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What Is Choux Pastry and How to Make It

Updated on July 16, 2011
Choux pastry eclairs photo: jlbruno @flickr
Choux pastry eclairs photo: jlbruno @flickr

What Is Choux Pastry?

What is choux pastry? It is a light and airy pastry. Choux means 'cabbage' in French.

Choux pastry is normally used as a shell for eclairs, cream puffs, funnel cakes, and similar desserts. But choux pastry can be filled with ingredients other than for desserts, for instance, chicken salad. Choux pastry is very delicate, but easy to make.

What Ingredients Are Required for Choux Pastry?

It only takes four simple ingredients to make choux pastry- eggs, flour, butter, and water. It's very simple to do. It requires no rolling or other elaborate preparation. Here is how to make choux pastry:

Ingredients Required
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup each: water and flour
pinch salt
2 eggs

French Baking Cookbooks

How to Make Choux Pastry

Put the butter and water into a pan. Melt butter and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat. Add the flour all at once and pinch of salt. Stir well with a wooden spoon.

Put back on medium heat. Beat constantly until it pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Be patient. It will take a few minutes.

Remove from heat again and stir for a couple more minutes.

Beat the eggs together in a separate bowl. Wait for the mixture to cool to lukewarm. Then eggs are beat into the mix, a bit at a time. Do not add the eggs all at once.

Beat until the mixture becomes smooth. Don't give up. The eggs WILL eventually mix together with the rest. It should  become shiny. It should get thick enough for the spoon to be able to stand up in it.

Next, it is dropped by spoonfuls onto a greased baking pan for further baking. Sometimes it is made into elegant shapes. The French often turn choux pastry into beautiful swans, and serve them at the end of a meal for a beautiful presentation. You can make elegant choux pastry with a piping tip.

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 30 minutes. Put on the middle rack. They should turn golden brown. After it has baked, prick a small hole int the bottom of each one to release steam and keep them from becoming soggy. Split one open to make sure it is not too wet and needs to be baked a bit longer.


More Tips for Making Choux Pastry

After it has cooled, the choux pastry is filled with your choice of ingredients. Do not leave it refrigerated for a prolonged period, or it will lose its crispy exterior and become soggy.

Because choux pastry is more moist than other pastries, you should be careful with your choice of fillings. If you are adding a filling that is also very moist, do not add it until just before serving. This prevents the pastry from becoming soggy.

How to Make Choux Pastry

What Is Choux Pastry and How to Make It Commments or Suggestions

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    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      8 years ago from United States

      Can't wait to try this. This is something I've never done, or seen anyone do, either. I love new baking projects!

    • John B Badd profile image

      John B Badd 

      8 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Now I am hungry :D

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, that sounds great.

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