Some recipes substitute water with milk, or half-water, half-milk. Milk creates a "darker looking" baked product and has a stronger taste. I like to use a mixture of bread flour (high gluten flour) and cake flour (low gluten flour), however, using plain flour alone is fine.
Don't be intimated by the making of the choux pastry - it is easy. Once you have mastered this basic recipe, you can make cream puffs and éclairs with ease. Experiment with different flavoured fillings and they are bound to be a hit at parties and gatherings.
The recipe I am sharing today is from a book I picked up the library, <<我爱泡芙>> by Ilda, Junko, translated by Xu, Qianpei. An easy read with plenty of pictures for step by step reference. I strongly recommend this to beginners of choux pastry.
(makes 10-12 round puffs)
100g water (You can replace with milk as explained above)
30g bread flour
30g plain flour
40g unsalted butter
1. In a saucepan, mix water, butter, sugar, salt together and bring to a boil.
2. Remove pan from fire and add in flours, mixing well till a wet dough forms. Bring pan over small fire and cook till dough is sticky, or when you notice that a thin film of dough sticks to the bottom of the pan. Do not burn the dough.
3. Beat 2 eggs. Remove from fire and add in egg gradually. The dough will come apart once you add the egg but keep mixing till egg is incorporated into batter. Continue till a thick sticky dough forms. You are unlikely to use finish 2 eggs, I had about 1.5 tbsp left over which I used to coat the puffs before baking.
4. Using a piping bag, pipe batter into small circles. Bake in preheated oven of 210 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Once they are dry to touch and golden brown, they are ready
If you feel like you need a visual reference on how to make this, refer to joyofbaking.
Upon cutting open the puffs, if you find that there are some wet dough, remove them before piping in the filling
You can pipe the batter in any shape you want, long tubes for éclairs or circular domes for cream puffs
For filling, you can use either freshly whipped cream or custard. For homemade custard recipe, refer here.
I am submitting my post to Cook-Your-Books #9 organised by Joyce of Kitchen flavours.