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Gougeres

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes about 4 dozen gougeres
Gougeres
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
1

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper.

2

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Add all the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball and the excess moisture has evaporated (if the ball forms more quickly, continue to cook and stir for a full 2 minutes).

3

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and beat for about 30 seconds at medium speed to cool slightly. Add 4 eggs and continue to mix until completely combined and the batter has a smooth, silky texture. Stop the machine and lift up the beater to check the consistency of the batter. It should form a peak with a tip that falls over. If it is too stiff, beat in the white of the remaining egg. Check again and, if necessary, add the yolk. Finally, mix in three-fourths cup of Gruyere and adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper.

4

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a three-eighths-inch plain pastry tip with the gougeres batter. Pipe the batter into 1-tablespoon mounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the gougeres, as the mixture will spread during baking. Sprinkle the top of each gougere with about one-half teaspoon of the remaining grated cheese. (At this point, the gougeres can be frozen on the baking sheets until solid, then stored in the freezer in a tightly sealed container.)

5

When almost ready to serve, transfer the frozen gougeres back onto the lined baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees until they puff and hold their shape, 7 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake until they are a light golden brown color, an additional 20 to 25 minutes. When you think the gougeres are done, break one open; it should be hollow and the inside should be cooked but still slightly moist.

6

Remove the pans from the oven and serve the gougeres while hot.

Adapted from “The French Laundry Cookbook.”

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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