Beignet des Brandons Valentin Dubach

Beignets des Brandons

When the time for the Brandons festivals comes round, local women start making a traditional kind of fritter. They’re made in the kitchens of the Payerne and Moudon regions, according to recipes passed down from generation to generation. Small quantities of plain or very sweet dough are stretched until smooth and thin in the middle, keeping the edges thick. Dipped into hot oil, the fritters puff up in the middle, making little hats. They’re then dusted with sugar before being eaten.

Dating back to the 15th century, doughnuts are closely linked to the tradition of Les Brandons, a carnival-like festival, still enthusiastically celebrated in the regions of Moudon, Payerne, Avenches and Yverdon-les-Bains. This festival dates back to Mediaeval times when the local people used to light big fires at the end of winter to chase away the cold and make room for spring. Nowadays, this festival features big parades with music, fantastic costumes.... and delicious doughnuts!

Ingredients for approx. 100 beignets
1 l milk
½ l full cream
1 small glass of white Vaudois wine
1 good glassful of kirsch
1 ½ tbsp. salt
6 beaten eggs
2 ½ kg of white wheat flour
1 sachet baking powder
1 tbsp. lard
100 g butter
Heated grease to fry the fritters

Directions
Mix milk, cream, wine and kirsch.
Cool the mixture to 30° C.
Pour this liquid in a large container, add the salt, sugar and eggs and mix well.
Gradually stir in the flour mixed with the baking powder.
Work the dough, add the butter and the liquid and lukewarm lard.
Work the dough and knead it until it forms bubbles on the surface and no longer sticks to the fingers. When it is smooth, allow the dough to stand for 1 to 2 hours. Cover with a cloth and a piece of plastic.
Flatten the dough slightly. Form patties, place on a floured tray and allow to stand for an hour. Cover.
Lubricate your fingers with the oil, shape the fritters by forming a large edge and stretching the middle until it is very thin.
Immerse the fritter in the heated grease.
Cook well on the first side and only slightly the other side.
Place the golden fritters on kitchen paper.
You may want to dip the fritters in caster sugar.

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