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Choux pastry techniques

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Choux Pastry Techniques Needed :)


First of all, I am new to this forum. My name is Louie Elizabeth from the Bay Area in California. I love to cook and bake whenever I need recharging. I am hoping I can strike some luck with a knowledgeable group of professional pastry chefs in this forum.

My issue at hand is how to properly make napoleons or cream puffs by using choux pastry.
I worked with 2 recipes and both were flops. Basically, I cut the butter in pieces and put them in water to boil. At boiling point I take it out of the fire and I add in the flour stirring vigorously until mixture pulls away from the side of pan. Then I added eggs one at a time.

First recipe:

1 ½ c (12 oz) water
150 grams(5 oz) butter
1 ¼ c (5 oz) all purpose flour
5 eggs

At 350 degrees Fahrenheit


Second recipe:

1 c (250 ml) water
1 c (250 ml) milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
7/8 c ( 200 grams) butter
1 2/3 c (235 g) all purpose flour
6 -7 large eggs

At 420 degrees Fahrenheit for first 10 minutes. Then lower to 350 degrees.

Question: Author of first recipe mentions that choux pastry” should not contain any sugar, allowing the natural sugars in the flour to brown the crust: this enables the choux to be baked for a lengthier time so that the internal mixture dries out. If the internal structure does not dry out, the steam coming from it will soften the outer crust and then the whole choux pastry will be soggy and moist. Another way of preventing this is to cut or punch a hole in the baked product as soon as they are removed from the oven to allow the steam to escape.”

Interesting recipe #2 has sugar (plus milk) …this is a very tasty dough, incredible I must say...

The result was it did not rise and were soggy and uncooked. Though last December for a Christmas dinner I did a choux pastry based dessert which is a Gateau Saint Honore and it was successful. I was totally confident making the choux considering I haven’t done it in over 30 years…I as a teen-ager I made cream puffs out of choux pastry and never had issues, now time has passed and I’m 45 years old and ……(this is what time has done)…..I would greatly appreciate any feedback, thoughts and techniques …maybe I can regain the grandeur of my idle youth today as a weekend baker.

Thanks for your help! :)

Louie Elizabeth
post #2 of 28

Choux be do be do

First of all, a correction....
Napoleons are made with puff pastry, not choux.

Pastry chefs will discuss the topic of choux for all eternity if you give 'em a chance. Choux can be tricky, and everyone swears by their own method. I say, "If it works for you, great".

Everyone also has their own theories about why a recipe does or does not work also. A lot of the theories are sound but can cause a LOT of confusion also.

I have tried dozens of choux recipes. I finally settled on the one I really like,
by Pichet Ong.

There are some principles, that if applied, will help almost any choux recipe be successful.

They are:
1. After you add your flour...DON'T take it off the heat! Keep cooking it and stirring it for about 4 to 5 minutes....this will let a lot of the moisture evaporate off, so you can incorporate the most eggs possible.

2. The number of eggs you add to any choux recipe are ALWAYS variable.
No matter what the recipe says. If it says 4-5 eggs, it could end up being 3 or maybe 6 or 7. It depends on the size of eggs you are using, what kind of flour you are using and how long you have cooked your flour ball.

3. You have to know what the right consistency of a choux dough should look like. It is very easy to misjudge how many eggs you should be adding. Just one egg to many will make a dough slack and your puffs will be flat and soft. Too few eggs, and you'll get a tough choux that won't rise enough for lack of steam.
The best way to describe proper choux consistency is that the dough should be glossy, not dull. It should be stiff enough that it does not lose it's shape or flatten out on the pan when piped. If you're not sure of your consistency, do a "test pipe" and see what happens. Of course, you need to do this before you think you've added "too many" eggs.

I've tried recipes with milk, milk and water, just water, no sugar, some sugar......they all work. Some taste better. Some taste just bland. Some have thick shells, some have light shells.....my final decision on my favorite choux recipe was just flavorful enough and light and crisp enough that I decided they were perfect.

