I can’t tell you how many eclairs I’ve devoured in my day. And I certainly can’t say no to a plate of cream puffs.
But, have you ever wanted to do it yourself?
Here’s how to make choux pastry at home in 12 easy steps:
1. Carefully weigh all of the ingredients.
2. Bring the water and fat to a rolling boil.
3. Add the flour all at once.
4. Beat the flour into the water over the heat.
5. Cook the flour for a few minutes.
6. Cool the mix slightly before adding the eggs.
7. Add the eggs slowly, beating continuously.
8. Check the consistency before adding all the eggs.
9. Pipe onto a tray.
10. Bake at 190/375 for 3o minutes.
11. Open the door and prick each bun to release steam.
12. Bake for another 5-10 minutes.
Choux pastry (pronounced ‘shoe’) is something that can be so good, or so so bad. There’s a long list of things that can go wrong while making Choux, and think it can be intimidating.
- Too much liquid
- Not enough liquid
- Came out flat
- Came out too crispy
- Didn’t hold its shape
When you hear bakers say they like to eye-ball things, I know it can be frustrating. I’m guilty of that, for sure.
But with Choux, as much as it’s true that baking needs to be precise, in this case, watching the dough/batter is more important than simply throwing in 3 eggs because the recipe said so.
With Choux pastry, you need to bring your liquid and fat to a rolling boil and then add the flour all at once, right into the pot. That mix needs to be beaten with a wooden spoon, over the heat, in order to cook out the flour.
If you cook it too long, you will cook out some of the moisture in the dough/batter, in which case you will need a little more egg. If you don’t cook it long enough, you will probably need a little less egg.
When you add the eggs, it’s important to only add a little at a time and totally incorporate, before adding more. This way, you can keep an eye on the consistency and hold back what you don’t need.
For the baking, some people like to start at a high temperature, turn it down, leave them in the oven with the door cracked 7/19th of an inch…it’s too much.
I like to bake mine at one temperature. After 30 minutes, pull the tray and quickly prick each bun or eclair with a skewer or sharp knife. This releases the steam inside so they don’t go soggy. Then they go back in for around 5-10 minutes. Easy.
My YouTube video, which can be found below, goes through the whole recipe and method.
I had my boyfriend do it all and you’ll see at the end that he made a great batch! He’d never even eaten an eclair before but he was able to do it!
Choux Pastry recipe:
How to Make Choux Pastry: Method
- Preheat your oven to 190/375.
- Bring the water, sugar, and butter to a rolling boil on the stovetop - this means it should be bubbling like a kettle
- When the liquid starts to roll, add the scaled flour to the pot all at once (careful of splashes) and begin to mix with a wooden spoon, keeping the pot on the heat. Take it easy at first until it starts to come together, and then beat to a smooth dough that comes away from the side of the pot. Remove from heat
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly - if you have a stand mixer, you can beat on low with a paddle to help the steam escape
- Lightly beat the eggs and begin to incorporate them into the pot. Add in a couple of tablespoons at a time, beating vigorously between additions. It will look curdled at first, but continue to beat until it becomes smooth again - it will, I promise!
- Add the eggs, little by little, until the dough/batter is smooth and glossy. It needs to be firm enough to pipe and hold its shape. A good way to test is to grab a spoon and scoop up some of the dough/batter. Hold the spoon sideways and let the batter drop. If it stays firm on the spoon, you need a little more egg. If it slowly drops, it’s good to go! Do this a few times if you’re unsure, so you don’t add too much egg!
- Place the mixture into a piping bag (tip optional) and pipe onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave some space between, because they will expand and rise.
- Put the tray into the oven and set a 30-minute timer (unless you are doing mini’s, in which case check them after around 20 minutes) Don’t be tempted to open the oven! They need the heat and steam to rise, and opening the door will let it all escape. Be strong!
- After the 30 minutes, quickly open the door and prick each bun or eclair with a knife or skewer (anywhere will do, you don’t have to pick them up), and place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. You should see how they look at this point and may need to adjust the time left (ovens vary)
- The Choux should come out of the oven looking golden brown. They should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. If they look too pale, bake them a little longer. If you’re not totally sure, cut one open and see. If it’s still wet, they need a little longer. As I said, all ovens are different so it’s hard to give exact numbers.
When they have cooled down, you can fill them and decorate! Pastry cream, whipped cream, ganache, whatever you like! They are so versatile. Stripe with melted chocolate or dip in ganache for a shine. They are cute and impressive no matter what!
Hope you guys try these at home! Subscribe for more :-)