Pate a Choux

"Pate a Choux (pronounced paht a shoo) is one of those pieces of kitchen magic. It is used to make an array of puffy pastries such as Eclairs and Profiteroles. A unique, double-cooked dough, Pate a Choux inflates to tremendous proportions when baked in a high temperature oven given the high ratio of eggs to flour. Surprisingly simple to execute, this recipe is worth knowing, if only for the "Wow" factor."
photo by Mark F. photo by Mark F.
photo by Mark F.
Ready In:
1000 grams


  • 1 12 cups water (360g)
  • 23 cup butter, cubed (150g)
  • 1 12 teaspoons sugar (9g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6g)
  • 2 14 cups bread flour (270g)
  • 6 eggs, large (300g)
  • 3 egg whites, large (90g)


  • Using a large pot, bring the Water, Butter, Sugar and Salt to a boil over high heat.
  • Chef's Note: It is important to cube the Butter into small pieces so that it melts completely before the Water comes to a full boil. If the Water boils too soon, there will be too much evaporation and the final dough will be too dry.
  • As soon as the Water reaches a boil, add the Bread Flour in a single addition. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture over medium-high heat until a homogeneous dough forms. Continue to actively stir the dough over the heat ("Dessecher") until it forms a ball that easily pulls away from the side of the pot - approximately two to three minutes.
  • Chef's Note: When adding the dry ingredients, stir aggressively - the dough should form quickly. Cooking the dough mixture for a couple of minutes causes the starches in the Bread Flour to gelatinize and also dries the dough.
  •  Transfer the dough to a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat the dough on medium speed for several minutes, releasing heat and steam. While the dough cools, beat the Eggs and Egg Yolks together in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Once the dough is no longer hot, add the Eggs in no fewer than six additions. After each addition, mix the dough until the Egg is completely incorporated. When all of the Eggs have been added, the dough should be slightly fluid (i.e. when a trench is drawn through the center of the dough, it should fill back in within a couple of seconds).
  • Chef's Note: It is important that the dough cools slightly before the Eggs are added or else the Eggs will cook. However, if the dough is too cold, the Eggs will not mix in well.
  • Form and bake the Pate a Choux according to the specific recipe. Most pastries made with Pate a Choux are baked in a high temperature oven (i.e. 400+ degrees Fahrenheit) for over 20 minutes.

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It's a timeless tale. A Vice President working at one of the top firms on Wall Street realizes he's wasted the better part of a decade slaving away at something he might be good at when he could have been doing something he loves. What does he do next? He quits his high paying job... starts a food blog... enrolls in culinary school... take a job with one of the most respected restaurant groups in New York City... and never looks back.
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