Choux pastries are French pastries often filled with cream-based fillings.

Choux Pastry

Also known as pȃte à choux


What is Choux Pastry?

Choux pastry, also known as pȃte à choux, is a twice-cooked hollow French pastry. It’s made from choux paste and is typically eaten cold. A sweet version is normally filled with cream and garnished while a savory version can be filled with shellfish, vegetables, cream cheese and foie gras to be served as hors d’oeuvres.

Choux pastry dough can be used to make eclairs, buns, cream puffs, profiteroles, crullers, beignets, churros, funnel cakes and many other shapes.

Origin

Pantanelli, the head chef of Catherine de Medici of Florence, invented choux pastry after moving to  France in 1540. That pastry named after him was, essentially, a hot dried paste with which he made gateaux and pastries which spread across France. Its irregular shape after baking earned it the name ‘choux’ (French for cabbage). Further refinement and perfection were introduced in the 19th Century by Antoine Careme.

How does it work?

Unlike short crust, flaky or puff pastry, choux pastry dough is made from water and flour which is further enriched and lightened through the incorporation of eggs while beating the paste.

Baking results in a crisp shell with a thin, moist lining of cooked paste and a hollow centre. There is no leavening agent in choux pastry. Instead, these pastries rely on the steam produced during baking to puff up and form the  hollow center.

Choux pastry can be shaped prior to baking to make a variety of products.

Typical choux pastry formula includes:2,3

Ingredient Baker’s %
Pastry flour (9.0–11.0% protein) 100.0
Liquid whole eggs 140.0–170.0
Water 75.0–90.0
Whole milk 75.0–90.0
Butter 75.0–80.0
Sugar (refined, granulated sucrose) 0.0–4.0
Salt 1.5–3.0

Processing steps (paste cooking):

  • Bring the milk, water, sugar, salt and butter to a boil, stir to combine.
  • Remove from heat source, add the flour and continue stirring.
  • Heat the mix again while stirring till the mixture becomes a cohesive mass and clears the side of the pot.
  • Transfer the mix to a mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mix reaches a temperature of around 43–60°C then add ¾ of the eggs gradually until fully incorporated.
  • Add the remainder of the eggs until the desired consistency (viscosity) is reached. The paste should be...

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