It’s no surprise that the Town Hall menu, with its many nods south to New Orleans, includes that Café du Monde classic, beignets. Serve them with a strong cup of coffee and pretend you’re on Decatur Street.
- 1/2 plus 1 tablespoon water, at 110 degrees
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1/3 granulated sugar
- 2 3/4 all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/3 plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 3/4 ground nutmeg
- 1 1/4 salt
- 1/8 baking powder
- 2 unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the bowl
- Canola oil, for deep-frying
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
Place the warm water in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, sprinkle the yeast on top, and whisk to dissolve. Add a pinch of the granulated sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining sugar, flour, egg yolks, milk, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. Mix on low speed just until the dough comes together, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and mix on medium speed until the butter is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes.
Increase the speed to high and mix until the dough is smooth and shiny, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. Butter a large bowl. Gather up the dough and form it into a loose ball (it will be sticky). Place it in the buttered bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot until the dough rises to 1 ½ times its original size, about 1 ½ hours.
Lightly flour your work surface. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto the surface. Roll it out into an 8-by-2-inch rectangle about ¼-inch thick. Cut into twenty-four 2-inch squares and let rest for 10 minutes before frying.
Heat 3-3 ½ inches oil in a deep-fryer or deep, heavy-bottomed pot to 370 degrees. Working in batches, add the dough squares and fry until golden, turning once, about 1 minute on each side. Using a wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer the beignets to paper towels to drain briefly. Dust the beignets generously with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.