Mastering the Art of Choux Pastry: A Historical Dive into its Origins, Recipe, and Method.

Choux Pastry – a delicious delicate pastry believed to have originated during the 16th century in England, Germany, or France. Brought to fame in the 18th century kitchens of Marie Antoinette, choux pastry is used to make eclairs, buns, cream puffs, profiteroles, crullers, beignets, churros, and funnel cakes. The history books tell us that originally choux pastry was either baked or fried and was also known as “Pate a la Royale” or “Paste Royal”.

The recipe for choux pastry may sound simple to the average baker, however as per usual in the world of baking the more simple the ingredients, the more technically demanding the method and… Choux pastry is no exception.

With the absence of a rising agent such as yeast, successful choux pastry relies on the high moisture content to evaporate during the baking process and puff up the pastry. The secret to success requires the milk, water, butter, flour etc to be cooked long enough to form a smooth roux. When ready the paste should come away cleanly from the pot.

Choux Pastry - Eclair Recipe - BITA

Choux Pastry Recipe

This recipe will make 32 eclairs.

IngredientsGramsPercent
Milk27089
Water27089
Sugar124
Salt93
Butter23579
Flour300100
Eggs400143
Total Weight: 1496

Choux Pastry Method

  1. Bring milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt to the boil.
  2. Add in the flour and keep stirring to cook the roux, until it comes away from the sides.
  3. Place in mixing machine with paddle, beat on slow speed to cool below 50°C.
  4. Whist the eggs and add them slowly, until the correct piping consistency is achieved.
  5. Pipe on silicon paper lined baking trays.
  6. Bake at 210°C for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 190°C, open damper and bake for another 15 minutes or until dried enough.

Here are some tips to ensure your success:

  • Before adding the eggs, put the paste into a mixer with paddle attachment and beat on low for a few minutes to cool it (below 50°C or it will set the egg proteins) – but don’t over mix.
  • Whisk the eggs a little first so they’re easier to incorporate and add a little at a time so you can monitor the moisture levels of the paste.
  • The paste is at the perfect consistency when you can run a spoon through the middle of it and the channel just holds its shape.
  • The amount of eggs you end up using will vary according to the type of flour.
  • Our bakers suggest ovens should be around 200 – 220°C.
  • Don’t open the oven while baking.
  • To ensure adequate steam when baking, scrunch up your baking paper, wet it then flatten it out before using, the moisture will help the choux to rise.

If you are interested in a career in baking contact the BITA team on (07) 3899 6100 or via email.