Making Choux Pastry Is Easy

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Choux-pastry_cThis is quite unlike the other pastries and made by a totally different method. It is important to measure the ingredients very accurately. It contains a high proportion of egg which enriches the mixture and binds it. Thorough beating incorporates a great deal of air which is essential in order that the cooked pastry will be light, airy and crisp. Plain flour is essential as a high gluten content is required.

This gluten is strengthened by beating and by the liquid which is added. A hot oven is necessary for baking to turn the liquid to steam. The steam forces up the elastic gluten expanding the existing air pockets to form the structure of the pastry. Continued cooking in a moderately hot oven cooks the mixture through.



Useful hints

Choux Pastry

1. Pre-heat the oven so that the correct temperature is reached before the pastry goes into it A hot oven (220°C, 425°F, Gas No.7) is needed for initial 15 minutes cooking.

2. Weigh the flour and measure the water very accurately. Always use the size of eggs stated.

3. Bring the Stork and water to the boil over a moderate heat but remove immediately it boils before water starts to evaporate.

4. Immediately beat in the flour, return to heat and beat very thoroughly for 2-3 minutes until mixture leaves the sides of the pan clean.

5. Cool mixture slightly before adding eggs, or mixture will curdle.

6. Take care not to open the oven door during the first 15 minutes of the cooking time while the structure of the pastry is forming.

7. Choux pastry when cooked should feel crisp all over. To test tap base with fingernail - it should sound hollow.

8. A small hole can be made in eclairs, choux buns, etc immediately on removal from the oven to allow air to escape. When cold, pipe the cream through the hole.

9. Choux Pastry should be eaten on the day of making, unless to be frozen.

10. The easiest way to put the chocolate coating on eclairs is to place the chocolate mixture in a shallow container, invert filled eclairs and dip in chocolate.

 

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