Learn how to make perfect choux dough to create eclairs and other decadent pastries.
By Tamara Novakoviç
Choux pastry (pate a choux) is a pastry used to make eclairs, profiteroles, croquembouches, beignets, gougères etc. The ingredients are cooked, then baked (sometimes fried) and if not done properly, the end result can be rather disappointing. If the dough is too firm, the cakes won’t puff enough during baking. If it’s too soft, they will spread out too much in the oven.
They need to have a crisp outside and be hollow on the inside. The most important thing when preparing this pastry is the water-oil-flour ratio.
Here is the recipe that makes it fairly simple to prepare and guarantees a perfect choux pastry. The recipe is inspired by this one.
- 1 cup (250 ml) eggs (about 4 medium-sized eggs)
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- ½ cup (125 ml) vegetable or sunflower oil
- pinch of salt
- 5.2 oz (150 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp sugar
- Combine water, salt, sugar and oil and heat until it boils. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Keep stirring with wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and starts separating from the bowl.
- At this point, add eggs, one by one and stir in between each addition. The dough will separate at first into lumps, but will eventually come together. Keep stirring until it's smooth and compact.
- Transfer the dough into piping bag with round or star shaped tip and pipe it out onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper (depending on which shapes you want to make).
- Preheat oven to 392F (200 C). Bake for 30-40 minutes, until outside is crisp and golden.
- Let cool completely and fill with cream.
Tamara Novakovic is a passionate self-taught cook, food blogger, freelance food writer and photographer behind bite-my-cake.blogspot.com. Her life journey has led her through Faculty of Humanities in Zagreb, Croatia to discovering passion for making cakes. She is currently a weekly food columnist for Croatian newspaper V magazine and food magazine Repete.