This spring I binge watched The Great British Baking Show. The show inspired me and introduced me to new recipes I would have not tried otherwise. I have a whole new list of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood recipes to try. Having a whole day off for me is rare so I took the opportunity and made a few different recipes. The menu of the day was choux pastries and hand pies with raspberry compote and lemon curd, chocolate chip cookies and a lavender and honey cheesecake. Today I will share the recipe I used for the choux pastry and hand pies. The choux pastry and hand pies I filled with cooked down raspberries and sugar after putting them through a sieve and also the lemon curd. (recipe from the lemon tart I posted earlier) I decided to fill my car with the goodies and take them to work to share. I’ve learned over the years that nurses don’t hate snacks.
You will need
- 2/3cup plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 ounces (60 g) butter
- 2/3cup water
- 2 eggs, beaten
Choux pastry – step-by-step
- Fold a large piece of greaseproof paper in half. Unfold it again and lay it out flat. Sift the flour and salt together onto the paper.
2.Put the butter and water into a heavy-based pan. Heat gently, stirring all the time, until the butter has melted. Turn up the heat and bring to a full, rolling boil.
3. Turn down the heat. Form the folded greaseproof paper into a chute, and tip the flour and salt very quickly into the pan. Start beating the mixture vigorously at once with a wooden spoon. Continue until the flour has been absorbed.
- Return the pan to a gentle heat and continue beating the mixture for about a minute until it forms a smooth dough which comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat.
5.Let the dough cool for a few minutes until you can comfortably hold your hand against the sides of the pan.
6. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, beating thoroughly with a wooden spoon after each addition.
- Continue beating until the dough is smooth and glossy. The eggs can be beaten into the dough with an electric beater — first tip the dough into a large mixing bowl.
8. Cover the pan or mixing bowl and leave it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
9. Once the eclairs or puffs have been piped out, bake in an oven preheated to 425° Do not open the oven door during baking.
10. Bake until perfectly crisp and dry – usually 15-20 minutes.
11. Remove from the oven and make a small slit in the side of the puffs or eclairs to let the steam out. Return to the oven for 5 minutes to dry out.
Piping Eclairs – step-by-step
- Fit a piping bag with a 2/3inch (15 mm) plain nozzle.
2. Hold the bag in one hand a little over halfway up. Fold the top of the bag down over your hand and spread out your fingers to open up the bag.
3. Fill the piping bag tightly with choux pastry.
4. Fold the top of the bag back up, then twist it, forcing the pastry down until it is just about to come out of the end of the nozzle.
5. Grasping the bag so that it is pinched closed just above the pastry, squeeze it until the required length of choux pastry has been forced out onto a baking tray – greased or lined with greaseproof or non-stick baking paper.
6. With a wet knife held against the nozzle, cut off the length of pastry, lifting the nozzle as you cut.
7. Give the bag a twist to maintain the pressure on the pastry. Leaving a 2 inch (5 cm) space between the eclairs to allow for expansion during cooking, pipe out another length of pastry.
Shaping choux puffs
- Drop spoonfuls of pastry onto a baking tray. Use a teaspoon for puffs intended to be 1-2 inches (2.5-4 cm) in diameter. Use a dessertspoon for larger puffs.
2.Puffs can also be piped onto the baking tray. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 2/3 inch (15 mm) plain nozzle. Holding the bag vertically over the tray, squeeze out a mound of pastry then cut it off with a wet knife. To make small puffs, each mound should be the size of a walnut; to make large puffs, each mound should be the size of a plum. (mine were a little smaller then plums.)
- For the Dough:
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp table salt
- 1 cup salted butter, diced and chilled
- ½ cup very cold ice water
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp water (egg wash)
- coarse sugar for sprinkling (I made a thin glaze and dipped top of the hand pie)
- Make the Dough: In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the diced cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with small chunks of butter still visible. One tablespoon at a time, add ice water to mixture until it holds together. It should stick together when pinched but not feel sticky. Work dough sparingly with cold fingers or pastry cutter, but do not overwork dough. Form 2 dough balls, wrap in plastic, and chill at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400F, with rack on middle position. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out one of the chilled dough balls, to ⅛ inch thick, on lightly floured surface. Use a 5-6 inch diameter bowl rim to cut out circles. Re-roll dough as needed to get as many circles out of it as you can.
- Place 2 TB filling in center of each circle. Moisten edges with water, fold dough over, and seal tightly. Use fork to crimp edges. Cut slits on top of each one, and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Repeat with remaining dough ball and filling.
- Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool on wire rack.
Giving original recipe credit to: chewoutload.com & delishably.com