Perfecting Choux Pastry – The Starting Recipe

So the time has come to start baking choux, choux and more choux. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on, and collating recipes. As promised, there’s a spreadsheet covering all the recipes I felt were likely to be good…

Choux SpreadsheetI kept the quantity of egg constant (calling ‘4 eggs’ 240 grams) and then worked out the relative quantities of everything else. The recipes cover variants in flour type, milk v water and the amount of butter, as well as temperature. Now, I would imagine that in tweaking one variable, you would tweak other variables in response. For example, bread flour being higher in protein could absorb more liquid, so it might be the case that you increased liquid if using it.

Now for an attempt at some analysis and theorising before I go into some proper research. I’ve arranged the recipes by flour type, from least to most strong:

Cake flour: 8%

Plain flour (British): 9.5% – 11%

AP flour (USA): 10-12%

Bread flour: 14-16%

I’m rating Chef Eddy’s mix as half way between bread and cake, ie around about AP level. I arranged the recipes by quantity of flour within groups. Ordered this way, with the ratios of flour/liquid/butter, a popular ratio emerges even despite the flour types of roughly 100g flour (whatever type, somewhat surprisingly), 180g liquid and a more varied amount of butter, ranging from 48g to 100g. The last choice is – how much butter? I’m going to start with lots of butter because, frankly, I like butter and I have no other better basis on which to decide. My recipe has a 100:180:80 ratio.

So that’s the starting recipe for all testing, to which tweaks will be made. Working with 240g egg:

  • 125g flour
  • 240g egg
  • 225ml liquid
  • 100g butter
  • 5g salt
  • 5g sugar

Looks like a buttery version of Bertinet’s, and that can only be a good thing.