People will also discuss the oven temp thing forever too. Some say to start with high heat. Some just bake them at the same heat for the entire baking time. It basically comes down to your preference, what you think works, and what kind of oven you're dealing with. Personally, I bake my
choux at 375 the whole time. It works great. A note, if you do have sugar in your recipe, the choux will brown faster, and the initial high heat is not a good idea in this instance.

Another problem many people have is underbaking their choux. Most people will pull them too early and they collapse. The choux must be an even dark golden brown. No light sides. If your sides are lighter than the tops you're guaranteed a collapsing problem. Don't overcrowd your pans, to allow the choux to expand. Some people believe in the trick of putting a little slit in the bottom of the choux when it's nearly done to let more steam escape to dry out the insides. Personally I don't do it, but since you're going to have to put a hole in the bottom ANYWAY to fill it, it's sure not going to hurt. Personally I've never found that my choux is any different whether I vent it or not.

Hope this helps.

Cheers......Annie:smiles:
post #3 of 28
As Annie says, it's almost a personal thing. It's also regional. Throughout countries like France, some like the harder shell, some with the milk, a softer mouth feel. It's hardly anything to be afraid to make. I personally feel it's more about the drying then anything else.
You should cook the roux to dry.(evaporate)
Paddle the hot paste when cooling to dry. (evaporate)
Get em to hold up and bake em dry inside. (evaporate)
The only thing I ever recommend is a pinch of salt. You can also do a physical test for consistancy which is a little quicker then a bake test. Once you feel your choux is there, simply run the handle of a wooden spoon slowly through the choux forming a trough, the choux should be closing up around 2 inches behing the handle. Trough closes right away,to soft. Trough closes 3 inches behind, to tough.
You will need puff and choux for Saint Honoré
pan
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post #4 of 28
What about blind baking or poking holes in the bottom for it to vent? Don't know either just asking?

Rgds Rook
post #5 of 28

huh?

Uh, what are you referring to there, Rook?:confused:
post #6 of 28
To be honest after I re read the posts I got no idea where I am coming from
been a long day.:confused:

Ignore that post like its not there. Sorry.

Rgds Rook...
post #7 of 28

Testing consistency

The method that works for me is to swirl my finger in the batter. When I lift it out the batter should form a peak. As I point my finger to the ceiling the very tip of the peak should fall over - if it stands straight up you need more eggs.
post #8 of 28
Clove,
Haven't heard that one yet. I'll try it. Hope noone mistakes if for an offering to the choux god:rolleyes:
This formula is so overrated in the industry. A peasant item taken way to serious. Heck, had to make it for certification.
pan

Rook,
I think for CMPC you have to do it blindfolded:lol:
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post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 

Choux pastry techniques

Thanks to all, specially Annie, who painstakinly detailed the process. I can't wait for the weekend to try again. But I wanted to ask one more question....why some recipes require you to beat in the eggs with an electric mixer?....but yes, by hand, I can easily mix the choux till it's "proper" consistency...and I did take note from everyone who has pitched in all their personal techniques. Everyone's helpful...everyone's great! but now it up to me ..... ...all i can say, i can't wait to bake.....i'll keep everyone posted on the results.
post #10 of 28

no electric mixer needed!

You can mix in the eggs by hand, since you don't have to worry about doing any creaming or such.
It's just that a mixer is easier.

And we PC's who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.......can't do it without a mixer. My wrists and hands are kinda toast these days. :p
post #11 of 28
Pan,
I just double-checked, and they have actually switched to blind-folded and hanging from the ceiling!
Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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post #12 of 28

Choux Method research

I really got into this one while I was in school. I found that Rose Levy Berenbaum's food processor method was the easiest and had the most consistent results....

