Sunday, April 5, 2009

Week 26: Classic Gougeres

I have still been making a bit of soup lately and had not made any more crackers since Week 19 of my blog! So I was looking for some other carb to go along with my primarily veggie soup and came across Molly Wizenber’s recipe for Gougeres, in Bon Appetit last month. I read her article, which is really cute, see the link below, and thought, these things sound pretty easy. So you ask, what is a Gougeres? Sounds a little like the cheese, but spelled differently, hum. Well there is Gruyere cheese in her recipe, but they are like a little pop-over or puff pastry and really yummy with a nice hot bowl of soup. She explains that this dough recipe is a puff pastry dough and the same as what is used for eclairs, so how could they be that bad and I decided to try them.
I am still amazed what you can do with butter, flour, and eggs. These three ingredients can make most anything. This is a super quick recipe to whip up and most of the ingredients are in your fridge and pantry. There is nothing better than hot bread on the table and no yeast needed! Yeah! The recipe below calls for Gruyere cheese and I only had about 2 oz of Monterrey Jack cheese, so I used that. These would be perfectly fine without the cheese I think and am sure with Gruyere they are superb! But on a budget, no cheese or any cheese will work. I thought experimenting with flavored salts would be fun and my next batch will be with truffle salt! Yum.
Gougeres are definitely not very hillbilly, but they are simple and easy to make, so they fit the bill. Have fun with them! Scott & I plowed through about a dozen in one sitting, so be careful, because they are pretty addictive. To reheat just pop them in a toaster oven for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees and they taste great. Enjoy!

Classic Gougeres

  • 1 cup water

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or other fancy salts you might have)

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 4 large eggs, chilled

  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (about 4 oz)

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (go heavy on the pepper if you like it)

Step 1: Position 1 rack on top third and 1 rack on bottom third of oven. Preheat to 400 degrees.
Step 2: Line 2 rimmed baking sheets (jelly roll pans) with parchment paper. (Not really sure if this step is needed and need to experiment without the parchment paper, since it gets pretty dark)
Step 3: Bring 1 cup water, butter, and salt to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisking until the butter melts.
Step 4: Add flour and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until flour absorbs the liquid and forms a ball, that will pull away from the sides of the pan. Stir vigorously until a film forms on the bottom of the pan and the dough is no longer sticky, 1 to 2 minutes longer. (This is a little challenging to "stir vigorously" but just stir like crazy.)
Step 5: Remove pan from heat and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 6: Using an electric mixer, beat in eggs one at a time.
Step 7: Stir in cheese and pepper.
Step 8: Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets, spaced about 3 inches apart. They don’t expand that much, but you want to have some breathing and growing room. One sheet should fit a dozen. Using a damp fingertip, press down any peaks of dough.
Step 9: Bake until golden brown, but 30 minutes. Mine were done at about 25 minutes, but my oven bakes hot. Reverse position of pans after about 15 minutes to help bake more evenly. To test for doneness, cut into a gougere and the center should be a little eggy and moist.

Serving size: makes 2 dozen

Recipe credit to: Bon Appetit, April 2009 by Molly Wizenberg of Orangette Blog.