I love bread, especially a warm baguette straight out of the oven dipped in some flavorful extra virgin olive oil or when I want to splurge some creamy butter spread across a slice! There’s nothing like homemade bread. It’s flavorful and only requires four ingredients. However, if you are short on time it’s not the most ideal recipe to make.
When I don’t have the extra time yet crave some bread on the side for dinner, my go to is to make some gougères for our family. Sure, it’s not an equal swap for bread, but it is a great alternative that does the trick and can be flavored in so many ways.
Gougères are made from the classical French pastry dough, choux pastry, also known as pâte à choux. This dough is used to make an array of desserts including éclairs, cream puffs, and profiteroles to name a few, but can also be used to make savory pastries.
Gougères are quite delightful. You bite into them and they are a tender, crisp puff with a hollow center. They are light enough to serve as an appetizer or the perfect accompaniment to your meal. Traditionally, Gougères are made with Gruyère cheese but the options are endless with the type of flavorings you can add. When using cheese, a low moisture selection is ideal such as Parmesan or Asiago. Fresh herbs, spices, crispy bits of pancetta, sundried tomatoes, and kalamata olives are all wonderful options for this savory pastry.
Traditionally gougère dough is piped onto parchment paper lined baking sheets using a pastry bag. However, I enjoy making these pastries in mini muffin tins. The dough is first baked at a high temperature releasing steam to puff up and create a pocket of air. The temperature of the oven is then lowered to complete the baking. The result is a crisp exterior and a soft, hollow interior.
This dough keeps well in the freezer for future use, perfect for having on hand for guests popping in or for an easy addition to dinner. If you intend on freezing some dough, I would suggest using a pastry bag to pipe 1 1/2″ rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the tray into the freezer and once the dough is frozen place the unbaked gougères into a freezer storage bag to store. When ready to use, remove the gougères and place on a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Allow to come to room temperature before baking. And voila how easy is that!
I hope you enjoy this simple, yet impressive recipe and it becomes a regular to your entertaining or everyday meals.Print