Pâte à Choux

From classic cream puffs and chocolate éclairs to fried Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts and a reinvented kringle, choux pastry (or pâte à choux) is the backbone of a variety of different desserts. Thankfully, it’s one of the easiest pastries to make, and it requires nothing more than a large saucepan and a spoon to execute (or a hand or stand mixer if you’re not looking for a moderate upper body workout).

Prep
15 mins
Total
20 mins
Yield
about 2 cups (600g) pastry
Pâte à Choux - select to zoom
Pâte à Choux - select to zoom
Pâte à Choux - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. To make the choux pastry: Combine the water, butter, and salt in a large saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat to melt the butter and bring the mixture to a boil.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a sturdy spoon or stiff spatula.

  3. Return the pan to medium heat briefly, stirring until the mixture smooths out and starts to steam; this should take less than a minute. The batter will be very thick and shiny at this stage.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat and let the thick batter cool, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes. It'll still feel hot, but you should be able to hold a finger in it for a few seconds; if you have a digital thermometer the temperature should be below 125°F.

  5. To finish the choux pastry by hand: Once cool, mix the eggs into the warm mixture in the saucepan one at a time. Be sure to incorporate each egg fully before adding the next one; the mixture will slosh around a bit initially, but will come together into a smooth, shiny paste after a dozen or so stirs. Mix for about 2 minutes after adding the last egg.

  6. To finish the choux pastry with an electric mixer: Alternatively, transfer the warm butter-water-flour mixture to a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time on medium speed, waiting until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat for about a minute after adding the last egg.

  7. To bake with choux pastry: At this point your pastry is ready to scoop, pipe, or spread, and then bake. Follow the instructions for doing so in the recipe you’ve chosen to make. 

Tips from our Bakers

  • Looking for inspiration on how to use your choux pastry? Check out our selection of recipes and see what strikes your fancy.