Pate a Choux (Cream Puff Pastry)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 mins

Basic dough from which you can make cream puffs, profiteroles, eclairs, cream puff swans or any manner of other desserts.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place a bowl on your mixer and fit the paddle attachment to it.
  2. Put your eggs next to the mixer.
  3. Mix the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a 2-quart saucepan.
  4. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  5. Stirring constantly, add the flour all at once, and stir quickly and without stopping until the flour is thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Then continue to cook and stir for another 45 seconds, or until the dough comes into a ball and a light film of paste coats the bottom of the pan.
  7. Immediately scrape the dough into the bowl of your mixer, and turn the mixer on low speed.
  8. Let it mix for a minute or two – the first few turns of the paddle will put up a cloud of steam.
  9. That’s fine.
  10. Just let it mix until no more steam is coming off the dough.
  11. Then add the first egg, letting it mix in fully before adding the next one.
  12. Keep the mixer on low speed – you don’t want to incorporate too much air into the paste.
  13. Scrape down the bowl every 2nd egg just to make sure everything is mixing together.
  14. Before adding the 6th egg, stop the mixer and check the consistency of the dough.
  15. You will know it is perfect if, when you lift the paddle, it pulls the dough with it, then the dough breaks away and forms a peak that slowly bends down.
  16. If the dough is too thick and doesn’t form that peak, add the last egg.
  17. The dough is now ready to be used to make éclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, or any other recipe calling for choux paste.
  18. It should be used immediately.
  19. NOTES FOR MAKING CHOUX PASTE SUCCESSFULLY: The liquid must be heated to a full boil.
  20. Add the flour all at once and stir madly until every last speck of flour is incorporated, then keep cooking and stirring some more – it’s this last bit of cooking that will take the raw taste out of the flour; you’ll know you are ready to quit when the dough forms a ball around your wooden spoon and the bottom of the pan is covered with a light film of paste.
  21. Stop mixing when you still have one egg left to add and inspect the dough.
  22. Depending on the condition of the flour, the room, or the moods of the pastry gods, the dough may or may not need the last egg.
  23. The dough is finished when you lift the paddle and it pulls up some dough that then detaches and forms a slowly bending peak – if you don’t get a peak, add another egg.
  24. And relax.
  25. Even if you can’t decide what to do, add the egg – you will still get a good puff.
  26. Use the paste while it is warm.
  27. It cannot be kept.
  28. Unfilled puffs or éclairs can be well wrapped and frozen for a few weeks.


Most Helpful

This recipe is absolutely EXCELLENT! i've been trying to make choux pastry since forever and have tried so many recipes but they never turned out right. but this recipe gave perfect pastry and also made it so much easier to make choux pastry whenever i want! THANK YOU!!

Amna July 24, 2003

The vernacular of this recipe sounds just like Julia Child! Regardless, it's a great one. I was daunted by the length of the instructions list, but it was actually just as simple as making bread dough except that it called for more vigilance. I used the recipe to make beignets, halved it, and used the minimum number of eggs. I had no problems halving the recipe, but next time I'd still use one less egg than the minimum.

(Beignets= New Orlean's answer to the doughnut. Just make this dough, fry it, and drown it in powdered sugar. Voila! Heart attack on a plate, but such a wonderful, wonderful heart attack)

melilia September 28, 2010

This was my first time attempting Pate Choux, and I have to say that it turned out perfectly! Not only was it easy to make cream puffs with these, but they came out reminding me of the simple, never-too-sweet Pate Choux I ate in France. We served them with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, homemade whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. Truly decadent! Thanks for making me seem like a much more experienced pastry chef than I actually am.

Cookie McCookerpants April 25, 2010

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