Hi. I have been trying to master pate a choux. I have used alton brown, pierre herme and pichet ong's recipe but I still get the same massive cracking along the length (on the sides -sometimes both) of my eclair shells. I cook my panade for at least four minutes on the stove. I have cooled the dough a little before beating in the eggs. I have also beat the eggs in while the dough was hot. I have used both round and star tips.. I make sure that the dough is piped at least 2" apart.I piped correctly and put the choux in the oven asap. I put one tray at a time in the oven. The rest of the piped choux in the 2nd pan I park in the freezer until the 1st pan of eclairs are done to prevent a skin from forming. I have glazed my choux to no avail. I think I have the right consistency for the dough. I have used the initial 425F blast of heat for 10 then reducing the heat at 350F..I tried 375F all the way through. I did purchase an oven themometer to make sure I have my temps right. I have tried different rack levels (middle rack and the rack immediately underneath it). I have used parchment and silpat. I have used bread and all purpose flour.
When I make cream puffs (large or mini), they come out perfectly. Not for the eclairs though. What am I doing wrong?