Gougeres, or French cheese puffs, start with a basic pate a choux dough that bakes into wonderfully light puffs that are given their flavor with a bold cheese – like Swiss or Gruyere – and black pepper.
Don’t let the fancy terms scare you away, because pate a choux is a lovely dough that is incredibly simple to make and it comes together so well in the bowl. While this dough is most often used in a sweet recipes like cream puffs, mixing a strong cheese into the batter yields a delicious side that can take the place of any other dinner bread.
Pate a choux dough begins on the stovetop where butter, a combo of milk and water, salt, and pepper are brought to a boil. Flour is dumped in and stirred together until an elastic dough is formed and a dry film becomes visible on the bottom and sides of the pan.
Then everything gets transferred to a mixing bowl and is given time to cool so that eggs can be added along with the cheese. Finally, mounds are piped onto a parchment-lined pan and then bake until poofy, hollow, cheesy puffs are formed.
Don’t be afraid to try pate a choux dough! Once you realize how easy it is and how tasty the result, you’ll want to start churning out gougeres and profiteroles on the regular. Enjoy!
|Savory French Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)|| |
- 4 TBS unsalted butter
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off
- 2 large eggs
- 3 oz grated cheese - Gruyere, Swiss, or Comte
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 400F
- In a small pot, add the butter, milk, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and then add all of the flour, stir with wooden spoon to combine. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the dough comes together and begins to dry out just a little, about 1-2 minutes. The dough ball will come together nicely and be a little bit elastic when you stir it. You will notice a dry film starting to form on the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and give it a stir occasionally to allow the steam to escape. When the dough has cooled to being warm to the touch, add the eggs one at a time, combining well after each one. Mix in the cheese.
- Scoop dough into a big Ziploc bag or piping bag with the corner cut off or fitted with a large round tip. Pipe 1-2 inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each one. If desired, wet clean fingers and smooth off the top of the domes, but don't squish them down.
- Bake for about 5 minutes at 425 and then lower the heat to 350 and continue baking 15-20 minutes more until the puffs are golden brown and have dried out. They will sound hollow if you tap them.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
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