Choux with rye flour?

Hi, I'm wondering if anyone could offer advice about using alternative flours for pate a choux.

I'm not GF, so I could mix rye and wheat flours. I just think rye choux would pair nicely with summer fruits in a cream puff or eclair.


  • Posted by: Imogen
  • August 5, 2016


My F. August 7, 2016
I've made a savory puff that was gluten free before, they ARE pretty hard to pipe because of the gluey-ness mentioned above by others. But if you want to fill them like an eclair I definitely think using at least some wheat flour will be necessary. If you've got berries you could also try putting them in the batter if you plan the beat the eggs in with a standing mixer, then use a spoon or small scoop for bite sized puffs.

If your rye experiment works out well, I suggest also trying buckwheat and stone fruits!
Shuna L. August 6, 2016
One CAN make 100% GF pâte a choux, I know this for certain, so rye is fine to use too. The only "problem" with rye flour, though, is that there are many many different grinds - and the micron change could frustrate you.

I propose substituting 25 - 50% of your AP flour with rye of any kind. You might want to bake some immediately after you make it, and fry some others a few hours after you make it, and compare the flavor and texture of the two, side by side.

Depending on when your rye flour was harvested and ground, it will or it will not impart any flavor of its own. The extra wait produces more hydration, and it could be a more flavorful dough later... Look for rye flour with speckles in it.

Also, the end batter might be glueyer and might need more time drying out in the oven. 100% rye bread needs 5 - 10X longer to bake than wheat breads! Best of luck and GREAT QUESTION! Flour as flavor - YES!
Maedl August 5, 2016
I think you’d have an uphill battle trying to produce a pate a choux with rye flour because it has a much lower gluten content than wheat flour. See for a good summary of rye properties. For breads, the article suggests using only 5 to 10 percent rye flour, and for a choux, I think I would use the lesser percentage.
Smaug August 5, 2016
I don't really measure the flour exactly, but I use more than that- maybe 15% or a bit more, for pizza crust without problems.
Maedl August 6, 2016
Yes, but pizza bakes up flatter than choux pastry, and the gluten has more time to be developed because it is kneaded.
Maedl August 6, 2016
I found the recipe below, which uses half rye flour, half wheat flour. I'm tempted to make it!
Smaug August 6, 2016
My statement was actually in reply to the statement about the use of rye flour in bread, but in fact, a pizza crust is fairly flat where the toppings are but needs good gluten development to develop a proper rim. My crust is not, in fact, kneaded in the traditional sense; I don't work it any more than is necessary to incorporate the flour. I haven't made choux pastry in quite a while, but as I recall it was quite wet and was beaten heavily over heat- about as effective a way to develop gluten as could be found.
Nancy August 5, 2016
There was an article here June 2015 (sorry, can't find the link) that recommended replacing no more than 1/4 or 1/3 of all purpose or white flour in baking. Can't remember if it was just for bread or also cakes.
Anyway, those ratios allow for interesting taste & texture variations, but still preserve the strength of the wheat for rising and baking.
Another idea (to replace or supplement your choux) is to make pain d'epice, which has rye & wheat flours, nuts, dried fruits, spices. If you plan to serve it with summer fruits, maybe leave out the dried on this round.
I find this one by Pierre Herme (recorded, interpreted by Dorie Greenspan) delicious and reliable:
702551 August 5, 2016
There's an article at Serious Eats about alternative flours

and while it's focused on their use in pizza doughs, the author makes a few relevant points.

The first is that there are several types of rye flour.

The second is that there is less consistency between brands for alternative flours that with standard flours.

The third is that these alternative flours have different hydration characteristics.

If I were to try this, my first batch would be a 50-50 mix of usual all-purpose and rye flour. Which one? Whatever is at the grocery store that is labelled as a lighter rye. I'd use a simple well-tested pâte à choux recipe from a reputable source as the model.

While it has been years since I made pâte à choux, I still can recall the general consistency that I'd be trying to attain and I would be particularly alert to closely monitor hydration levels.

Good luck.
dinner A. August 5, 2016
Tartine Book No 3 has some advice on that, and the pate a choux recipe is even included in the Google book preview:
Smaug August 5, 2016
I can't, but certainly the day's most interesting question. Pate Choux obviously requires a certain amount of gluten to support the large bubbles- rye has some, but is it enough? Of course you could mix it with wheat flour, or add gluten flour-any way you do it, I suspect quite a bit of experimentation would be required- got plenty of eggs?
Recommended by Food52