Another recipe for pate a choux

Sandy just sent in a cool recipe. She added this note: “Here is a recipe for savory pate choux from the Oregonian. I liked the notes about how to freeze the unbaked dough.”

Here’s the link, but I’m also putting the entire recipe here.

Gougères – Published in OregonLive on October 12, 2010

Makes about 36 puffs

Of all the things I make for my French friends, this is the one that gets the most requests. The easiest way to describe gougères is to call them cheese puffs. Their dough, pâte à choux, is the same one you’d use for sweet cream puffs or profiteroles, but when the pâte à choux is destined to become gougères, you fold in a fair amount of cheese. Although you must spoon out the puffs as soon as the dough is made, the little puffs can be frozen and then baked straight from the freezer, putting them in the realm of the doable even on the spur of the moment.

Ingredients

* 1/2 cup whole milk
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces (1 stick)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 5 eggs, at room temperature
* 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, such as gruyère, Emmenthal, Comté or extra-sharp cheddar (about 6 ounces)

Instructions

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan add the milk, water, butter and salt; set over high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low and immediately start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon or heavy whisk. The dough will come together and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring — with vigor — for another minute or two to dry the dough. The dough should now be very smooth.

Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or into a bowl that you can use for mixing with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon and elbow grease. Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one and beat, beat, beat until the dough is thick and shiny. Make sure that each egg is completely incorporated before you add the next, and don’t be concerned if the dough separates — by the time the last egg goes in, the dough will come together again. Beat in the shredded cheese. Once the dough is made, it should be spooned out immediately.

Using about 1 tablespoon of dough for each gougère, drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the gougères are golden, firm and, yes, puffed, another 12 to 15 minutes or so. Serve warm, or transfer the pans to racks to cool.

Serving: Gougères are good straight from the oven and at room temperature. I like them both ways, but I think you can appreciate them best when they’re still warm. Serve with kir, white wine or Champagne.

Storing: The best way to store gougères is to shape the dough, freeze the mounds on a baking sheet and then, when they’re solid, lift them off the sheet and pack them airtight in plastic bags. Bake them straight from the freezer — no need to defrost — just give them a minute or two more in the oven. Leftover puffs can be kept at room temperature overnight and reheated in a 350-degree-oven, or they can be frozen and reheated before serving.
From “Around My French Table” by Dorie Greenspan

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