Eclairs collapsing from bottom..help

6
10
Joined Sep 19, 2006


I've successfully made cream puffs in the past, and even with the same batch of trying eclairs yesterday.  However, the tried and true recipe I used the 1st time, piped out into eclairs, collapsed.  OK, I figured I piped the eclairs too big, they collapsed because I didn't bake them long enough, and the pulled up from the bottom for some weird reason but ignored it.  The 3 puffs I baked turned out perfectly.  So, off to use a 'scientific' recipe from the old forums here, which was basically the same only used half milk and half water instead of all water.  I also searched high and low regarding bread flour vs AP flour, verified the protein content of my AP flour and tried again.  I piped them with an open star tip to avoid cracking, sprinkled with powdered sugar, just in case the egg wash held down the puff action - which it didn't the first time - baked at 375F the whole time, went a full 40min to a deep golden brown.  They looked great, if not a little darker then I am comfortable with, but looked solid.  HOWEVER, when I went to vent them as an added precaution - which I normally never do - they were ALL collapsed from underneath.

what gives

Pics are of the bottoms
Left is the darkest one with cracks in the bottom and the least amount of collapse
Middle is from the same batch and tray as the one on the Left, has cracks on bottom and collapse
Right is the one from my first batch using all water, bigger, piped using a round tip, egg wash, and undercooked based on insides being too moist and oddly grey


and from the sides....

Top is the most cooked, from 2nd batch, and least collapsed, used star tip, 375F and baked 40min
Middle is from the 2nd batch as well, but slightly less browned, but still collapsed
Bottom is from the 1st batch - all water - using round tip, bigger over all in size then 2nd batch, eggwash, baked 425 for 15min, then down to 350, undercooked but cracked and collapsed
 
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6
10
Joined Sep 19, 2006
and from the sides....
Top is the most cooked, from 2nd batch, and least collapsed, used star tip, 375F and baked 40min

Middle is from the 2nd batch as well, but slightly less browned, but still collapsed

Bottom is from the 1st batch - all water - using round tip, bigger over all in size then 2nd batch, eggwash, baked 425 for 15min, then down to 350, undercooked but cracked and collapsed
 
5,192
296
Joined Jul 28, 2001
You're almost there. This is just me now. Everybody has their own variation. When you go to pipe the eclair, don't stretch it towards you. It should be extruded so that the choux just lays down in a straight line. It should look like a log sitting on the paper, as if were frozen and placed there. I would forgo the sugar. Egg wash, not straight egg. Then kick those puppies in a 400+ oven until they spring. When that is done then your baking part is done. Now you have to dry out the centers. You can lower the temp. then burp the oven and let them sit, but not too dark.

Are your centers airy? If not and their caky (all technical terms) then dry out your roux more and let most of the steam evaporate and then your eggs one at a time. HTH's

forget all the technical stuff like kinds of flour, water, milk . Just make them to the right consistency and they will come out. Think positive. Put them in knowing they will come out fine. Consistency, you should be able to take the back of a round wooden spoon and run it through your mix like creating a river gully. The river gully should be closing up about an 1 1/2" to 2" behind the spoon. 
 
6
10
Joined Sep 19, 2006
Ok. The puffs turned out perfectly and hollow, so I think I've got the batter correct with mixing...I think. Can you help me understand how to extrude the eclairs? I an guessing that's my problem because puffs from the same batch of batter turn out correctly.
 
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2
10
Joined Aug 25, 2015
I have had this issue before as well. For me, it was the oven.

Baking it in a standard convection oven resulted in the issue, but baking it in a rotating convection oven fixed it. 

If your stuck with using the same oven, try changing the position the pan is located in to see if it helps. Also, i wouldnt burp your oven until the eclair is just drying out.
 
5,192
296
Joined Jul 28, 2001
oh, you must burp the oven. I'm sure you do it in the rotating oven. Hit that vent opening. To burp is a very technical tern, it usually involves the back of a wooden spoon just wedged in to open a little so you keep the heat but eliminate the steam. Now  if you open the oven too much la gastronomique  would consider this belching the oven. That is a no no!!
 
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