Pate a choux
Pepin – Complete techniques

Yield: 14-16 Éclairs
1 Cup Water
½ stick Butter
¼ tsp salt
1 Cup flour
4 eggs
1.Bring salt, water, and butter to a boil
2.Add flour all at once and mix with a wooden spatula off heat
3.Place mixture on low flame and dry for one or two minutes, stirring constantly until it is soft and doesn’t stick to your hands this is called the panade
4.Remove from pan and let cool for five to fifteen minutes (remove from pan to avoid having dried crust in pan mixing into dough)
5.Beat eggs into dough one at a time, smoothing completely between each egg.
6.Dough should be as thick and heavy as mayonnaise
7.Coat a cookie sheet with butter and flour (light uniform layer, excess knocked off)
8.Brush piped shapes with egg wash (1 egg), the let them dry for 20 minutes before baking to ensure that they’ll turn golden, push down tails with pastry brush, or fix with a finger dipped in water
9.375º for 35 minutes, turn off heat and open oven door halfway for thirty minutes to avoid falling and let steam escape

Choux paste
Le Cordon Bleu Dessert techniques

1 ½ Cups flour
1 tsp salt
½ Cup Butter
1 Cup water or ½ Cup water and ½ Cup milk
4 eggs beaten

Strongly advises heating the liquid with butter slowly until the butter is melted to avoid moisture loss and losing proper proportions in the dough

Also advises cooling for fifteen minutes to avoid cooking the eggs, also completes the task in the 2 quart pot, which Pepin advises against.

Cook times vary with size of choux
Small items 425º for entire baking time
Larger items 425º for 10 minutes, then 375º for an additional 25 minutes, until pastry is crisp and golden
It also suggests eggwash, using a fork to push down tails, and (Can’t make up it’s mind?) cooking @ 425º for 10 minutes followed by 350º for 5-15 minutes depending on size.


Rose Levy Beranbaum

•Sifting flour helps with ease of incorporation (post measurement)
•Water makes a lighter puff due to coagulation with milk
•Ensure correct fluid by not evaporation water, and measuring the full amount of eggs
•Spraying or brushing the sheets helps the puffs rise with steam
•Early in baking, don’t open the oven door, to avoid cracking, but do open it later to encourage drying
•Retouches dipping fingers in water to shape dough after piping
Increase in size is roughly 2-3 times by height, and 1/3 growth in length

Classic Choux Cream Puff Pastry
Yield : 23.5 oz/666 grams dough
4 dozen puffs (1½”), 16 5”x1¾” Éclairs, or 20 swans
400º for 30 minutes, plus 1 hour forty minutes with the oven off
IngredientVolumeOuncesGrams
Water 1 Cup8.3 236
Unsalted butter8 Tablespoons4113
Sugar 1 teaspoon*4
Salt ½ teaspoon*3
Bleached AP Flour1 cup (dip and sweep)5142
5 large eggs1 Cup8.75250


Beginning is the same as every other recipe
Food processor method for adding eggs
Pour flour and water mix into a food processor with the tube open so steam can escape. Let it run for fifteen seconds to cool slightly, then pour in all the eggs at once and process for another 30 seconds.
Cordon Rose Cream Puff Pastry
Yield : 4 dozen puffs (2”x 1¾”), 16 5”x1¾” Éclairs
425º for 25-35 minutes plus 1 hour forty minutes with the oven off

IngredientVolumeOuncesGrams
Water1 Cup8.3236
Unsalted butter8 Tablespoons4113
Sugar1 teaspoon*4
Salt½ teaspoon*3
Bread flour
Or
Unbleached AP Flour1 cup minus 1 ½ Tablespoons
1 Cup (dip and sweep)5142
3 large eggs + 3 egg whites1 Cup8.5240

2373-pate a Chou Ordinaire
Escoffier

1pintwater
8ouncesbutter
1/3 ouncesalt
1ouncesugar
16eggs
1TBSPOrange Flower water

Put the water, butter, salt and sugar into a saucepan and boil. When the mixture boils and rises, take off the fire, add the flour and mix. Return the saucepan to a moderate fire and stir the paste until it ceases to stick to the spoon, and the butter begins to ooze slightly.
Take the saucepan off the fire; add the eggs, two at a time, taking care to mix them thoroughly with all of the paste before adding the successive ones. When all the eggs have been blended, finish the paste with orange flower water.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Yield: 4 dozen bite-size cream puffs or eclair shells
1 cup water
3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/8 teaspoon salt (for sweet)
1 teaspoon salt (for savory)
1 cup flour
1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Boil water, butter, and salt or sugar. Add flour and remove from heat. Work mixture together and return to heat. Continue working the mixture until all flour is incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture into bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 or 4 minutes. With mixer on stir or lowest speed add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and the mixture is smooth put dough into piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe immediately into golfball-size shapes, 2 inches apart onto parchment lined sheet pans. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Once they are removed from the oven pierce with a paring knife immediately to release steam.
Recipe courtesy of Peggy Cullen
Yield: 40 to 45 cream puffs

