Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Fifty-Two!

The Perfect Cream Puff, aka Choux Pastry!

Choux is actually a light pastry dough that contains only butter, water, flour, and eggs.  And instead of utlizing a more popular rising agent (baking soda or baking powder) this pastry form employs a high moisture content to create steam during the cooking which puffs the pastry.

You will want to cook the dough long enough to allow the flour particles to swell and to evaporate as much of the moisture as possible.  The drier your dough, the more egg it will be able to absorb and the more puffed the final product will be.  For maximum puffiness, beat each egg vigorously to incorporate lots of air into the dough.  Bake the puffs until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, then reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake another 10-15 minutes to dry out the shells.   Then, puncture the shells with a knife to release any residual steam (which will help you avoid sogginess).

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