My Recipe Box

Choux Pastry Puffs


Yields about 2-1/2 dozen puffs.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 49

Choux pastry (pronounced "shoo") is a light, easy-to-make pastry that's the basis for cream puffs, éclairs, and profiteroles. The batter is quite forgiving: you can make it one day and bake the puffs the next, or you can fully bake the puffs, freeze them, and then reheat them quickly before filling with plain pastry cream or ice cream. The puffs are delicate, however, so don't let them get squashed in the freezer. If you don't have a pastry bag, use a heavy zip-top bag with the corner snipped off to pipe out the batter.

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
For the egg wash:
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. milk

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment. In a small saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Remove from the heat and beat with a wooden spoon just until the steam stops rising, about 1 minute. The mixture will smooth out and pull away from the sides of the pan.

Add one egg and beat well with the wooden spoon. The batter will seem to break apart, but keep working until it becomes smooth.

Add the second egg and beat again until the mixture is completely smooth.

Scoop the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain pastry tube (Ateco #5). Hold the bag about 1 inch above a parchment-lined baking sheets and pipe out mounds about 1 inch in diameter. Beat the egg yolk with the milk to make an egg wash. Lightly brush the egg wash on top of each puff with a pastry brush, tapping down any points of dough.

Bake until the pastries are puffed and deep golden, 22 to 24 min. Let cool on a wire rack. If not using the same day, transfer to a plastic bag and freeze for up to four months; thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Photo: Scott Phillips

This recipe turned out perfect! Lots of patience required with stirring while the water evaporates--but this process is was missing from other recipes that failed to turn out a good pate a choux.

Oh my goodneess! Absolutely divine and so easy to make! Hmmmm ... I just can't stop eating them.

These turned out perfectly! I didn't even need the pastry tube; I did them by hand and just rounded them up a little. My family loved them. Alex

The dough didn't puff up for me. I was disappointed, I don't know what went wrong. I made a second batch of dough from an old recipe I had used before, they puffed much nicer than the first.

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