Thursday 15 June 2017

Choux Pastry

Choux pastry by itself doesn't have that much in the way of flavour, but it's a very good container for soft, high-flavour fillings. Most people know it for chocolate eclairs, but there are also profiteroles, Paris-Brest and religeuse.

I find it very temperature sensitive, and with my oven I tend to do it at 180-190'C. Drying the pastry is vital, so once it's done baking leaving it in the oven with the door cracked for 5-10 minutes can really help get the crisp, crunchy texture you're looking for. Once out of the oven it cools really quickly, so it's worth spending a little extra time to get it right.

The mixture of flours (50% plain, 50% strong) gives the final mixture a bit more strength and crispness. You can do it with just plain flour, however it may not be quite as strong structurally.

This recipe quantity will make approximately 15 Eclairs or Paris-Brest buns.

Choux Pastry - Recipe

  • Pre-heat oven to 180-190'C
  • Line a large baking sheet with paking parchment or a silicone mat


  • 100g full fat milk
  • 100g water
  • 100g butter
  • 3g salt
  • 8g caster sugar
  • 60g plain flour
  • 60g strong white flour
  • 3 large eggs
1) Place the milk, water, butter, salt and sugar in a large saucepan. You're going to be adding other ingredients, and stirring a lot, so err on the side of a larger pan.

2) Heat the mixture gently, while stirring, until the butter has melted and all the sugar and salt have dissolved.

3) While continuing to stir, bring the heat up to medium until the mixture is just beginning to boil.

4) Remove from the heat

5) Pour in the flour and stir vigorously until you have a consistent, smooth mixture

6) Return the pan to a medium heat and stir vigorously for 3-4 minutes. The mixture should become more elastic and glossy, and begin to pull from the sides of the pan when you stir it.

7) Transfer the dough to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix for 2-3 minutes. You'll get a lot of steam come off, and you're looking to cool the mixture down a bit before adding the eggs (you don't want them cooking)

8) Add the eggs in one at a time, while continuing to mix on a medium speed. You want each egg fully combined, and a smooth mixture, before adding the next.

9) Continue to mix for anther 2 minutes so you have a very smooth, soft pastry paste.

10) Transfer the mixutre to a piping bag. You ideally want to use a star nozzle when piping, as this gives whatever you are piping room to expand when baked. For Eclairs, pipe straight , ~15cm tubes as neatly as possible. For Profiteroles and Religieuse pipe tight buns. For Paris-Brest pipe discs about 5-6cm inches across

11) Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on them, as the pastry can burn quite quickly towards the end, as it's so thin. You can improve the cripsness by sprinkling a very small amount of water on the baking sheet before placing them in the oven.

12) Once they are done, turn the oven off, crack the door open, and leave in there for another 5-10 minutes. This allows any excess moisture to leave the pastry, leaving a crisp finish. If you are filling the pastry (profiteroles, eclairs etc) you can quickly add holes where you are going to fill them before this cooling phase, and this will help the steam escape.

13) Remove from the oven and leave to cool fully on a wire rack before cutting/filling/decorating.