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 eggs
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In 2 quart pot, combine the butter and water. On a piece of wax or parchment paper, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Bring the water and butter to a rolling boil, remove from heat and dump the flour mixture in all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon or paddle to incorporate.
Return the saucepot to high heat and cook, stirring, for about one minute. The mixture will form a ball and coat the pan with a thin film.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl or standing mixer equipped with the paddle attachment. Mix the dough for a minute or so, on low speed, to release some of the heat. Add the eggs, one at a time, completely incorporating each one before adding the next. Beat until the dough gets thick and ribbony.
Fit a pastry bag with a round #5 tip and fill with the warm dough. Line a heavy cookie sheet with parchment paper and anchor it to the tray with a little dab of the dough at each corner. Pipe about forty to forty five 1 1/2-inch mounds about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden and puffed. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes or until they are golden brown and there are no droplets of moisture in the crevices. Turn off oven and leave the choux to dry for another 10 minutes. Use when cool, or freeze, wrapped in a plastic bag, for 2-3 months.

If my incomplete bibliography is a problem, PM me and I'll get you the details.

Dan

PS - the restaurant is finally over, thank God it's time for a new project!
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post #13 of 28

Told ya

As I said in my previous post, everybody has their "tricks" and some of them even contradict each other.

I must say that I've NEVER bothered to cool my flour ball mixture for as long as 15 minutes before adding the eggs. Sheeeeesh.....I don't have time for that!

When I was in school, we even learned the "cheatin'" way of using baker's ammonia......nasty stuff! I'd never use it again. Of course I think the only reason we HAD baker's ammonia in the classroom was so the Chef could say to each new student, "Hey! Have you ever smelled chinese sugar?" And the student would say, "No...." And he'd say, "Here smell it!" And he'd open the bucket and you could practically see the new student almost fly straight back across the room Yep, happened to me too.

Like "Pastry Hazing" is what it was. Our chef was a little sadistic I think. :lol:
post #14 of 28

Thanks

Thank you Chefpeon, for proving my point, contradicition is integeral in teachings regarding basic concepts due to experiential differences. Thus, experience, again, proves a better teacher for each student.
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post #15 of 28
for my 2 cents worth: Firstly standardise your recipes,
get rid of the cup measurements as they are way to innacurate for baking, why? depending on how compacted the flour is will determine how much flour you get per cup so you will actually end up with different quantities as flour and all dry ingredients are calculated by weight (volume of dry ingredients varies according to density!). Once you actually have some accuracy in your measuring of ingredients then you can determine if the recipe is a failure or not.
Oh and please standardise your measurements!!
By this I mean all imperial or all metric (Go Aussie!)
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post #16 of 28

What?

To whom are you speaking?

If it is me you are talking to, let me re-state that I collected those recipes while in school, and my purpose was to show the various different approaches to choux paste, that said, I'm not about to standardize other peoples recipes for your reading pleasure, learn to convert. This is a professional pastry chefs forum, so you will find recipes in different forms (including formulas) but you will not find persons who do not know that volume and weight are different things, and if you do they should not be posting.
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post #17 of 28
Dan, this was not aimed at you in particular so don't be so sensitive.
It was a general observation that when dealing with dry materials it is better to work on weights. If the problem is getting a reliable and consisent product then with dry ingredients, pastry chefs need to work in weight not volume (for dry goods).
With choux pastry the approach should always be the same to get good results, quite often it is "tinkering with recipes" that bring about variations, the theory behind choux being a "pre-gelatinised" pastry etc, etc, is solid and covered in many theory books.
BTW, I don't want or need you to standardise any recipes for my "pleasure",
I am not the one with the choux pastry problem.
Please don't take this a personal attack, my thoughts were mere observations on controlling the variables when testing recipes, I thought they might help.

