Basic Pate a Choux

• • • • • 1 cup water 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup all-purpose flour 4 large eggs, at room temperature

Instructions: In a heavy, medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water (milk in some recipes), butter and salt to a gentle boil, stirring to melt the butter completely. Step 1: As soon as the liquid comes to a gentle boil, add the flour, all at once. Step 2: Mix the flour in quickly and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until all of it is incorporated. The dough willpull away from the sides of the pan and become a ball. Reduce heat to low; continue stirring for 1 or 2 minutes until a thin film develops on the bottom and sides of the pan. You want the dough to be as dry as possible. Move dough to a mixing bowl and mix for several seconds to moderately cool it. (Now is when you would add additional dry ingredients, if any.) Step 3: With the mixer on low speed, add one egg. Step 4: Thoroughly incorporate the egg; scrape bowl well before adding the next one. Repeat with remaining eggs. Step 5: The mixture should be thick, smooth and shiny. The dough is now ready to be used to make profiteroles, gougere, gnocchi or beignets. Step 6: After the dough is piped into mounds for profiteroles and gougeres, use your fingertip, first dipped in cool water, to smooth down the tips. Pipe one row, then smooth down the tips before piping the next row. (Tips are more difficult to smooth if dry.)