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Hi Bold Bakers!
Not only is Bold Baking Basics back, but we are going Bigger and Bolder than ever before. In addition to showing you how to make your own basic ingredients from scratch, I’m sharing all my pro-tips to making culinary school staples that are the building blocks of the most classic and irresistible desserts.
Thus, my Easy Choux Pastry Recipe! My Choux Pastry Recipe is by far the most foolproof — from the ratio of ingredients to the method, this fancy French classic is soon to be no problem. I’m so excited for you all to master it!
What can you make with Choux?
Choux pastry is a simple dough mixed quickly on the stove, piped into adorable round puffs, then baked in the oven. The most common application for choux pastry is for profiteroles, like my Homemade Chocolate Profiteroles, which feature these little choux filled with whipped cream then topped off with chocolate ganache.
When profiteroles are stacked into a grand triangle, or evergreen tree shape, they are known as Croquembouche. Croquembouche is often served at weddings, Christmas parties, and swanky celebrations, but with my easy choux pastry recipe you can enjoy these sweet light puffs any time.
How Do You Make Easy Choux Pastry?
Choux Pastry is made of 5 basic ingredients: Eggs, flour, milk, butter and salt. So, why is it so tricky to make you might ask? Well, there are normally a lot of nuances to making the perfect choux pastry.
After combing the butter, milk and salt in a sauce pan, you really want to scald this mixture, or heat it up very quickly without allowing it to boil. Then, you add in the flour and bring the dough together. An important part of this is really letting the flour cook out like you would when making a roux.
The next step is to take the dough off the heat and let the temperature come down before adding the eggs. This is key, as adding the eggs too quickly will cook them before they are incorporated into the dough, leaving you with a bit of a mess. Once the dough is warm, not hot, you add in the ROOM TEMPERATURE eggs. Room temperature eggs is another trick to keeping them from scrambling in the dough.
Using a wooden spoon, you want to work quickly and mix in the eggs until the dough is the texture of play dough. The dough should be thick, evenly combined, and coat the bottom of the pan without sticking.
How to Pipe Choux Pastry
After this Easy Choux Pastry dough has come together, the next step is to pipe it onto your baking tray.
Piping can seem difficult, but with this recipe the texture of the dough really does all the work. All you have to do is fill a piping bag with a round nozzle or a plastic bag with the tip snipped off. Then, just pipe the choux pastry into little round puffs about 1 1/2 inches across and 1 1/2 – 2 inches high. They will almost be the shape of a strawberry, but to shape them into rounds, you dip your fingers in water then gently push down their peaks as to make a round-shaped puff.
Once you do a few, I promise you will get the hang of it. And the best part about piped dough is if you’re not happy with it scoop it up, put it back into the piping bag and give it another try. In this case, practice really does make perfect.
Why does Choux Pastry collapse?
My favorite part of my Easy Choux Pastry Recipe is this little trick: before you bake the puffs, dip your hands in water and flick little droplets of water all over the tray, gently spritzing the choux.
This is key!
The reason choux pasty collapses is because the dough itself is a very wet dough that rises up thanks to steam. It’s the moisture evaporating in the dough that leaves you with crisp hollow puff. If there isn’t enough steam in the oven to help the puffs rise, though, they will rise up and then fall while cooling.
After the time it takes to make the dough and pipe them into the perfect shape, it’s a shame when this happens. The best way to avoid this is by adding a little bit of extra moisture. By spritzing on that little bit of extra water you do wonders for the choux by guaranteeing there will be a steamy environment in the oven when baking.
Once they bake, they really do come out perfect — golden brown, crisp, light and a blank canvas for all kinds of fillings and decorations. Master this easy choux pastry recipe and I promise, you will be feeling like a true pro!
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- 1 cup (8floz/225ml) milk
- 1/2 cup (4 oz/115g) butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (5oz/142g) all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C), then butter and line a large cookie sheet, set aside.
- Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough.
- Cook the dough, stirring constantly over low heat for 2 minutes or until the dough begins to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Take the pan off the of the heat and allow the dough to cool slightly. Add in the eggs and stir using a wooden spoon until the eggs are fully incorporated and the mixture resembles a thick paste.
- Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip.
- Pipe the choux pastry into 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high rounds You should have about 18 - 20 puffs.
- With a wet finger then lightly press down the swirl or peak of each puff. Then using your fingers, slick water drops all around the cookie sheet and puffs. This will create steam in the oven and help your puffs to rise up.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the puff from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling with flavorings or topping.
- Cover and store the puffs in the fridge for up to 3 days.