Gluten Free Pate a Choux Recipe
If there is one thing I want people to take away after visiting this site, it is that fabulous gluten-free food is not just possible, it can be an everyday reality.
I was making my gluten-free cream puffs with a friend, Ashley, the other day. Ashley is a trained pastry chef who actually worked for Wolfgang Puck at Spago. To say I was a little intimidated is an understatement. I am not a pastry chef. I never went to culinary school. I only took one semester of Home-Ec in high school and to be honest I don’t think I earned a very good grade. Everything I know about cooking and baking I have learned by trial and error; real life education, having to feed myself and my family. But does that make my knowledge any less valuable? I don’t think so and I guess neither does Ashley as she told me that my cream puffs were the best she had tasted, gluten-free or not! And I have to agree. Something about the lack of gluten makes the pastry for cream puffs so light and ethereal.
Cooking and baking well (gluten-free or not) is all about learning a few basics, recipes that can be mastered and used in a variety of ways. Pate a choux is a baking basic, it is the base for cream puffs, éclairs and all sorts of other treats, sweet or savory.
Here is a step by step of how to do it.
Note that for the flour you can use a pastry quality gluten-free flour blend or even just sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour).
Dairy free? No problem, here is a recipe for gluten and dairy free cream puffs. The basics for the dough are the same.
Keep stirring over the heat until the ingredients come together in a thick dough, it will take about a minute or two.
Put the dough into a mixer (or use a handheld mixer) and mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds until the dough cools a little.
Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Mix on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes a thick, sticky cohesive dough, two to three minutes after the last egg is added.
Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats (preferred) or parchment paper. You can pipe the dough into mounds or logs if you are good at piping. I am not good at piping so I use ice cream scoops. Select a size of ice cream scoop that fits your needs, big for individual desserts, smaller for bite sized.
Dip the ice cream scoop in water and scoop out the dough spacing about 1 inch or so apart.
Bake in a pre-heated oven (425 degrees) for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and cook another 30 -35 depending on the size. They should be risen and golden brown. Turn off the oven and let them sit in the oven for another 20 minutes. They should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom and feel light.
Pierce the side of each puff with a sharp knife to let any steam out. Let cool on a wire rack.
Pate choux is such a versatile recipe, you can add finely grated cheese into the dough before baking for cheese puffs, split and fill with pastry cream for cream puffs, fill with ice cream and top with chocolate sauce for profiteroles. They can also be served with some jam for breakfast or a savory filling for appetizers; the possibilities are almost endless.
Gluten Free Pate a Choux Recipe
1 cup water
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 pinch kosher or fine sea salt
1 cup pastry quality gluten-free flour or sweet rice flour
4 large eggs
Assemble ingredients before starting. Break the eggs into a liquid measuring cup or spouted pitcher. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
Place the water, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a thick dough. Continue to cook while stirring for about 1 minute.
Dump the dough into the bowl of an electric mixer preferably fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to cool the dough slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. After all the eggs have been added continue to mix, increasing the speed to medium-high, until the dough is smooth, thick and shiny, about 2 or 3 minutes.
Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in mounds or logs or use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. If piping, moisten a finger with water and res down the peaks so they don’t burn.
Bake for 10 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 350 and bake for another 30 – 35 minutes depending on the size, or until the dough has risen and is golden brown and the cream puff has a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Turn off the oven and leave the puffs in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and pierce the side of each puff with a sharp knife to let the steam escape. Let cool.
This Gluten Free Pate a Choux recipe makes 24 (1-inch) cream puffs
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