- 1 cup milk, whole or reduced-fat
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 or 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 ounces French or Swiss Gruyère cheese, diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces
- Milk, for brushing
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 1 hr
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
Combine the milk, butter, salt, and pepper in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the liquid absorbs the flour. Return the pan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Transfer the dough to a bowl, leaving behind any that sticks to the pan. Let cool 5 minutes. (This is a good time to dice the cheese if you haven’t already done so.)
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the dough until each egg is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next. Four eggs should be enough to make a moist, glossy dough; if not, work in the fifth egg.
Stir the cheese cubes into the dough. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, or use a pastry bag with a plain tip to make 2-inch domes.
Smooth the tops with a brush dipped in milk. Bake until the puffs are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, 25 to 35 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Good to know
A gougère is a traditional Burgundian savory pastry made with Swiss-style cheese, baked in a large ring shape. Individual puffs are easier both to bake and to serve.
Which beer should I drink with this?
Try these as an appetizer with a hoppy pale ale.
1. Congratulations! You have just learned to make pâteà choux, the classic French dough used for cream puffs and éclairs. Based on trials with other cheeses, including cheddar types and aged Asiago, I think it’s best to stick with Gruyère and other dense Swiss types; other cheeses seem to melt too fast, running out before the puffs are set.
2. Salt: All of the recipes in this book were developed with kosher salt, specifically the Diamond Crystal brand in the red box, because I prefer its flavor to that of the typical granulated table salt sold in cylindrical boxes. If you use granulated salt, bear in mind that teaspoon for teaspoon, cup for cup, it contains twice as much salt as kosher salt — not because of the differences in chemical makeup, but because of the large, flaky shape of the kosher salt crystals. There's simply more empty space in a spoonful of the latter than the former. (Try it for yourself if you have an accurate scale; weigh an equal volume of each, say 1/4 to 1/3 cup.) If you use granulated salt in recipes that call for measured amounts, start with half as much as is called for in the recipe and adjust to taste. I have never found sea salt to be worth the extra cost, but if you use it, you will need to figure out the ratio for the brand you use.
The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook
From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.