French

Pâte à Choux

February 10, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

To mix with a hand mixer: Transfer the mixture to a heat safe bowl in step 3, then use a hand mixer to incorporate the eggs.

To mix by hand: Transfer the mixture to a heat-safe bowl in step 3, then use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to incorporate the eggs. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she'll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and showing us all the mistakes we might make along the way. Today, a lesson in all things pâte à choux—the fancy-sounding French pastry that's actually a cinch. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Pâte à Choux
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • makes 12 large or 24 small cream puffs / 15 to 20 éclairs / 50(ish) chouquettes
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (115g) water
  • 1/2 cup (115g) whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 5 (280g) large whole eggs (have 1 to 2 extra eggs on hand)
  • Egg wash, as needed for finishing
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. In a medium pot, bring the water, milk, and butter to boil over medium heat. Add the flour to the boiling liquid all at once, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes a slightly sticky paste; it should form a ball around the spatula/spoon as you stir. There should also be a visible film of starch on the bottom of the pan—this should take 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Whisk the eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the eggs in slow, steady stream and continue mixing until fully incorporated, 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping the paddle into the batter and lifting it up. The batter should form a V shape that eventually breaks away from the batter in the bowl. If the dough is too stiff or pulls away too quickly, you need to add more eggs. Add the extra egg in a slow, steady stream to loosen the consistency.
  5. The pate a choux can now be transferred to a piping bag for shaping and baking. Bake at 375°F.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hc
    Hc
  • DenRuff-51
    DenRuff-51
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, The Book on Pie, is out on November 10th, 2020.

2 Reviews

Hc March 4, 2021
1st time choux baker, turned out great! Experimented and cooked half using parchment paper and half on silicone mat. The paper back here had a towny ring of burnt sugar on bottom where my extra sugar melted into the dough but it did brown a bit more and rise a little better than the silicone mat batch. Will use silicone going fwd since that’s the version the family preferred. Thanks for the great instructions!
 
DenRuff-51 February 25, 2021
My wife and I really enjoyed this video.
Your passion for baking is contagious, though I caught a similar passion for breads some time back.
The demonstration will be very helpful when we go to make it ourselves.
I really liked the tips concerning what can go wrong and how to avoid it.
Great how to's and why's about the process.

Thank you so much Beatriz & Dennis Ruffner