Pâte à Choux
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Pâte à choux is an amazingly simple, quick, and versatile pastry dough; used for both sweet and savory dishes.

Pâte à choux (pronounced “pat ah shoe”) is made on top of the stove. Start by boiling water and butter, then add flour, salt, and sugar and stir to form an elastic ball. Eggs are beaten in last, off the heat, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. The finished dough can be spooned to form rustic balls; however it is more commonly piped to create uniform shapes. While baking, steam forms from the liquid ingredients to expand the dough into an airy shell. Many traditional recipes use only whole eggs, however using additional egg whites provides a crisper and lighter crust.

Classic sweet desserts such as éclairs, croquembouche, Gateau Saint-Honore, Paris-Brest, and profiteroles are made with pâte à choux. Gougeres are savory appetizers created by adding grated cheese to pâte à choux dough. It’s also fun to bake the dough in cream puff shapes to cut open and fill with a sweet or savory filling of your choice.
Recipe type: Pastry
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (omit sugar for savory dishes)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs + 2 to 3 large egg whites (1 liquid cup total)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425° F. Prepare two large baking sheets; line with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar (optional), and salt; sift or whisk together. Set aside.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup or small mixing bowl, whisk the whole eggs and egg whites together. You should have 1 cup of eggs, reserve any excess egg in case needed to finish the dough in step 6. Set aside.
  4. In a medium-size or large-size heavy-bottomed pan (use a large pan if using the “Pan Method” in step 7) over medium low heat, add the butter and water, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium, and heat just to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the flour mixture all at once; stir vigorously with a heavy wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan.
  5. Return the pan to low heat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly using a smearing motion. The mixture will appear slightly shiny and there may be a thin film of dough in the bottom of the pan. Remove pan from the heat and follow the directions for either “Mixer Method” in step 6 or “Pan Method” in step 7.
  6. Mixer Method: After removing the cooked mixture from the heat, transfer the dough to a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat the dough on medium speed for 1 minute to slightly cool the dough, or until the dough registers 180 degrees on an instant read thermometer. With the mixer still on medium speed add the eggs, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating to blend completely between each addition. Once all of the eggs have been added and thoroughly incorporated the mixture should be glossy and elastic. Tip: the dough should pass the “string test;” place a bit of dough between your thumb and forefinger and pull them apart. The dough should form a stretchy string about 1 to 2 inches long. If the dough has not reached this stage beat in another 2 or more tablespoons of whole egg or egg white (use any reserved egg when you first measured the ingredients,) adding a little at a time until the dough is finished.
  7. Pan Method: If you don’t want to use an electric stand mixer or prefer not to dirty an extra bowl, you can complete the dough using one pan. After removing the cooked mixture from the heat, stir vigorously with a heavy wooden spoon to cool the dough, or until the dough registers 180 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Add the eggs, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating vigorously between each addition. Once all of the eggs have been added and thoroughly incorporated the mixture should be glossy and elastic and pass the “string test” as described in step 6.
  8. Note: The following directions for shaping and baking are for a basic cream puff shape. You can make other shapes of your choice for the recipe you are using.
  9. Shape: Fit a ½ inch or larger plain tip into a large pastry bag. A standard coupler is ½ inch and may be easily used in place of a metal tip. Fold down the top of the bag to form a cuff, and fill the bag halfway with pâte à choux dough. Un-cuff the top and twist the top of the bag to push the contents toward the tip. Pipe mounds of dough 2 inches apart. Tip: space the mounds 2 inches apart to allow sufficient heat to surround each cream puff. For large size cream puffs pipe the mounds about 2 inches in diameter and 1 inch high; for medium size cream puffs pipe the mounds about 1 to 1½ inches in diameter and 1 inch high, for small size cream puffs pipe the mounds about ½ in diameter and ½ inch high. Tip: If using a non-disposable pastry bag, once all the dough has been used immediately rinse and clean the bag in warm water. Or use a disposable bag for this recipe to avoid having to clean sticky dough from the bag.
  10. Using a slightly dampened fingertip or back of a slightly dampened teaspoon, gently smooth down the tip of dough left from piping, otherwise a tip of dough will over-brown or burn.
  11. Bake: place the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven and quickly close the door to retain all the heat in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until the puffs begin to rise. Reduce the heat to 350° F. and continue to bake until the puffs are golden brown; large size puffs will continue to be baked 18 to 20 minutes; medium size puffs will continue to be baked 15 to 18 minutes; small size puffs will continue to be baked 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer puffs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before filling and serving.
Recipe Notes
Pan: Baking Sheets Pan Prep: Parchment Lined Oven Temp: 425° Yield: 3 to 5 Dozen (depending on size)Storage: Covered, Room Temperature or Freeze

Help: Pâte à Choux Tips

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Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/pastry/pate-a-choux/