Cream Puff Pastry Dough (Pâte a Choux)


by: Debbi

Cream puff pastry dough, commonly known as choux pastry is made by beating eggs, one by one, into a cooked paste - called a panade - of flour, water, and butter. Cream puff pastry dough is used to make éclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, and little cheese puffs called gougeres. The techniques for making each of these are virtually the same; only the size and fillings differ. Eclairs are filled with pastry cream and coated with fondant; cream puffs are filled with sweetened whipped cream; and profiteroles are filled with ice cream (chocolate sauce is poured over them at the last minute). Cheese puffs have no filling - their flavoring, cheese, is combined with the uncooked pastry before baking. It's hard to go wrong with cream puff pastry dough, but remember to slice the butter so it melts quickly when you heat it with water. If you add it in one big chunk, it will take too long to melt and too much of the water will evaporate, throwing off your proportions. As you cook the panade, continue stirring with a wooden spoon so the dough holds together in a single mass and leaves a film of cooked flour adhering to the bottom and sides of the saucepan. This process usually takes only about 5 minutes and ensures that you’ve forced as much water out of the mixture as possible, meaning that you can add more egg - and the more egg, the lighter the finished baked pastry will be. Keep in mind that the exact number of eggs you use depends on the flour. Don't just add all the eggs called for in the recipe without checking the consistency of the mixture. You've added enough eggs when a groove made in the top of the dough slowly folds in on itself and when the dough droops from a wooden spoon.


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serves: 1

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter (sliced)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup flour (sifted)

4 eggs

1 egg white (plus more as needed)

Nutrition Facts
Cream Puff Pastry Dough (Pâte a Choux)

Servings Per Recipe: 1

Amount per Serving

Calories: 1554

  • Total Fat: 110.1 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 64 g
  •     Trans Fat: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 898.7 mg
  • Sodium: 2313.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 101.2 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
  •     Sugars: 5.5 g
  • Protein: 39.6 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  If you are mixing in a bowl, you'll know you've added enough eggs when a wooden spoon pulled quickly through the mixture leaves a groove in the dough that slowly closes in on itself.

2.  Pull the wooden spoon up out of the dough. The dough should droop off the spoon and not stick straight out.

3.  If you are mixing in a stand mixer, you'll know you've added the right number of eggs when the dough pulls away from the paddle attachment in a thick rope.

Cooks' note:
Combine the water, salt, butter, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat. There's no need to stir. Turn the heat down to medium and add the flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture forms a cohesive mass and pulls away from the sides of the pan, leaving a film of flour on the sides of the pan.
Transfer the panade to a bowl or a stand mixer and beat it with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment for about 1 minute, or until slightly cooled.
Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until you've added 4. Check the consistency of the batter by pulling a wooden spoon through it. When the groove it makes slowly closes in on itself, you've added enough eggs. Another way to check is to see if the batter droops from the spoon when it is held sideways. If so, it is ready. Add more egg whites as needed until the batter passes the groove test. While the dough is best used right away, it will keep for several hours in the refrigerator.

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