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Pate a Choux - The Topic - Ask Questions Here.


chefpeon
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Sooooo, I was watchin FoodTV over the weekend and I caught an article on Beard Papa. They showed the cream puffs come in frozen to the shops. They said they are cream puff dough wrapped in a pie crust. Then they cut one in half and you could clearly see the layer of pie dough around the puff. It's definately not a short dough crust.

Then their filling is a pastry cream with fresh vanilla seeds and whipped cream folded into it. If they don't trust trust their employees to whip the cream, I betcha they use an instant custard powder too. They did mention how after the pastry cream is made they add butter then they clearly show an employee scraping multiple vanilla beans that were folded into finished pastry cream.

I was reading another thread this morning and I'm placing my money on them doing something like the following for their pastry cream base, a qoute from Bripastryguy:

"I use a product called "Freeze -Thaw" Cream powder made by Caravan. You place 6 qts water in a pot with 4 qts water (I through in some vanilla paste) bring to a boil. I mix 2 pounds of the powder with 2 quarts cold water. Add it to the boiling sugar water mix. Bring back to a blurp (not a real rolling boil as it will burn and stick on the bottom) Then I pour the mix into my 20qt hobart with paddle on speed 1. I then add 2 pounds butter. This product tastes as good as my scratch creme patisserie and lasts ahell of alot longer. I tweak it with the use of different fruit purees, change sugar to brown or maple, etc... Really a good commercial product. I am really against all these "fake" pastry items but some of them work."

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I've had the Beard Papa cream puffs before--there's a shop in a big shopping center here, and there are always lines on weekends.

Though, I'm pretty sure they don't arrive at the shop frozen. And it's not a short dough on the outside--too flaky and light to be one. The filling is a creme patissiere, but rather eggy.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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  • 6 months later...

So I'm trying to make eclairs and decided to survey the books I have to see what the generally accepted recipe is.

So the ingredients seem to be pretty much the same and in pretty much the same quanitites except for the butter.

Jucques and Julia, along with some other sources online seem to like the half a stick (4T). While others seem to like the full stick (8T).

That's presuming the following proportions of ingredients:

1 cup water (or milk)

pinch salt

1T sugar (optional)

1 cup unbleached flour

eggs (4-6 depending on the recipe)

Any thoughts? What's the difference in the final product if I use the 4T vs. the 8T of butter?

Thanks!

--Alyce

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there is a ratio:

2 parts liquid

1 part fat

1 part flour

2 parts eggs

example:

16 oz milk

16 oz water

16 oz butter

16 oz flour

32 oz eggs

example:

2 oz water

1 oz butter

1 oz flour

2 oz eggs

make sure you use bread flour if you can

Edited by chiantiglace (log)

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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I was making a 15 lb batch recently and misscaled the butter, adding too much. About half of the 150 eclairs were unusable because they were way too soft, and when I had a chance when the boss wasn't looking, I tossed all the rest of them. I had to add flour to it while it was in the mixer to get it to come together. When I was cooking it, it just didn't want to smooth out. Looked really greasy and slick. That was a clue.

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my experience says less butter and as much eggs as the dough can handle without loosing its shape

And why as much eggs as possible?

What's a good, easy chocolate glaze to use and easy to dip the tops into? Do I just melt some chocolate or make a ganache-y thing with some cream?

And, in your experience, how long can an eclair filled with fresh cream sit - refrigerated - before it gets soggy?

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Everyone says fonadant is the way to go on eclairs, but I have never been too partial to fondant. Personally I like a good hard ganache myself.

Filled eclairs get soggy in less than a day. Ideally you would want to fill to order, but sometimes that is not practical. I would just have everything prepared way in advance and fill and glaze what you need for the day. You can make pate a choux way ahead, pipe and freeze it. You can even bake the choux and freeze the mostly baked shells, then just recrisp them when you need them. Pastry cream is only going to give you a couple of days max though.

The reason for the bread flour is the strength. For the amount of liquid absorbtion it will give you the most strength, which is what you want to keep those shells hollow and at peak.

The reason for as much eggs as possible is because if the choux is too stiff from flour it wont go anywhere. If it is too liquidy from the liquid or butter it will just spread out like a cookie. The eggs are a liquifier in the mixing and a stabilizer in the backing.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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Ideally you would want to fill to order, but sometimes that is not practical.  I would just have everything prepared way in advance and fill and glaze what you need for the day. 

Since they're only for our own consumption, that should be easy :biggrin:

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The reason for the bread flour is the strength.  For the amount of liquid absorbtion it will give you the most strength, which is what you want to keep those shells hollow and at peak.

