We use metric units for this recipe because, while choux is easy to make, if the ratios are off, they may come out less than perfect. There’s nothing worse than an imperfect French pastry! If you’ve not invested in a cooking scale yet, it would be a good new year’s resolution to fulfill at this time.
200 ml 2% milk
3 oz unsalted butter
less than an 1/8 tsp salt
4 oz all purpose flour
3 medium-sized eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease parchment paper on a large cookie sheet.
1. Place milk, butter and salt into a medium sized saucepan.
2. Using low to medium heat, stir until butter is melted. Heat until milk is just scalded, but not to boiling point.
3. Turn up the heat. Add all of the flour to the liquid and stir vigorously until the dough pulls away from the side of the pot.
4. Remove from the stove and let cool for a couple of minutes. Add beaten eggs in quarters to the formed dough, incorporating well after each addition. End result should be a dough that is smooth and springy.
5. Spoon or pipe (using a pastry bag) round (2 ½” diameter) or elongated shapes (6” or so) onto the parchment. Brush the tops lightly with water, smoothing down any irregularities.
6. Place an oven-proof bowl filled with water at the bottom of the oven. Bake the dough for twenty to thirty minutes, watching for a nice medium-coloured golden brown top. When done, turn off the oven and remove the pastries. Pierce the sides of each pastry with a ¾” slit for the rounds and 2” for the oblongs. Place back into the warm oven for another five to ten minutes to dry, making sure they do not turn too much darker. Remove from oven and continue cooling on a rack, ideally for four to six hours, or overnight.
When dried and cooled, slice each pastry in half and fill with your favourite creams, either savoury or sweet.
Vive le choux!