luxury version of humble potato noodles. The dough contains more – much more (!!!) – butter and it is deep-fried instead of boiled and pan-fried. This recipe contains wild garlic leaves because my main motivation to make a large batch of potato beignets was to preserve the wild garlic that I had harvested in the forest.
Potato beignets freeze exceptionally well and can be fried whenever you feel like having them. It’s best to make a large batch with whatever kind of leafy green you have lying around. If you don’t have wild garlic on hand, you can use spinach or a mixture of herbs that is in season.
Tips for preparing potato beignets with wild garlic (or any leafy greens you like!)
The dough for potato beignets is a choux pastry – called “Brandteig” in German. “Brennen” in German means “to burn”: Now, you don’t burn the dough in the literal sense but you have to cook it on the stove before shaping the beignets. The cooking gelatinizes the starch in the flour and makes the dough nonstick and fluffy.
Preparing a choux pastry is not as complicated as it might sound. It’s one of the simplest doughs to prepare and absolutely foolproof. And if you mix this dough with mashed potatoes, then you have a delicious potato beignet dough.
As much as some people might not like to hear it but the potatoes need to be cooked whole. Don’t cut them small! This makes the potatoes watery. They need to be soft and dry on the inside. My preferred way is to steam the potatoes. Steamed potatoes are perfect for mashed potatoes, potato noodles, or potato dumplings.
The dough is quite firm so please use a sturdy piping bag. The wider the opening of your piping bag, the easier it is to extrude the dough. I did a batch of tiny decorative potato beignets for the recipe picture. But I also made many large rings. Making many tiny beignets is much more work than making fewer larger ones. You decide how much effort you want to put into this! Whatever you do, make sure to pinch the ends of the circles together lightly so they won’t separate while frying.
I deep-fry the beignets in a wide pan with the parchment paper still attached. The piece of parchment paper will release while deep frying and I don’t like to remove it beforehand as the beignets are fragile. I fry the beignets to a light golden color but you can also fry them for longer if you prefer them darker.
Potato Beignets with Wild Garlic (‘Kartoffel Beignets mit Bärlauch’)
For the potatoes:
- 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) starchy potatoes
For the choux pastry:
- 240 grams (8.5 ounces) butter
- 300 grams (10.5 ounces) water
- salt, to taste
- 360 grams (12.7 ounces) white soft wheat flour (German Type 405)
- 6 eggs, size M, whisked until smooth
For seasoning the beignets:
- freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste
- 200 grams (7 ounces) wild garlic
For frying the beignets:
- neutral vegetable oil
Cook the potatoes:
- Either steam or boil the potatoes skin-on in a pot of salted water until tender. Peel the potatoes while still hot and immediately pass them through a potato ricer. Leave them to sit on the counter so any excess moisture can evaporate from the potato mass.
Prepare the choux pastry:
- In a pot, combine the butter and water. Season with salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then stir in the flour and whisk vigorously until the dough stops sticking to the sides of the pot. Take the pot off the heat and start stirring in the eggs, bit by bit, until you have a cohesive dough that releases from the sides of the pot.
Prepare the potato beignets:
- In a large bowl combine the warm potatoes and warm choux pastry. Knead until smooth. Then season the dough with parmesan cheese to taste. Add extra salt if needed.
- Blanch the wild garlic leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds. Immediately chill them in an ice-water bath and chop them very finely. Mix the wild garlic leaves into the beignet dough until evenly distributed.
- Load a sturdy piping bag with the beignet dough and pipe circles of dough onto a piece of parchment paper.
Fry the beignets:
- Cut the parchment paper into squares to separate the beignets. Fry the beignets with the parchment paper attached at 350 °F (180 °C) until golden brown and crispy. The parchment paper will release from the beignets during frying and you can fish it out of the oil after frying. Serve the beignets while still hot and crispy with any sides of your choice. Any excess beignets can be frozen raw and fried freshly when served.
Tolle Idee – noch kann man Bärlauch ernten. Im Auwald gibt es noch tonnenweise davon. Einiges habe ich bereits gemacht Pesto und Bärlauch-Butter. Aber Beignets – Klasse!
Kochen wird nie langweilig!
Viele Grüße Opa reiner
Ja, der Bärlauch wächst bei mir im Umland auch wie ein Unkraut. Ich lege ihn immer in Öl ein, um ihn haltbar zu machen. Mit Kartoffeln zusammen schmeckt er mir besonders lecker. Da gibt es ja so viele Möglichkeiten: Schupfnudeln, Gnocci, Beignets, als Püree, oder Suppe mit Kartoffeln und Bärlauch. Leider ist die Saison immer so kurz. Viele Grüße – Tim