In the fall I did an internship with Tartine bakery in the Mission district (maybe you’ve heard of it?). While I mostly worked in the pie & tart shells station, occasionally I worked what’s called “the morning bake” shift. It starts at 4.30am (ick) and among the things being made are the gougeres. Tartine does many many things well, and gougeres are one of them. Today I’m gonna try to remember how it’s done. Gougeres are basically a cheese puff, made from pate choux, same dough that’s used for cream puffs and eclairs. Tartine kicks up the eggs and fat in the recipe, to get the most tender puff I’ve ever tasted.
Pate choux is a crazy dough, and a super fun one to make. You start by melting butter with milk and salt.
Once the butter melts and it’s about to boil, you throw in some flour. You (using a wooden spoon if you’re following the rules) beat the mixture in the pan with the heat on, making sure it doesn’t burn. You do that for a few minutes, basically until your arm gives up.
Once it’s time, you start beating the eggs in. If you’re feeling hard core you can do this in the pan, using the aforementioned wooden spoon. I prefer to do it in the kitchenaid mixer. I just run the mixer with the paddle attachment and beat the eggs in one by one, until it’s smooth and shiny.
Then I mixed in some cheese, fresh thyme & black pepper.
Then it’s off to the piping bag! At tartine the gougeres are these intimidatingly large bowling ball sized monsters (oh yes, and they’re good), but I’m gonna make little bite sized ones. A little egg wash and a sprinkle of cheese, to give them a nice crust.
And then I bake them until they puffed up and got all crispy.
Now that’s what I’m talking about.