Pate a Choux

Pate a Choux, or Choux Pastry, is a special form of pastry dough that can be used to create profiteroles, eclairs, beignets, and really an endless number of French pastries and desserts.
A page from my vintage French cook book.
All are made from the same base, and transformed
with different decorations!
Very simple to make, and much quicker than many other doughs (like all of them), this is one of my favorite things to make and use.
The key elements of choux pastry is its extremely soft texture and that it's created over heat. The heat allows the butter and water to be completely incorporated by the flour, which allows a lot of liquid to be released when baked. This steam causes the blobs of goo to puff up magnificently, without a leavening agent like baking soda or yeast.

1 cup water
1 stick butter, unsalted
1 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten

How to make the pastry:
1) In a small pot, heat butter and water till almost boiling on medium-high heat.
2) Take the mixture off the heat, and add in all the flour at once. Beat until smooth, then place back on the heat and continue mixing vigorously until it forms a single ball.
3) Remove from the heat again and add the eggs slowly, beating continually till it's a smooth, thick mixture.

4) Wait till it's cool before putting into a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch tip. Pipe the choux onto a cookie sheet, in any shape and size that works for what you'd like to make, and bake in a 425 F  oven for 15, then drop the heat to 350 for another 25-30 minutes more.
5) After the pastries have risen and are a medium brown, poke holes in the bottom to allow them to vent. Cool completely on a baking sheet and decorate as you wish!


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