Another question: Pichet Ong's recipe calls for AP flour, can/should we sub the bread flour with no other amendments?

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Another question: Pichet Ong's recipe calls for AP flour, can/should we sub the bread flour with no other amendments?

Pichet Ong's choux recipe is my favorite of ALL choux recipes I have tried, and I have tried a LOT of them!

Bread flour does provide greater structure in your shell, but can also make it tougher. I actually prefer to use AP flour for a more delicate shell.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi there,

some of the choux buns came out puffed at the bottom, some were perfect.

anyone experienced this before? :huh:

First I thought it was the heat from the bottom but there were some good ..some puffed bottom...all from the same baking sheet (baked together).

Is it the way i piped?

Also, i am still bad at piping...i cannot have the nice round ball...if anyone can help explaining about the piping at the corner technique, i will appreciate it. :smile:

thnx

iii

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either, and, or..... Gelatinization of the flour starch was not done thoroughly or the mass wasnt mixed properly/completely.

could be something else?

What are choux buns?

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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either, and, or.....  Gelatinization of the flour starch was not done thoroughly or the mass wasnt mixed properly/completely.

could be something else?

What are choux buns?

Thkx for the input, chiantiglace..

The buns i was referring to is the choux piped in rounds!

Out of 30 there were 4 -5 that had puffed bottoms...so i assume the mixing should not be the cause.

:unsure:

Yah, could it be anyhing else?

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what do you mean when you say puffed bottoms, exactly?

Normally the top will puff up and starting to crack...right...but this puffed bottom is when the bottom is not flat but puffed like the top....very small flat bottom...

When it bakes the bottom start to lift up and puffed...to be exact.

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  • 4 months later...

I'm looking for some help. I really think I have the dough right, but it seems like my puffs are not as vertical as they should be. I'm using a standard recipe (1/2c milk, 1/2c water, 6T butter, then 1c bread flour, then 4-5 eggs to get to the right dough consistency).

I'm then starting with the oven at 425 and taking it down to 350 after 10 min. to complete the bake/brown.

Any idea why my puffs are coming out more flat than I think they should be?

Do you think my dough is too wet? Should I somehow be getting more air into the dough?

All guidance greatly appreciated!

-Mark-

---------------------------------------------------------

"If you don't want to use butter, add cream."

Julia Child

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It cold be your choux is not dry enough. Did you let the piped choux sit out to form a skin before you bake? I find that helpful. I usually let my choux sit at room temp for 40 minutes of so to form a skin, then bake at 425 until done.

Hope this helps.

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Well, it's certainly not about air. Choux pastry rises through the action of steam, not air. Your proportions look about right to me (though I use weights not cups), though I've never used milk, just water.

So far as consistency is concerned, you want to get to something that is pretty soft; it should just be glossy, and about to fall from a spoon, and just thick enough to hold its shape when piped. My guess would be that your dough is too thick, rather than too thin. Maybe the bread flour absorbs too much water? Try it with AP instead? Or a little more egg? Could you be boiling the milk/water/butter mixture too long, so that it evaporates?

The only other thing that strikes me is that your oven temperature is a little higher than I would usually reckon on (I'd start at 200C = 400F). I suppose this could mean your shell was "setting" before you had achieved the maximum possible volume. You could experiment with a slightly lower starting temperature, or add some steam to the oven at first to keep the atmosphere nice and humid and get the maximum possible expansion before the crust hardens. The breadmaking trick of pouring a bit of water into a hot pan preheated with the oven could work.

One other thing: don't forget the salt! It's pretty tasteless without a little.

So, I would try: (1) making the dough a little softer/less elastic (maybe AP flour, maybe a bit more egg, maybe even a tablespoon more water); (2) slightly lower oven temperature to start and/or get some steam into the oven at first.

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I'd like to ask some of the pros how they feel about baking choux in a regular vs. convection oven. I recently made Pichet Ong's choux recipe, and baked some in each type of oven.

The choux cooked in a regular oven kept a smoother contour, rose a little less, and were paler brown in the "stretch marks" that show up on the side of the puffs as they rise.

I had surmised that the puffs cooked in a convection oven might not do as well since the circulating air might dry out the top of the puff prematurely, before it had a chance to maximally rise. However, the batch baked in the convection oven rose a bit higher, but they seemed to expand out first from the perimeter of the puff, then the center rose, giving the final product a more "exploded"/irregular upper surface. The "stretch marks" on these puffs, however, baked as brown as the rest of the puffs.

What's everyone's preference for the best type of oven to use for choux?

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