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Old 01-16-2009, 09:30 AM   #11
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Spent all night making eclairs... and they collapsed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E View Post
I concur with others. I think part of the problem was putting the tray on the bottom rack. That's just too close to the heating element.
Thanks for all the feedback, I got much further but am still coming up short.

Just when I thought I nailed this patte a choux, I turn over my eclairs to find that they deflated from the *underside*, so that I didn't even notice until I had already gone through the trouble of making the filling.
What's the trick? I have read multiple recipes with a whole variety of oven temperatures.



I've seen some that say to leave the oven door open after 5 minutes, others say after 20 minutes. I can't tell if the inside of mine are under cooked after 25 minutes of cooking, or if the steam didn't get a chance to escape and therefore the dough became mushy inside.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mryummy View Post
Ok so I went through the trouble of making pate a choux last night. I used a pastry bag to lay out small ball sized shapes onto a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.


About 10 minutes into the baking (at ~410 degrees) the parchment paper started burn, specifically the portion that extended past the edge of the tray and touched up against the inside wall of the oven.


I took out the tray and sniped it off with a scissor, and placed it back in. However a few minutes later I noticed that the underside of the pastries were now dark brown and burning, while the tops were still white. Somehow the parchment paper or the bottom of the pate a choux was burning.


The tray was on the bottom rack in the oven, and I did apply egg wash to all the pastries, perhaps a bit too much that may have dripped down the sides of each pastry and settled around its underside.


The other thing I forgot to do was add 1/2 cup of water to the batter/paste. I only used 1/2 cup of milk. I'm not sure if that means that they dried out too much, but the paste was silky when I applied it, so I would be surprised if that was the answer.


The recipe called to line the tray with either parchment paper or buttered wax paper. What is the story here? Why would parchment paper burn, and would I have better luck with wax paper? Forgive my ignorance, but wouldn't the wax melt and get all over the pastries? And wouldn't it eventually burn too?
First off, pate a choux is nothing more than water, butter, flour & eggs, with a pinch of salt.
I don't know your recipe that adds milk and an egg wash.
I've never heard of resting in the oven for any amount of time after they are done.
You just remove them and pierce them to let the steam escape.
As far as oven temps; 10 minutes @ 425, then 10 more minutes @ 325/350, depending on how big you've made them. Oh, and they shouldn't be brown.
They are very easy and so many things can be made with them as a base.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:53 PM   #13
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Choux pastry should be baked on a tray that has been run under a cold tap and then the pastry placed in spoonfuls/piped onto this. Also, it is worth making with strong flour/bread flour as the gluten potential is higher.

Hope this helps,
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:24 AM   #14
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Parchment cannot overhang your baking stone or sheet pan or it will burn and smell terrible.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:40 PM   #15
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choux pastry points

hello, i'm fairly new to this discussion board but i have made this many times and just wanted to assist mryummy.

Quote:
As far as oven temps; 10 minutes @ 425, then 10 more minutes @ 325/350, depending on how big you've made them.
i think that this is a good oven setting, adjusting with your oven's idiosyncrasies.

Quote:
I don't know your recipe that adds milk...
milk gives choux pastry a more tender shell leading to deflated puffs if you don't make it correctly, which is why many recipes use all water instead of milk. more water means a crisper shell, and a higher success rate of not collapsing over a period of time. i've used various combination of milk and water and have even made full milk recipes. so a whole milk choux pastry recipe is possible, just not always desirable.

Quote:
it is worth making with strong flour/bread flour as the gluten potential is higher
you actually don't want the gluten ummm...overly stimulated (?) as you want a delicate pastry and not a chewy bread texture. plus i would think that the gluten might inhibit the puffing of your pastry. you don't want the batter kneaded but i've found that beating/incorporating air into the batter assists with getting your puffs to pouf.

there's a discussion on the King Arthur Flour blog about a batter that is very similar to choux pastry, popovers (aka Yorkshire pudding). same basic ingredients with different proportions: eggs, milk/water, flour and butter. both also have cavernous interiors risen by the power of steam. information is very relavent to the food science of choux pastry.

just wanted to contribute my 2 cents and not step on any toes. hope the info helps
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mryummy View Post
Ok so I went through the trouble of making pate a choux last night. I used a pastry bag to lay out small ball sized shapes onto a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.


About 10 minutes into the baking (at ~410 degrees) the parchment paper started burn, specifically the portion that extended past the edge of the tray and touched up against the inside wall of the oven.


I took out the tray and sniped it off with a scissor, and placed it back in. However a few minutes later I noticed that the underside of the pastries were now dark brown and burning, while the tops were still white. Somehow the parchment paper or the bottom of the pate a choux was burning.


The tray was on the bottom rack in the oven, and I did apply egg wash to all the pastries, perhaps a bit too much that may have dripped down the sides of each pastry and settled around its underside.


The other thing I forgot to do was add 1/2 cup of water to the batter/paste. I only used 1/2 cup of milk. I'm not sure if that means that they dried out too much, but the paste was silky when I applied it, so I would be surprised if that was the answer.


The recipe called to line the tray with either parchment paper or buttered wax paper. What is the story here? Why would parchment paper burn, and would I have better luck with wax paper? Forgive my ignorance, but wouldn't the wax melt and get all over the pastries? And wouldn't it eventually burn too?
I just used parchment paper last week when I made biscotti. It says to cut it to fit within the size of the pan...not to allow it to hang over the edge or touch oven walls or racks.

Reynolds Parchment Paper: The Basics: Frequently Asked Questions
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