Choux pastry

Choux pastry

By
From
Baking
Makes
12 medium éclairs
Photographer
Vanessa Levis

Choux pastry is softer than other pastries and is shaped with a spoon or by squeezing from a piping bag. When it is cooked, it swells into crisp golden shells that are hollow inside. The secret of making shells that will hold their shape is to be sure that the pastry is cooked and dry right through. A well-cooked shell should be golden brown, firm to the touch and feel very light in the hand. Choux pastry is used to make profiteroles and éclairs.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g plain flour
1 cup water
125g butter, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar, (if making sweet puffs)
4 eggs, beaten

Method

  1. Sift the flour onto a sheet of baking paper.
  2. Put the water, butter, salt and sugar, if using, into a medium saucepan. Bring slowly to the boil (the butter must be melted before the water boils). Immediately remove from the heat, tip in the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Return to the heat and continue stirring until the mixture forms a mass, leaves the sides of the saucepan and begins to film the bottom – this will take only a short time. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer or leave in the saucepan. Add the beaten egg to the dough, a little at a time, beating after each addition until thoroughly incorporated. Do not add all the egg unless necessary; the dough is ready when it is as shiny as satin and holds its shape on a spoon. Shape into puffs or éclairs while warm.
  4. To form puffs or éclairs, use a pastry bag and plain tube to pipe even-sized quantities of pastry onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Puffs may also be made using two spoons to make well-shaped mounds of pastry on the baking tray.
  5. To cook, first place in a preheated 230°C oven so that the pastry puffs quickly, then reduce the heat to 180°C so that the pastry will cook without over-browning. To be failsafe, leave the cooked shells in the turned-off oven with the door slightly open for 20 minutes to ensure that they are thoroughly dried out.
Tags:
baking
bakery
margaret
fulton
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