dcsimg

Light Pastry Dough (pate A Choux)

Lighten Up with Choux Dough

Pâte à choux is also known as choux dough. This light, airy dough is used for cream puffs, éclairs, profiteroles, croquembouche, and classic desserts such as Gateau St. Honore. Literally translated, pâte à choux means cabbage paste, named for the classic cream puff shape rather than ingredients used.

Like most pastry doughs, ingredients for pâte à choux are humble and simple, using only butter, flour, salt, water and sugar. The mixing method, however is unique and allows the power of steam to transform the dough into light pockets of crispy hollows, with intricate and delicate tunnel structures, ready for sweet or savory fillings.

Pastry Dough Equipment:

  • Stainless steel pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Standing mixer with paddle attachment
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Pastry bag
  • No. 5 pastry tip

Light Pastry Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons, or 4 oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon for regular salt)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour; bread flour can also be used (8 oz.)
  • 4 large eggs

Light Pastry Dough Recipe:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Slowly heat water, butter, salt, and sugar in a medium stainless steel sauce pan on low heat. When the butter has melted, increase the heat to medium and allow the mixture to slowly come to a boil--bringing it to a boil slowly limits the evaporation of valuable moisture that's needed to create steam during the baking process.
  3. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and add all of the flour at once. Put the pan back on medium heat and stir vigorously. Continue to stir for approximately 5 minutes. During this time, the starches swell and the dough comes together.
  4. As you are stirring, a thin film of dough may develop on the bottom and sides of the pan. Do not scrape this film into the dough--allow the dough to roll over the film as you continue stirring.
  5. When the dough begins to pull away form the sides of the pan and becomes one mass, stop stirring and remove the pan from the heat.
  6. Transfer the dough to a standing mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on low until the dough stops releasing steam and reaches approximately 140 degrees F.
  7. Add one egg and mix on medium speed until the egg is fully incorporated. Repeat, adding one egg at a time, mixing until incorporated, until all four eggs have been added.
  8. Place the pastry tip inside the pastry bag and transfer the choux dough to the pastry bag.
  9. Pipe the desired shape onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving approximates 1/2" to 3/4" of space between piped dough.
  10. Straight lines of dough create a classic éclair shape. A tightly closed spiral creates a classic cream puff shape. Dip your finger in water and gently press the top of the cream puff shape peak down to prevent it from rising too high in the oven.
  11. Place the baking sheet into a preheated oven. Do not open the oven door for the first 8 to 9 minutes. This allows the maximum amount of steam to produce a high rise in the piped dough shapes.
  12. Éclaires bake faster than cream puff shapes. After the first 8 or 9 minutes have passed, check the dough every 3 to 4 minutes for doneness. The finished puffs should sound hollow and be a light golden brown.
  13. When the dough is ready to be removed from the oven, transfer the dough to a clean towel. Using the back of a spoon or a pastry tip, poke a small hole in the bottom of each piece of the pastries to release any additional trapped steam--this prevents the inside of the dough from becoming soggy.
  14. Allow the dough to fully cool and then fill with pastry cream, whipped cream, ice cream, or your favorite savory fillings.

About the Author

After receiving degrees from the University of Wisconsin and the Culinary Institute of America, Andrea Rappaport moved into a full-time career in the restaurant business. For over 12 years, she worked in various culinary jobs, including as a cook for Wolfgang Puck at Spago, and ultimately as the executive chef and partner of the highly revered San Francisco restaurant Zinzino. For the past seven years, Andrea has worked as the private chef for one family in the San Francisco area, and continues to expand her culinary portfolio by catering, teaching, and consulting.

Browse Baking and Pastry Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            1 Program(s) Found

            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • A private post-secondary institution of higher education serving south-central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland since 1967.
            • Offers associate degrees in specialized business and specialized technology, as well as programs leading to professional certifications and diplomas.
            • Gives each student their own career services specialist who helps keep them focused on their goals.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
            Show more [+]