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Pate a Choux Eclair Shells

Pâte à Choux

inspiredthroughfood
French, light pastry dough used as a base for many pastries. Use it to make eclairs, cream puffs, beignets, gougères, etc.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter cut into small chunks
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup + 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs beaten

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine the water, whole milk, vanilla, sugar, and butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat.
  • Remove saucepan from the heat and add in the flour. With a large wooden spoon, stir vigorously until the flour is incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan when mixed.
  • Place the saucepan back over a medium-low heat and cook dough while stirring continuously with the wooden spoon for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and forms a ball. This process is to "dry out" the dough so that it won't be too moist.
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Let dough cool down for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn the stand mixer to a low-medium speed. Pour in about 1/4 of the beaten egg and mix until the egg combines into the dough. Repeat this process until you get to the last 1/4 of the egg.
  • Check the dough at this point to see if you need to add the last of the egg. You're looking for the dough to be glossy and for the dough slowly hang, stretch, and fall in ribbons from the paddle attachment. If the dough is still too dry then go ahead and add as much as you think you need to get the right consistency.

For Eclairs

  • Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8 inch star or plain tip. On a silpat lined baking sheet, pipe out 1 inch long oblong-shaped lines of dough. Make sure to space the dough at least 1 inch apart as they will expand while baking.
  • Wet a finger with a little water and smooth out any pointed tips left behind by the pastry bag.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Do not open oven while baking the dough or they will not form correctly. After 30 minutes turn off the oven, crack open the oven door about an inch and let sit in the oven for another 15 minutes to dry out.
  • Remove baked eclair shells from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely.

For Cream Puffs

  • Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8 inch star or plain tip. On a silpat lined baking sheet pipe out 1 1/2 inch wide rounds of dough. The easiest way to do this is to place the tip at the center of where you want the dough and just slowly squeeze until you get the desired size. You shouldn't be moving around the tip of the pastry bag to "draw" the rounds.
  • Make sure to space the dough at least 1 inch apart as they will expand while baking. Wet a finger with a little water and smooth out any pointed tips left behind by the pastry bag.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Do not open oven while baking the dough or they will not form correctly. After 30 minutes turn off the oven, crack open the oven door about an inch and let sit in the oven for another 15 minutes to dry out.
  • Remove baked eclair shells from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely.