Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
for the pâte à choux:
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon|70 ml whole milk
5 ½ tablespoons|75 grams unsalted butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup|100 grams all-purpose flour
3-4 large eggs
for the béchamel:
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup|40 grams all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons|280 ml whole milk
4 ounces|125 grams shredded Comté
2 ounces|60 grams shredded mozzarella
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
for the gougères:
vegetable or canola oil, for frying
2 cups|100 grams panko breadcrumbs
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup|135 grams all-purpose flour
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
- Heat the oven to 375°F|190°C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Make the pâte à choux dough: Combine the milk, butter, sugar, and salt with ⅓ cup|75 grams water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the flour and, using a rubber spatula, stir vigorously until a dough comes together, 1 to 2 minutes. Cook, stirring, until a film starts to form at the bottom of the saucepan as the result of the dough sticking, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep going until the white film completely covers the bottom of the pan, which should take about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for about 5 minutes. TIP: When making pâte à choux, the amount of eggs needed will vary. The consistency of the dough dictates how many eggs should be added. Sometimes the dough dries out a bit more in the pan and can take on more eggs. With the mixer on low speed, paddle the dough to let off some heat and steam, and then begin to add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one. You’ll add 150 to 200 grams of eggs (3 to 4 eggs). The outside of the bowl should be hot to the touch, but bearable. To check, stick a spatula into the dough and lift it high above the bowl. The dough should fall slowly off the spatula in ribbons. It should feel thick, but fluid enough to pipe.
- Using a spatula, place two large scoops of the choux dough into a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip, filling it one-third full. Push the dough down toward the tip of the bag. Holding the piping bag at a 90-degree angle about ½ inch (1 ¼ cm) above the prepared sheet pan, pipe rounds of choux dough about 2 inches in diameter, spacing them out about 1 inch (3 ½ cm) apart. Refill the bag as necessary until you have used all the dough. Smooth and flatten the pointed tips of the rounds with your fingers.
- Bake the choux on the center rack, rotating the pan halfway through, until they’re golden brown, light to the touch, and hollow when broken open, about 35 minutes.
- Let the choux cool for a few minutes on the sheet pan, then gently remove them from the parchment. Set aside.
- Make the béchamel: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium. Add the flour and whisk until combined. Slowly add the milk while continuing to stir and bring to a simmer.
- Add the cheeses, stirring until melted and evenly combined. Stir in the pepper, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, and salt. (Optional: blend with immersion blender until smooth and no lumps appear.) Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes until warm.
- Transfer the béchamel to a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip (about ½-inch diameter). Pierce the tip into the bottom of a choux and fill with béchamel. Continue until all choux are filled.
- In a medium bowl, combine the panko with a dash of salt and pepper. Place the flour in another bowl, and in another separate bowl, beat the egg and yolk together.
- Fill a saucepan with frying oil and heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 356°F|180°C.
- One at a time, gently coat the gougères in flour, shaking off excess, then in the egg wash, then in the panko mixture, and finally into the oil. Fry until golden brown, about 2 ½ minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack fitted over a baking sheet and season with salt. Let cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!
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