Looking at the windows of the best pastry shops, how can you not stop and admire the sweet roundness of the graceful and small bigné or the sumptuous elegance of profiteroles? It makes you want to buy them all! But you can always try to prepare them at home, thanks to the precious advice of chef Denny Imbroisi! The credit for such goodness goes to choux pastry, a light and delicate basic preparation, a neutral dough to be filled with delicious creams or to be made in a savory version for a gourmet buffet. The main characteristic of this preparation is the double cooking, in a pan and in the oven: precisely because of this peculiarity it would have taken the name “pâte à chaud”, that is, hot dough.
It’s precisely in the oven that choux pastry swells and dries, taking on the classic shape of bigné, small “choux” which in French means “cabbage” because the shape resembles Brussels sprouts. It is not uncommon to taste this dough fried, as for the classic Zeppole di San Giuseppe or the typical Spanish churros, or topped with a light shortcrust pastry for the craquelin bigné! Discover step by step how to get perfect choux pastry to create delicious recipes to offer on the most special occasions, such as our éclair with cream.
And if you’re looking for a way to fill your bigné, try our pistachio cream!
Choux pastry (bigné)
Ingredients for about 20 bigné
– 120 g Eggs
– 77 g Flour 00
– 62 g Water
– 62 g Whole milk
– 55 g Butter
– 2.5 g Fine salt
– 8 g Sugar
– Choux pastry (bigné) Calorie
Preparation: 30 min
Cooking: 35 min
Yields: 20 pieces
How to make Choux pastry (bigné)
1. To prepare the choux pastry, first pour the water (1), milk (2), sugar (3), and salt (4) into a saucepan. Also add the diced butter (5) and bring everything to a boil (6).
2. At this point, add the flour all at once (7) and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon (8). Don’t be afraid of lumps and mix quickly, then cook the roux until a white film forms on the bottom of the pot (9), it will take at least 2-3 minutes.
3. Transfer the dough thus obtained to a bowl (10) and add one egg at a time (11), always mixing with a spatula (12) to incorporate it. Don’t worry if the dough seems separated at first, keep mixing.
4. Only when it’s completely absorbed, you can add the next one (12). Once all the eggs are incorporated, you should get a smooth and consistent dough (14-15).
5. Then transfer it to a pastry bag, equipped with a smooth nozzle 12-13 mm (16). At this point, take a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper; to hold it in place, squeeze a bit of the dough into 2 opposite corners and in the center (17). Spaced apart from each other, form pasta piles the size of a walnut (18).
6. Once you have filled the tray (19), dampen a spoon and lightly press the surface of the balls to soften the tip of the bigné (20). Then beat the yolk in a bowl with a little water (21) and use it to brush the surface of the bigné (22); this will allow you to obtain a uniform color. Bake in a preheated static oven at 220°C for about 15 minutes, until they are well browned. Avoid opening the oven in this phase. After this time, finish cooking at 180°C for another 15-20 minutes, simulating the open valve by wedging a ball of silver paper between the door and the structure of the oven. If you prefer to cook the bigné in a ventilated mode, it will be necessary to heat the oven to 220°C; once hot, lower the temperature to 180°C and bake the bigné for about 20-25 minutes. Remove the bigné from the oven (23) and let them cool before using them (24).
Storage: Raw choux pastry must be used immediately; it is not possible to prepare it in advance. The cooked bigné can be stored for about 1 week in a tin box, better if perforated. Alternatively, it is possible to freeze them for about 1 month.
Tip: To make bigné, the flour must be weak. If the bigné do not swell, it may be due to the fact that the oven is not powerful enough, or that the choux pastry has rested too long before being used. With the same dough, it is possible to make Paris-Brest, zeppole, and éclair. If the mixture is too liquid, it may be due to the fact that the roux is undercooked.
If you use a ventilated oven, you can cook two trays at the same time; in a static mode, however, the cooking would not be uniform. In this case, while the first tray is cooking, you can roll out the other one and leave it at room temperature.