One fateful day a few months ago, we walked into a newly opened French bakery around the corner from our house. It was fateful because the boys discovered gougères that had just come hot out of the oven.
If you’re not familiar, gougères are like savory cream puffs. Delicious little pastries with cheese and herbs mixed into the dough before baking. So now gougères are the bread of choice in the Hunter household. The boys like them in the morning with scrambled eggs, at lunch stuffed with turkey and cherry tomatoes, and at dinner as slider buns.
Like anything French, they’re not the easiest things in the world to make, at least not on your first try. But make them a few times and you’ll be as good as Gilles, the baker who’s responsible for our addiction and our weekly neighborhood walk to the bakery.
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1 cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1-1/2 cups grated cheese, like Gruyère, Cheddar or any other semi-hard cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Bring water, butter, and salt to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball, pulling away from sides of pan. Continue stirring until the dough is no longer sticky, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow dough to cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Using electric mixer, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until batter is smooth. Stir in cheese and pepper.
Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets, spaced 2 to 3 inches apart. Press down peaks of dough so they don’t burn.
Bake gougères until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a baking rack. Serve warm.
Makes 2 dozen
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