Recipe from Sugar Rush by Johnny Iuzzini
(Makes about 1 and a half dozen cream puffs or 12 Totoro puffs)
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoon of whole milk
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoon of water
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/4 cups of bread flour
4 to 5 large eggs
Vegetable oil cooking spray
- In a large saucepan, pour in the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt. Turn the heat to medium-low and wait for it to simmer. Give it a quick stir and then remove it from the heat.
- Add the bread flour and stir and knead with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are all combined.
- Return the saucepan to the medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes to dry out the mixture a little bit. The dough shouldn't stick to the sides and when you see a skin form on the base of the pan, turn off the heat and transfer the dough to your stand mixer's bowl.
- Using your wooden spoon, spread the dough out along the sides of the bowl (see photo above) to help it cool. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes to cool.
- Scrape the dough down a bit (if you really built it up) and attach your mixer paddle. On low speed, add 2 of the eggs until it's completely incorporated into the dough. Stop the mixer and scrape.
- Add the third egg and mix until it is fully incorporated again. If your dough is too firm, add the fourth egg and mix until combined. The batter should be firm enough to pipe, but not runny. It has to hold its' shape. If it's still too tough, add a fifth egg.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line your baking pans with silicone mats. Use a large round tip on your piping bag, fill the bag with the batter and hold the bag at a 45 degree angle. Pipe pear-shaped puffs on your silicone mat. Space them out at least 2 to 3 inches apart as the puffs will expand during the baking process.
- Help reshape any end tips or points with a wet finger (the dough will stick to your dry fingers). Use a smaller round tip to pipe out two ears. Again, help reshape using your finger.
- Spray the surface of the dough with a light coat of cooking spray. Then put the pans in the oven and adjust the temperature to 325°F (160°C).
- Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pans and continue to bake for another 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the puffs completely cool before decorating or filling.
Also, I decided not to fill mine with pastry cream, hence I called them puffs in the blog post title instead of cream puffs. But you can by creating a little hole using a chopstick or knife. And then a narrow piping tip to squeeze all that deliciousness into the hollow of the puff. Or you can simply cut off the base and fill it and reapply the base. I did trim the base to help my Totoros stand.