Regards,
Felixe.
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post #18 of 28

try this it works perfect

i will give you two recipes both work excellent i have made them many times

recipe #1

250cc milk
100gr. butter
150gr. wheat flour
20 gr. sugar
pinch salt
3 to 4 eggs

recipe # 2

250cc water
100gr. margarine
150 gr wheat flour
20 gr. sugar
pinch salt
3 to 4 eggs

first put liquid in pot with butter or margarine salt and sugar and wait until it boils put in the flour all at once and stir it will look like mashed potaotes remove from heat stir until all the steam is visibly gone
aside whisk three eggs and blend with the previous mix it will look as if they dont mix its okay keep mixing until it comes together now with you finger run it down the middle of the mix it should make a trench that will start to close slowly if it does not close add more egg how much egg? add half egg first and do the test until the trench closes very slowly.
i had trouble with this dough until i started doig this now i make it perfect every time
for the baking 35 minutes at 390 F
post #19 of 28

Hi guys,

I'm looking for a choux paste recipe that calls for ammonium carbonate -- and can't find one; does anyone here happen to have one? 

Thanks

post #20 of 28

A quick Google resulted in Pate Choux with ammonium carbonate

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #21 of 28

Yeah; I'd found it before -- I was wondering if someone had a PERSONAL recipe that they've tried and tested. That is one website I can get information off of; this is another one. :)

post #22 of 28

This is my personal recipe that I used in school and haven't since. I don't think you need that nasty stuff to make good choux.

 

Water or milk........2 lbs

Salt.....................1/4 oz

Sugar..................1/2 oz

Butter..................1 lb

Bring to a full rolling boil.

 

Bread flour...........1 lb 5 oz

Add all at once to above mixture and stir til dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer dough to bowl of mixer. On low speed, mix the dough to cool it down slightly.

 

Whole eggs..........2 lb

Add slowly on medium speed. Only add a few eggs at a time. Scrape down bowl at least twice during this process.

 

Water..................8 oz

Ammonium Carbonate......1/4 oz

Dissolve AC in water and add to above. 

 

The paste is now ready to use.

 

After piping into desired shapes, bake at 425 for the first 15 minutes then reduce heat to 375 and bake until firm and dry.

 

 

 

post #23 of 28

Speaking of contradiction... I learned from Philippe Conticini to bake my choux at a lower temperature - 325 F in a convection oven. This seems to allow the dough to fully rise before the outside sets. I've also found that freezing the dough right after piping and then baking straight from the freezer gives me an even better puff. With a baking time of about 30 minutes I get a nice crisp outside, moist inside with very little webbing, and no deflating.

post #24 of 28

Thanks for those tips, nightscotsman! Just to clarify, if you bake your choux in a 325 convection, that's the same as 375 conventional, right? Or should I bake my choux at 275 conventional? I guess when you think about it, it makes sense that frozen choux would bake off better. I gotta try it.

post #25 of 28

General rule of thumb is conventional baking temperatures should be about 25 degrees higher than convection. So 325 F convection would be 350 F conventional. Of course all ovens bake differently, so adjustments may be in order.

post #26 of 28

My recipe comes from a French master I trained with back in the day. Pate Choux can be a bit tricky as it requires a bit of finest! Choux is like bread...........a lot of variables! You can make bread one day and make it again the next and it may require less or more liquid. Choux may require one quantity of eggs today and a whole new ball game the next. One technique stressed to me was making sure you cook out the choux paste before adding any eggs and also cooling the choux paste in the mixer prior to adding any eggs. This drys out the mixture and releases any possibility of a residual steam. Also, we had rotary oven that were always at 400F............you just have to make sure you have baked them to dark golden all over and not just the tops. I've made thousands and no one can ever say they had 100% success................that would be a total fabrication.

I do agree with some of the authors suggesting getting rid of recipes with cup measurements. I personally won't mess around with those recipes................weight is the most accurate form of measurement. Sifting flour is the most evident. Packed brown sugar as well can have a significant variation from chef to chef. With weight..............it should always be the same result. Also, most professional pastry chefs don't bake by time......................they bake by sight and sometimes sound as in bread.

post #27 of 28

Hello Everyone!

