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(Makes 10 – 12 éclair shapes)
Lightly grease a large baking tray sprinkle with water.
Put the rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat to 220 degrees. The oven needs to be at temperature when the choux goes in.
Sift and weigh the flour and and place handy to the stove.
Combine water, butter and salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan and place it over medium heat.
Stir until the butter is melted completely, then bring to a rapid boil.
Once the melted allow the butter and water mix to come to a boil
Add all the flour at once and beat with a wooden spoon over the heat turned to medium.
Beat until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the pot.
Once you have a ball keep cooking and stirring for 1 minute(time it) until a film develops on the base of the pan.
Allow the dough to cool for 5 minutes.
Mix the eggs with a folk to break them up.
Add the eggs bit by bit until the dough is stiff enough to make soft peaks. (you may not need all the egg).
Fill a large pastry bag with a 1cm piping nozzle or use wet teaspoons spoons if you are doing free form.
Bake choux pastry in a preheated 220 for 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 180 and cook a further 20 minutes.
Remove from the tray and make a hole with the point of a knife in the side or base of the pastry. This lets out the steam and allows easy piping later.
Cool completely on a cake rack( these can be made ahead and stored for two days or frozen)
Sift the flour before measuring sifting allows the liquid to incorporate more easily into the pastry.
Some recipes have sugar in this adds flavour and makes the pastry brown more quickly.
Eggs need to be at room temperature.
Eggs need to be incorporated until the dough is stiff enough to hold a peak when the spoon is removed.
Salt in the recipe keeps the choux from cracking.
Oven needs to be at temperature before the choux go in the oven.
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