Making choux pastry may seem simple enough in theory, but when you get down to it, there are sometimes hiccups. Choux pastry that is too runny, with lumps, with an omelet taste, a choux pastry that does not rise or even bursts…each problem has explanations and solutions to overcome it!
Table of Contents
The Recipe For Choux Pastry
Ingredients For Approximately 20 Choux:
- 200 to 265g of whole eggs or 4 to 5 eggs
- 150g flour
- 125g of milk
- 125g of water
- 100g butter
- 4g of salt
- In a saucepan, combine the milk, water, salt and butter and cut into small pieces. Bring everything to a boil while stirring to help the butter melt.
- Once the butter has completely melted and the liquid has come to a boil, add the flour to the pan off the heat.
- Mix vigorously with a spatula to obtain a thick paste called a panade.
- Return the pan to medium heat and mix it well, crushing it well on the edges of the pan with your spatula to dry it out. Your panade is ready to be taken off the heat when it comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thin film at the bottom.
- Without waiting, transfer your panade into the bowl of a pastry robot fitted with the sheet, then run it at maximum speed to cool it.
- Add the previously beaten eggs to your panade when you no longer see water vapor escaping from your food processor’s bowl. Add them one by one, mixing well and waiting until the egg is completely incorporated into the dough before adding the next one. When your dough is smooth and flows from the spatula but with difficulty, it is the right consistency and does not require adding additional egg.
- Form your choux buns on a baking tray covered with baking paper using a piping bag or, failing that, a spoon, making sure to space them out well.
- Lightly brown them with a brush dipped in beaten egg, then bake for 30 to 40 minutes in an oven preheated to 170°C. If you wish, sprinkle your choux with pearl sugar or cover it with a cracker made from a mixture of sugar, flour and butter.
- Once out of the oven, cool your choux on a rack and enjoy them without (too much) waiting.
How Do You Make Up For Too-Liquid Choux Pastry?
If your choux pastry is too runny, it’s probably because you add too many whole eggs to the panade. You will undoubtedly have noticed that choux pastry recipes never give a precise quantity of eggs to make it. This is because it depends on the absorption rate of the flour used and, to a lesser extent, on how you dried out your panade.
Your choux pastry contains the right amount of eggs when it makes the bird’s beak, that is to say when the dough forms a point that falls slightly on itself at the end of the whisk when you raise it. Your dough may also be too liquid if you did not bring the water/milk/butter mixture to the boil before incorporating the flour, which could not thicken properly.
If your choux pastry is too liquid, there is a risk that it will spread too much on your baking sheet, and your choux will not develop well when cooked. The solution is, therefore, either to start your choux pastry again, following the previous advice to the letter, or to make a very thick panade by dividing the proportions by 2 before incorporating it into the too-liquid dough.
Also Read: How To Use Gelatin Correctly?
Grainy Choux Pastry: What To Do?
Is your choux pastry too thick and has lumps? This is probably because you let the milk/water/butter mixture boil too long and evaporate too much water from your mixture before adding the flour. To remedy this problem, remove your mixture from the heat as soon as it starts to boil to retain enough water in your panade. Also, remember to cut your butter into tiny pieces or melt it beforehand so you don’t need to let your mixture heat up for too long! To avoid this problem, you can also sift the flour before adding it to your panade!
My Cabbages Taste Like An Omelet
If your choux pastry tastes like an omelet, you add your eggs to a panade that was too hot and cook the eggs. To avoid this problem in the future, beat the parade for a long time to cool it well and add the eggs when no more water vapor is released.
My Cabbages Do Not Swell Or Droop: Why?
If your choux puffs do not develop well when cooked, it is probably because your dough does not contain the right humidity level. One of two things: either your dough is too dry because it doesn’t contain enough eggs, or it is too runny because you add too many. To know how many eggs to add, observe the appearance of your dough! Its texture is ideal when it forms a point that falls slightly on itself at the end of the whisk when it is raised.
If your cabbages collapse after cooking, it may simply be because they are not sufficiently cooked. If you set your oven too hot, put sugar in your dough or add too much egg wash to your choux buns, then you may have been misled by the golden color of your choux buns. Respect the cooking time to dry out your cabbages, even if it means lowering the oven temperature (and prolonging the cooking a little further) if your cabbages brown too quickly!
Your choux buns may also fall if you open the oven door during cooking. All the steam accumulated in the cabbage, which causes it to swell, then escapes at once, and the temperature of the oven chamber drops suddenly. The cabbage, which is then not cooked enough at the edges, collapses on itself without it being possible to go back! When cooking choux pastry, remember only one thing: never open the oven door until the cabbage is cooked!
My Cabbages Burst When Cooking Or Are Not Very Round
If your choux cracks during cooking, it is often due to excess moisture in the dough. As explained previously, ensure you use the correct number of eggs and dry your panade correctly.
You can also prepare your choux pastry the day before because the longer it remains, the more even it will cook.
Once your choux pastry is ready, put it in a shower bag before storing it in the fridge overnight. The irregularity of your choux can also result from imperfect poaching. Eliminate air from your piping bag and opt for a fluted tip. The streaks created on the choux during poaching then ensure more regular development of the choux during cooking.
If poaching is problematic, put your dough in a silicone half-sphere mold, freeze it, and then turn it onto a baking sheet. This way, your choux buns will maintain a uniform shape while cooking. You will then need to extend the cooking time of the cabbages a little to take into account the defrosting time or defrost your unmolded cabbages before cooking.
Also Read: 7 Tips For Making A Soft Cookie