Pate a Choux

This is a recipe for the dough used to make profiteroles, cream puffs, and eclairs. We are going to make profiteroles for our mushroom puffs. It is simple and quick to make.

6 oz. water or milk
2 oz. butter
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. sugar
1/8 t. black pepper (omit if you are making cream puffs or eclairs)
100 g. AP flour
4 eggs

Carefully measure all ingredients.

Combine the water or milk with the butter, salt, sugar, and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Dump the flour into the pot all at once, then immediately stir with a wooden spoon to combine.

The dough will very quickly thicken into a firm mass that pulls away from the sides of the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook, stirring, for about one minute. Remove from the heat, and stir to cool slightly.

Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring to incorporate completely before adding the next.

The dough will break into clumps when the eggs are stirred in, then come back together.

When all four eggs are incorporated, the dough will develop a smooth, shiny surface. Next is time to pipe the dough onto a cooking sheet and bake.

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David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.

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