Did I remember to say it’s pronounced like “shoe”?
No matter. Making choux is a simple process, mostly just stirring. The traditional method is to simply use a wooden spoon, though a lot of people use food processors nowadays. Me, I can’t tell much of a difference between the methods, so I figure, why dirty a food processor? The things are a pain to clean.
Start by bringing your water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil. Try not to keep this up for too long, since moisture is important to the consistency of the dough/batter.
Once you’ve got your mixture boiling, add your flour. Here you can see I sifted mine since sifted flour is less likely to clump.
Take the pan off the heat and stir the mixture into a paste.
Now comes the very important cooking stage, where you gelatinize the starch. You want to return the mixture to medium heat and cook it until it a.) becomes semi-smooth and blobby, and b.) a thin film of cooked flour starts to stick to the pan. Once you see that happening, start the three-minute clock and continue the stirring.
When the three minutes are up it’s time to turn the choux out into a bowl. Let it sit for two or three more minutes to cool a bit, then start adding your eggs. Just add one…
…stir until it’s incorporated…
…stir and so on until you’ve added all your eggs and the mixture is completely smooth. If your eggs extra are extremely large, just add three to start.
Why? Because the right amount of moisture is important to a choux batter, and there’s an easy way to check. Dip your finger in and pull it away so the batter makes a little point. Hold the point up so it sticks out horizontally. The very tip should droop down like this.
If it sticks out perfectly straight, add more egg. Say, just a white, or part of one…since too much egg will ruin your batter. Know an overly moist choux batter again by the dip test. The point will flop straight down. In that case, pitch what you have, start again and chalk it up to experience.
Any…where’s my pastry bag?