Pâte à Choux

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by omi, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. omi

    omi

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    I made the pâte à choux using the recipe in 'the Professional Chef' book (CIA). The recipe was 1 pint milk/water, 1 t sugar, 1 t salt, 8 oz butter, 12 oz. bread flour, 4-7 eggs (I used 6). When baked the cream puffs did not expand, the finished product was not light but a bit heavy and crispy, which will work out fine but what could I have done to make them turn out like they should? The baking instructions were 375 for a bit until they 'set' up then 350 to finish them off. I ended up cutting them in half, scooping out the moist dough then filling with pastry cream. I thought they were supposed to expand, maybe double in size and more delicate. Thanks, Omi
     
  2. chrose

    chrose

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    OMI, the recipe sounds about right. I might have used an extra egg or two, but I would say that your starting temp. is too low. When cooking the puffs you need to get a quick blast of heat to turn the water into steam to set up the expansion and then the remaining heat to set them and dry them.
    Try turning the starting heat to 425ºF (pre-heated oven) for 10-15 minutes and then turn down to 375ºF until brown and crisp. Cool slowly in a warm place.
     
  3. panini

    panini

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    Omi,
    The advice up above is great. I would add that you really need to cook your roux. Most recipes that have come from large ones have a little extra water in them to compensate for evaporation when stirring roux and cooling. If you have a mixer then the roux should go right in there when cooked and paddle to cool. You will have steam rising. Eggs can't go in hot.
    When your done with mixing in eggs, and you run that spoon through the mixture, the the gully it creates should be closing up about an inch or 2 behind. As Chrose says, These really need a kick at first to shape.
    good luck next time
    pan
     
  4. castironchef

    castironchef

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    I'm assuming that you religiously followed the CIA proportions and directions, so I would first suspect your oven of being off temp.

    Buy a reliable oven thermometer and go by that, not the oven's thermostat setting. Also, allow a sufficiently long time for real pre-heating. When the oven "dings," I don't consider that the time to start baking (or roasting). In stead, I consider that the start of the 5 -10 minute pre-heat.

    Try again, keep copious notes and PLEASE let us know what the problem turned out to be.
     
  5. jessiquina

    jessiquina

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    making choux paste should be very easy and rewarding. make sure you are really working the roux in the pan as you cook it. thats what forms the gluten (use AP flour) and the eggs will form the steam to puff and stretch that gluten so it forms the hollow center... i dont know if that makes sence the way i typed it....
     
  6. villagecakelady

    villagecakelady

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    I have a recipe that has never failed yet if you would like it?
     
  7. omi

    omi

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    My goodness! I am overwhelmed by the responses! Either my thermometer is way off or my oven is way off. The local kitchen store is temporarily out of oven thermometers so I will have to wait unless one from Wal-Mart will suffice. The thermometer I have measures my oven temp about 50 degrees off. I find that hard to believe so I will purchase another. (Although the leg of lamb I cooked the other night was very undercooked after I had cooked it for an hour--according to the recipe it should have been just right).

    The other thing here that I really did not know is the amount of eggs needed. I will try another batch and not be hesitant with the addition of the eggs. Another great point is the rate at which the dough closes up when a spoon is run through it, I did not know this. Oh, and the cooling down of the dough before the addition of the eggs, I will take note of this. I will regulate my oven temp. then give it another try, my pastry cream was delicious so I really would like to be able to pipe it into a stellar puff or an great eclair. I know now my roux (never heard pastry dough called roux....it is my inexperience---I am from New Orleans where we are brought up to think a roux isn't a roux unless it is chocolate brown and nutty smelling!) was way to stiff... Willl let you know how it turns out and yes Village Cake Lady if you have a no-fail recipe, I would love to give it a try. Thanks. Omi
     
  8. z~bestus

    z~bestus

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    OMI:
    Good morning. The suggestions you have recieved from member CH ROSE are very accurate. You must raise the baking temp. 375 degrees is too low. Now then my friend believe this you need between 10 & 12 eggs for your recipe calling for 12, oz of bread flour. The eggs should be 155 to 167% of the weight of the flour. Industry standards for a large egg is 1.70 oz out of the shell. If you require directions for mixing the ingredients post back to me. Good luck & have a nice day.
    ~Z~BESTUS.
     
  9. villagecakelady

    villagecakelady

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    WOW I am so sorry for not answering for so long!!!!

    CHOU PASTRY in food processor :chef:

    Bring to a boil in med sauce pot:
    1/3 cup butter or golden shortening
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup milk
    1 tbsp white sugar
    -add all at once 1 cup ap flour - do not over cook - stir till ball forms and is not sticky.
    Put this into food processor with blade attachement. Add 4 eggs and mix till blended. (Hold on to machine some times it gets off kilter)
    Form the size/shape of puff you want on greased/ floured sheet.
    Brush with egg yolk/bit of water mixture
    Bake 10 minutes at 400F then turn down to 350F for 25 miinutes. Turn oven off and allow chou to dry for 5 minutes with the oven door part open. Then cool on pastry rack.