I've successfully made cream puffs in the past, and even with the same batch of trying eclairs yesterday. However, the tried and true recipe I used the 1st time, piped out into eclairs, collapsed. OK, I figured I piped the eclairs too big, they collapsed because I didn't bake them long enough, and the pulled up from the bottom for some weird reason but ignored it. The 3 puffs I baked turned out perfectly. So, off to use a 'scientific' recipe from the old forums here, which was basically the same only used half milk and half water instead of all water. I also searched high and low regarding bread flour vs AP flour, verified the protein content of my AP flour and tried again. I piped them with an open star tip to avoid cracking, sprinkled with powdered sugar, just in case the egg wash held down the puff action - which it didn't the first time - baked at 375F the whole time, went a full 40min to a deep golden brown. They looked great, if not a little darker then I am comfortable with, but looked solid. HOWEVER, when I went to vent them as an added precaution - which I normally never do - they were ALL collapsed from underneath.
Pics are of the bottoms
Left is the darkest one with cracks in the bottom and the least amount of collapse
Middle is from the same batch and tray as the one on the Left, has cracks on bottom and collapse
Right is the one from my first batch using all water, bigger, piped using a round tip, egg wash, and undercooked based on insides being too moist and oddly grey
and from the sides....
Top is the most cooked, from 2nd batch, and least collapsed, used star tip, 375F and baked 40min
Middle is from the 2nd batch as well, but slightly less browned, but still collapsed
Bottom is from the 1st batch - all water - using round tip, bigger over all in size then 2nd batch, eggwash, baked 425 for 15min, then down to 350, undercooked but cracked and collapsed
Edited by Headaman - 9/7/15 at 11:19am