How To Make Choux Pastry

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Choux pastry, also known as pâte à choux, is the type of pastry dough used to make éclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, and more. Cooked choux pastry is puffs up and fills with air as it is baked; this happens because of the steam created during the cooking process. Once cooked, some of the most common fillings for choux pastry include vanilla, coffee, or chocolate pastry cream. In France, savory ham filling is popular. Anne Willan's LaVarenne Pratique — an essential culinary reference book for both novice and expert cooks, shares these tips for peeling boiled eggs.

For 30-35 medium puffs

1¼ cups flour
1 cup water
¾ teaspoon salt
6½ tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
4-5 eggs

Sift the flour on to a piece of paper. In a saucepan heat the water, salt, and butter until the butter has melted.

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Bring the liquids just to a boil and then remove them from the heat. Add all of the flour at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. Beat until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from sides of pan to form a ball, about 20 seconds. Return the pan to the stove and beat for half a minute over very low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.

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Beat in two eggs. Add the remaining eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat the last egg with a fork in a small bowl and add it little by little (you may not need all of it). You will know when enough egg has been added because the dough will be shiny, and soft enough to fall from the spoon.

For recipes and more tips and techniques, visit LaVarenne's website or buy a digital copy of LaVarenne Pratique.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.