Basic choux pastry

Basic choux pastry

By
From
B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself
Makes
12–36

The first few goes I had at choux pastry were disastrous: it wouldn’t rise, or it would rise and then fall, or it would just burn. Luckily for you, I’ve managed to iron out those baking errors over the years to leave this simple method. Apparently it is a bit unconventional, but it’s always worked for me. Perfect for éclairs, profiteroles or anything else you fancy filling with cream or dipping in chocolate.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
75g unsalted butter, chopped into pieces
1/4 teaspoon table salt
100g strong white bread flour
3 large eggs

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
piping bag fitted with a large nozzle, (ideally 15 mm round)
wire cooling rack

Method

  1. Pour 175 ml of water into a saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter and salt. Sift the flour on to a square of baking parchment, big enough to pick up by its opposite corners with no flour falling out.
  2. Once the saucepan has started to boil and the butter has melted, pour the flour in, reduce the heat to low and vigorously mix over the heat for 2–3 minutes to form a thick paste. Tip it into a heatproof bowl, lay cling film on the surface and leave to cool to room temperature. Tip it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn the mixer to medium speed; the paste should crumble.
  3. Once it has crumbled to smallish (about 5 mm) lumps, turn the mixer to full speed and crack in the first egg. Allow it to fully combine before adding the second. While it is being beaten in, crack the third egg into a bowl and beat thoroughly with a fork. When the second egg has been fully combined, gradually add the third egg a few tablespoon at a time. The mixture will begin to form a smooth, pipeable paste.
  4. Once you have tipped about half of the third egg in, turn the mixer off and scoop out some choux with a spatula. Give it a shake, and see if it is loose enough to slip off, leaving a ‘V’ shape. You may need more egg, or you may not, so keep checking for that telltale ‘V’. Once it is the correct consistency, scoop into a piping bag fitted with a large (ideally 15 mm round) nozzle and chill. It keeps for a few days.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 220°C. If you’re making éclairs, mark out their lengths on baking parchment, spacing them out well, as they will inflate loads in the oven. (If you’re making profiteroles, pipe ‘blobs’ rather than ‘sausages’.)
  6. Pipe even lines – or blobs – of choux on to the parchment, either using a sharp knife to chop the ends off each éclair, or quickly pulling the piping bag up at the ends. Using a wet finger, smooth down any points that stick up, so they don’t burn in the oven.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C, open the door to let the steam escape, then close it and bake for another 20 minutes.
  8. Once baked, set on a wire rack. Cut the éclairs in half as soon as they are cool enough, or use a skewer to poke a hole in the bottom of each (this goes for profiteroles, too). This allows steam to escape, rather than soaking into the pastry and making it collapse.
  9. Once cool, fill and dip them in whatever your heart desires...

Note

  • This recipe has a level 1 (beginner) difficulty.
Tags:
Great British Bake Off
Baking
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