Why didn't my cream puffs puff?
I have made cream puffs many, many times in the past and they're usually successful. I made them the other night and they didn't puff! They turned golden and dry, and didn't taste terrible (kind of like a firm donut?) but they didn't puff up. I'm not sure what I did wrong this time. Any ideas?
FYI, I used Mark Bittman's method from How to Cook Everything:
1 C water
8 T butter
1 C flour
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan; turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once and cook, stirring constantly, until the dough holds together in a ball, 5 minutes or less. Add the eggs one at a time, beating hard after each addition. This is a little bit of work; feel free to use an electric mixer. Stop beating when the mixture is glossy. Bake immediately for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days before using.
How did you get the dough onto the baking sheets (piped, with a spoon, etc.)? Did you pierce them immediately after cooking to let the steam escape? 30 mins at 400 seems like too long a bake time, too - I might go a little hotter at first to get the steam going quickly, then cool it down. Maybe 10 mins at 425 and another 10-15 at 350?
hi. i tried to make one last night. my first time actually. i thought they looked perfect until i pull it out of the baking sheet. they were stuck on the sheet and they broke. the base was gone. i tried to put oil on the sheet but same thing happened. how can i prevent this in the future?
Hard to tell. Here is some advice I have received:
- after adding the flour, cook the paste a few minutes to dry it out.
- remove from heat before adding eggs. Depending on exactly how dry the flour and the air in the kitchen are, you may need more or fewer eggs. After adding eggs, the dough needs to form a stiff peak on the spoon.
I did all of those, and some other things I've read suggest I maybe didn't let the dough cool enough before adding the eggs (I waited maybe one minute.) And I maybe didn't beat it enough either? It's so weird though, I've made them so many times before and never had a problem.
I used extremely fresh eggs from the farmer's market. Could that have mattered?
I let the flour paste sit a few minutes before I beat in the eggs---I don't want the heat of the mixture cooking the egg---I want it raw in the oven to puff. And make sure your oven has preheated---the heat has to surprise the egg to make it puff.
Is it possible your oven wasn't hot enough? Even if you think it's been reliable, it can go off kilter. If you don't have an oven thermometer to check the settings, it's a good idea.