Pâte à choux (about 20 puffs)
A go-to recipe for either cream puffs or éclairs. I use this recipe as a base for making Beard Papa's style cream puffs. Click through to read more on how you can too.
5 1/2 ounces water
2 1/2 ounces unsalted butter
3 1/2 ounces all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1 egg, lightly beaten, to use as an egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400°
Have ready two baking sheets lined with parchment and a pastry bag fitted with a large, plain tip.
If you haven’t wrangled a pastry bag into submission before (or if you have and found it frustrating), these 12 tips for using a pastry bag will make the process mess and stress free. Read through before you get started so you’ll have your pastry bag ready to go (the right way!) when it comes time to pipe.
In a medium pot, combine the water and butter over medium or medium high and bring to a simmer. Immediately dump in the flour and salt all at once.
Stir vigorously to incorporate all of the flour and continue to cook and stir for a full minute. The flour-water mixture should gain a Play-Doh like consistency and form a ball or, at least, a unified mass.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat on medium speed for about four minutes. Adding the eggs and yolk, one at a time, waiting for each to fully incorporate before adding the next. Scrape the bowl down once or twice during the mixing process.
After you’ve finished adding the eggs, transfer the batter to a piping bag. For the most even shapes, let the pâte à choux cool in the bag before piping. Pipe the mixture as uniformly as possible so they will bake at the same rate. For cream puffs, pipe 20 spheres of batter, 2 1/4” in diameter, 10 per tray. Aim for a round, rather than a flat shape. Try not to pipe Hershey’s kiss-like blobs.
Use a pastry brush to brush each with some of the beaten egg, then put them in the oven for 15 minutes. After that, lower the oven temperature to 350° and continue baking until they’re uniformly golden brown, another 20 minutes or so.
Remove from the oven and cool completely. For super crisp puffs, cut each in half (if you find any doughy bits inside, scoop them out and discard) and toast off at 375° for about 5 minutes. If you’d rather keep the classic presentation, just poke a hole in the bottom of each and toast, with the puffs lying on their sides so steam can escape.
Classically, these are filled with Pastry Cream, but ice cream would be grand too. Either way, a generous drizzle of ganache wouldn’t be a bad idea. Or possibly
lemongrass poached rhubarb for a fruity twist…
Apr 28, 2012 · 5:51 PM
@Celeste, ahhh, I’m such an American, aren’t I? I’m at work right now and likely won’t be able to update the recipe anytime soon. Online ounces to grams conversion calculators are very reliable and can do the heavy lifting for you. Or, grab a calculator and just multiply the weight of each ingredient by 28.35. Hope that helps!
Sep 06, 2012 · 2:44 PM
I love making choux pastry! Always on a lookout for new variations I see that you don’t actually use milk like many recipes that I’ve seen and used. Is there a reason for that? Also I always find that after piping in some pastry cream, the puffs go a bit soggy. Is there a way to prevent that? I don’t know whether it is my cream or the choux pastry T_T please help >_< Thanks so much ^^
Sep 06, 2012 · 6:27 PM
Hi pinglinh! I’ve done with and without milk, but so far I’ve felt pretty meh about the difference. I feel like with water, they taste a little butterier, but I’ve got no science or logic to back that up. Post-piping sogginess seems to just be a way of life, so I only fill them at the last minute. If I ever come up with a miracle solution, I’ll be sure to post it here.