In the last few weeks I stumbled upon and joined this fab group called #BreadBakers. #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. Participants take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month’s event is hosted by Holly from A Baker’s House. Thanks Holly! I’m looking forward to participating; I thought it would be a great way to engage my more recent interest in experimenting with breads.
Well, this month’s theme is Thanksgiving Dinner.
I was trying to think of something simple and delicious that is different than your typical bread basket fare. Did I ever mention that two Thanksgivings ago I was up until 4am baking 3 dozen brioche rolls? I don’t even think 6 were eaten. Madness.
Gougères are a pretty versatile sort of thing. Are they a bread? A pastry? Not too sure. I do know that they are DELICIOUS though. And that SMELL. That smell will drive you mad. There I was dancing in front of the oven for 40 minutes. Are they done yet? ARE THEY DONE YET?!?!?
While you certainly can add these to your bread basket to take it up a notch, I envision serving them with a glass of wine while everyone is getting hangry and picking at the turkey as it rests on the counter. They are light enough to serve as a nibble without filling you up before dinner is served.
And they really couldn’t be easier. Essentially Gougères are Pâte à Choux with cheese added to them.
Here is how I made them:
For the dough:
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons butter (preferably unsalted)
- a pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup sifted, spooned, and leveled flour
- 3 large eggs, beaten, with 1 tbs of the egg mixture reserved (I actually sieved my eggs for optimum result)
- 1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
Pre-heat your oven to 350, with your rack in the center.
Combine your milk, butter, and salt in a smallish saucepan, and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
As soon as your milk boils, immediately remove it from the heat and add in your flour in one fell swoop, stirring it with a wooden spoon. While increasing your heat to medium high, return your pot to the heat and continue to stir until your dough pulls away from the saucepan, and then for about another 20 seconds to dry it out.
Add your dough to either a food processor, or a KitchenAid, and give it a spin for 5 seconds to cool it down a smidge.
Side note. The first time I made Pâte à Choux, I did not have a food processor, so I made it in my KitchenAid stand mixer. I stood over the bowl, worrying about how broken the dough looked as I added my eggs. You’ve seen Munch’s “The Scream”, right? Yeah, that was me. If you use a stand mixer, don’t worry. It will come together — it just takes a little longer than with a food processor.
Now that you have pulsed your dough for 5 seconds to cool it down, you will want to add in your eggs, and process the mixture until it is combined and smooth. Add your cheese, and again process until your mixture is smooth.
Spoon your mixture into a pastry bag with either a #12 Wilton piping tip, or an Ateco 3/8″ tip; they are about the same size. I actually use ziploc bags, rather than pastry bags for fast and easy jobs like this one.
On a parchment-lined baking sheet, make rounds of the dough that are somewhere between the size of a golf ball and a chicken egg. My recipe yielded 18 gougères. You’ll want to space the dough rounds about an inch apart.
Once you have piped out your gougères, brush the tops with the remaining egg wash, making sure that any little peaks are smoothed down. Since I always like to go the extra mile, I sprinkled on a little extra shredded Gruyere on top, with a scant sprinkling of Maldon sea salt as well. The sea salt gives it a little extra kick, so I highly recommend it, although it isn’t necessary.
Bake your gougères for 40 minutes, and then open your oven to vent and dry your gougères for another 10 minutes.
And now? Good luck not scarfing these down. I would be lying if I said that my husband and I didn’t eat a third of these after I photo’d them, these lovely golden rounds of cheesy, savory goodness!
Well, if you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meanwhile, feel free to check out some of the other blogger’s entries for this month’s #BreadBakers:
- Brown Butter Sage Biscuits by Sophia at Sweet Cinnamon & Honey
- Butterflake Rolls by Anshie at Spice Roots
- Buttermilk Rolls by Renee at Magnolia Days
- Cast Iron Parker House Rolls by Veronica at My Catholic Kitchen
- Cheese & Mustard Pull Apart Bread by Laura at Baking in Pyjamas
- Classic Anise Dinner Rolls by Kathya at Basic N Delicious
- Crusty French Bread Rolls by Robin at A Shaggy Dough Story
- No Knead Dinner Rolls by Heather at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Parker House Rolls by Tara at Noshing With The Nolands
- Parmesan Garlic Knots by Lauren at From Gate to Plate
- Pumpkin and Rosemary Bread by Rocío at kids&chic
- Pumpkin Pani Popo by Kelly at Passion Kneaded
- Pumpkin, Sage & Cheddar Pull Apart Rolls by Mireille at Chef Mireille’s East West Realm
- Overnight Rosemary Rolls by Holly at A Baker’s House
- Soft and Tender Dinner Rolls by Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Sourdough Cornbread Rolls with Sage by Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Sweet Potato Rolls by Cindy at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Tomato Herb Loaves by Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Zopf – Braided Swiss Milk Bread by Carola at En la Cocina de Caro