Monday, June 8, 2015

District 3: Plain Beignets.

(Want to start at the beginning, with District 1?)

The primary industry of District 3 is technology--general electronics as well as automobiles and firearms.  One of the first districts to rebel in Catching Fire, it also gave us Wiress and Beetee (also known as "Nuts" and "Volts", according to one of my favorite characters, Johanna Mason).  Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins describes the bread of District 3 as bite-sized, square-shaped rolls.

District 3: Plain Beignets.

I went with beignets for this one because they seemed likely to hold a square shape fairly well, which they did, and were easy to cut into bite-sized pieces before frying.  Though they're traditionally a sweet treat topped with powdered sugar, I left them plain for District 3.  Although this district produces advanced technology, we gather from the books that it is actually one of the poorest districts, so keeping the beignets plain and simple seemed more fitting.

I primarily used this recipe, with some minor adjustments.

You'll need:

  • 1 cup warm milk (~110*F)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 Tbsp dry active yeast (or a 1/4-oz. package)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Missing: salt.  Oops.

I microwaved the milk in 30-second intervals until it was over 100 degrees:

Pour the warm milk into a large bowl:

Add 1 Tbsp of the sugar:


Add the yeast:

Whisk, then let stand until yeast begins to bubble (about five minutes):

Add the egg, butter, salt, vanilla, and the rest of the sugar:

I had a very eager little helper with this one...she poured in most of the ingredients!

Still in pajamas with bedhead after breakfast...that's how we do mornings.

Kaylie also loves to stir.

Next, add 2 cups of the flour:

Mix, then add the rest of the flour in 1/4-1/3 cup increments until it stops being sticky:

If you like, feel free to make faces while your mixer does the work:

But don't get fancy and try to turn your mixer on with your off-hand because you're too lazy to put down the half cup of flour...or this happens:


I'm a lefty, so I'm pretty well adjusted to being ambidextrous with most things, but apparently reaching over the machine with my right hand to turn it on is really pushing it (my hand slipped and the mixer jumped straight to level 4 mixing).  Gah.

Once you can form the dough into a smooth ball without it sticking to your hands, do so, and place it in a clean bowl:

Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour and a half:

Kaylie was impressed by how it grew:

Place dough on a floured surface:

Roll out into a squarish-rectangular shape about an inch thick:

Next, cut it into pieces that will end up being far too big*:

(*Or you can just cut them much smaller than I initially did, and adjust the upcoming steps accordingly...)

Cover them with a clean, dry towel, and let rise about an hour:

Then wonder why you cut them so big when they were supposed to be "bite-sized":

Heat the oil to about 350 degrees:

While the oil heats, go back and cut the ginormous bites for giants into reasonable bites for humans:

Much better!

Fry them in batches:

Turn them over every thirty seconds or so:

Remove them once they've puffed up and turned a nice golden brown (they'll fry quickly!):

Place on a paper-towel-covered plate to drain excess oil:

Perfect little square-shaped rolls for District 3!

But...they're extra yummy if you add powdered sugar....

I fried a few of the giant ones before I made up my mind to cut them smaller.

I feel like the plain ones are more authentic for District 3, and they do taste good, but powdered sugar, dude.  It's just so good.

Here it is for your cut-and-paste convenience:


  • 1 cup warm milk (~110*F)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 Tbsp dry active yeast (or a 1/4-oz. package)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • (Optional: powdered sugar, to taste)
  1. Pour warm milk into large bowl.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp of sugar; mix.
  3. Add yeast; mix; let stand until yeast bubbles (about five minutes).
  4. Add egg, butter, salt, vanilla, and rest of sugar; mix well.
  5. Add 2 cups of flour; mix well.
  6. Add additional flour in 1/4-1/3 cup increments until dough is no longer sticky.
  7. Form dough into smooth ball; let rise in clean bowl, covered with plastic wrap, an hour and a half.
  8. On floured surface, roll dough out into 1" thick rectangle.
  9. Cut into bite-sized squares.
  10. Cover with clean, dry towel and let rise one hour.
  11. Heat oil in skillet to 350*F.
  12. Fry beignets in batches, turning every thirty seconds, until puffed and golden brown.
  13. Drain on paper towels.
  14. If desired, top with powdered sugar.
Easter Eggs

Can you find the Easter egg this week?

There's only one this week.

How'd you do last week?  Here's the reveal:

The Peacekeepers are actually Stormtroopers (which is largely how I pictured them when I read the books anyway!).  And that sword in the background is a replica of William Wallace's claymore in "Braveheart" (...I have two of them...I love that movie!).

Let me know in the comments if you spot this week's Easter egg!  May the odds be ever in your favor! :-)

(Ready for District 4?)

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