 

My name is Joey Prats, a pastry chef who owns a baking & pastry school in Manila. I have been so obsessed with Choux Pastry ever since I saw Chef Christophe Adam's perfect eclairs (check his website and you'll know what I mean.) For the past 7 months, me and my team have endeavored to create the perfect formula for Choux Pastry. All the long hours and sleepless nights turned out to be worth it! I would like to share with you, dear friends, the fruits of our labor. Enjoy!

 

Department of Research & Development

 

The data contained herein is the intellectual property of the Joey Prats School of Baking & Pastry Arts

 

Choux Pastry

 

Formula

 

Yield: Makes 1,150 GRAMS OF CHOUX PASTRY DOUGH

 

INGREDIENTS

SPECIFICATION

WEIGHT

BAKER’S %

TRUE %

WATER

STILL MINERAL

200 GRAMS

  80.00 %

15.87 %

LIQUID WHOLE MILK

3.5 % FAT

200 GRAMS

  80.00 %

15.87 %

UNSALTED BUTTER

CUT INTO 1-CM CUBES

200 GRAMS

  80.00 %

15.87 %

FINE SEA SALT

N/A

    5 GRAMS

    2.00 %

0.40 %

SUPERFINE SUGAR

N/A

    5 GRAMS

    2.00 %

0.40 %

ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR

12 % PROTEIN, SIFTED

250 GRAMS

100.00 %

19.84 %

WHOLE EGGS

LIGHTLY BEATEN

400 GRAMS

160.00 %

31.75 %

BATCH TOTALS

1,260 GRAMS

504.00 %

100.00 %

 

NOTES ON THE FORMULA

 

·   ALL INGREDIENTS AT 20 DEGREES CELSIUS (ROOM TEMPERATURE), UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.

·   FORMULA WAS TESTED AT A RELATIVE HUMIDITY RANGE OF 40 % TO 60 %

·   ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR AT 100.00 % (BAKER’S %)

·   MOST AMERICAN CHEFS USE BREAD FLOUR IN THEIR CHOUX PASTRY RECIPES. THIS IS BECAUSE BREAD FLOUR, WITH ITS HIGHER PROTEIN CONTENT, PRODUCES AN END PRODUCT THAT EXPANDS BETTER, WITH SUPERIOR STRUCTURE AND A MORE HOLLOW INTERIOR. IT ALSO PRODUCES A CRISPER SHELL. HOWEVER, I  FIND CHOUX PASTRY ITEMS MADE WITH BREAD FLOUR A BIT TOUGH AND ALSO CHEWIER (MORE BREAD-LIKE RATHER THAN PASTRY-LIKE), AND LACKS THE MELT-IN-THE-MOUTH QUALITY DISTINCTIVE OF ITS FRENCH COUNTERPART. MOST EUROPEAN CHEFS, ON THE OTHER HAND, PREFER TO USE ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR (CALLED PLAIN FLOUR IN MOST PARTS OF EUROPE; T55 FLOUR IN FRANCE), WITH GREAT SUCCESS. TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN SUPERIOR STRUCTURE AND MELT-IN-THE-MOUTH TENDERNESS, THE ABOVE FORMULA UNIQUELY SPECIFIES STILL MINERAL WATER. THE PRESENCE OF MINERALS IN THE WATER (PERTICULARLY MAGNESIUM AND CALCIUM) HELPS PROTEINS IN THE FLOUR BOND TOGETHER MORE TIGHTLY, FORMING A STRONGER GLUTEN STRUCTURE, THE NETWORK OF INTERCONNECTED PROTEINS THAT GIVE DOUGH ITS STRENGTH AND ELASTICITY. THIS ALLOWS OUR CHOUX PASTRY FORMULA TO PRODUCE A PERFECT END RESULT…LIGHT, HOLLOW, AND CRISP, WITH A MELT-IN-THE-MOUTH QUALITY.

