This is a light soft dough, made in a completely different way to other types
of pastry. It’s also known as choux paste, and it’s created by beating plain flour
into boiling water and melted butter. Then well beaten eggs are
gradually beaten into the mixture to form a smooth, glossy pastry.
is then spooned or piped into shapes, usually rounds or fingers, and during
cooking they rise to produce light, crisp well-risen and hollow shapes.
When cooked, while still hot, the pastry shells are pierced with a sharp
knife to allow any excess steam to escape. The cold choux buns or fingers are
then filled with a creamy sweet or savoury filling. Choux pastry is most commonly
used for sweet or savoury choux buns, eclairs, profiteroles, cream buns
or gougere (a savoury choux pastry ring where the uncooked mixture is
distributed evenly around the edge of a tin or ovenproof dish and the savoury
filling put in the centre. As it bakes, the choux pastry rises into peaks
and joins to form a light pastry crust or ring around the outside of the
This recipe will make 9 oz, or 250 g. You will need:
A quarter of a pint, 150 ml, 5 fl.oz water.
- Sieve the flour and salt together into a large jug.
- Break the eggs separately into a small clean bowl to make sure they are fresh before beating them together well in a small jug.
- Place the butter and water into a deep sided, medium sized saucepan and heat slowly as the butter melts, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes liquid and reaches boiling point. You’ll be able to feel the butter disappearing beneath the spoon as you stir. As boiling point is reached, you will hear the mixture sizzle slightly, and a little steam may rise up to meet your hand. This shouldn’t take more than a minute or so.
- Remove the pan from the heat onto your worktop and tip in the flour, then return the pan to a low heat again and, still using your wooden spoon, briskly stir until all the flour has been incorporated. The mixture will quickly thicken to form a ball of dough in your pan. This should only take a couple of minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat again and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Now, very gradually add the eggs to the saucepan, a little at a time, beating the mixture well between additions, until you have a smooth dough, which will form soft peaks when lifted with a fork. If you dip the prongs into the top surface and scoop up a small amount of the dough, lift it slightly and put a couple of fingers below the fork, you will feel the peaks of dough sticking up.
Either use the dough immediately or, leave it covered in the saucepan, to prevent the choux pastry from drying out.