 

PROCEDURE

 

1.     PREPARE THE PANADE. (THE PANADE IS THE MIXTURE OF WATER, MILK, BUTTER, SALT, SUGAR, AND FLOUR THAT FORMS THE BASE FOR THE CHOUX PASTRY DOUGH.) COMBINE THE WATER, LIQUID WHOLE MILK, UNSALTED BUTTER, FINE SEA SALT, AND SUPERFINE SUGAR IN A SAUCEPAN. PLACE OVER MEDIUM HEAT AND BRING TO A ROLLING BOIL. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE BUTTER IS FULLY MELTED BEFORE THE LIQUID COMES TO A BOIL. CUTTING THE BUTTER INTO 1-CM CUBES ENSURES THAT THIS IS ACHIEVED. REMOVE THE SAUCEPAN FROM THE HEAT AND ADD THE ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, ALL AT ONCE. USING A WOODEN OR SILICON STIRRING SPOON, STIR THE MIXTURE UNTIL IT FORMS A HOMOGENEOUS MASS.

 

2.     DRY THE PANADE. RETURN THE SAUCEPAN OVER MEDIUM HEAT. CONTINUE TO STIR THE MIXTURE CONSTANTLY FOR 2 MINUTES TO DRY IT OUT AND ALLOW EXCESS MOISTURE TO EVAPORATE. THIS STEP IS CRUCIAL TO GETTING THE CHOUX PASTRY PERFECT. LESS MOISTURE IN THE PANADE ALLOWS IT TO ABSORB ALL THE EGGS IN THE NEXT STEP WITHOUT YIELDING A DOUGH THAT IS TOO SLACK. REMOVE SAUCEPAN FROM HEAT.

 

3.     COOL THE PANADE. TRANSFER THE PANADE TO A MIXER BOWL. USING THE PADDLE ATTACHMENT, MIX PANADE ON LOW SPEED UNTIL THE TEMPERATURE DROPS TO 60 DEGREES CELSIUS.

 

4.     ADD THE EGGS. WHILE MIXER IS RUNNING ON MEDIUM-LOW SPEED, ADD 1/4 OF THE EGGS; MIX UNTIL FULLY INCORPORATED. REPEAT THIS PROCESS, ADDING 1/4 OF THE EGGS AT A TIME, UNTIL ALL OF THE EGGS ARE INCORPORATED INTO THE MIXTURE. INCREASE MIXER SPEED TO MEDIUM AND CONTINUE MIXING FOR 2 MINUTES. THE RESULTING CHOUX PASTRY DOUGH SHOULD LOOK SMOOTH, SHINY, AND THICK ENOUGH TO PIPE WITHOUT LOSING ITS SHAPE. THE CHOUX PASTRY DOUGH IS NOW READY TO USE.

 

BAKING THE CHOUX PASTRY DOUGH

 

THE BEST SURFACE TO BAKE CHOUX PASTRY ITEMS ON IS A SILICON MAT OR A GREASED AND FLOURED SURFACE. TEST AFTER TEST IN OUR KITCHEN LAB SHOWED THAT BAKING ON PARCHMENT OR NON-STICK BAKING PAPER CAUSED THE CHOUX BUNS TO SPLIT AT THE BOTTOM, MAKING IT DIFFICULT TO FILL, AND ALSO DETRACTS FROM HAVING A PROFESSIONALLY-MADE APPEARANCE.

 

OVEN TYPE AND TEMPERATURE IS ALSO VERY IMPORTANT. WE BAKED OUR CHOUX PASTRY ITEMS ON A REGULAR CONVENTIONAL DECK OVEN AT 190 DEGREES CELSIUS. SMALL ITEMS SUCH AS ECLAIRS AND CREAM PUFFS BAKED FOR 40 MINUTES. OVEN VENTS WERE LEFT CLOSED FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE BAKING PROCESS, AND THEN OPENED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE BAKING TIME, TO ALLOW STEAM TO ESCAPE AND DRY OUT THE CHOUX PASTRY ITEMS. 

post #28 of 28

Thanks for posting Mr. Prats!

 

Two things intrigue me: The use of still mineral water and its effects on the flour (something I didn't know) and also the point of making sure the butter is melted BEFORE the liquid comes to a rolling boil. Do you know why that makes a difference? I'm going to try that and see if it makes a difference for me. 

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