Rye Party Puffs - where did I go wrong?

bbstxMarch 14, 2012

Where did I go wrong? I attempted this recipe today. The flour was very very lumpy. I stirred very hard to get rid of the lumps (did I develop too much gluten?) It never came together. Instead, I have a brown curdled looking mass, sitting in a puddle of belted butter.

I measured carefully - even weighed the flours. When all seemed lost, I tossed it in the mixer and mixed for a few minutes on low, hoping it would come together. Still a brown, lumpy, curdled mess.

Any guidance? Is it my inexperience with pate choux or is it the recipe?


1 cup water

1/2 cup butter, cubed

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup rye flour

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

Caraway seeds

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring water and butter to a boil. Add the flours, parsley, garlic powder and salt all at once; stir until a smooth balls forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat until smooth.

Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with caraway. Bake at 400� for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire racks. Immediately cut a slit in each puff to allow steam to escape; cool.

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Have you eveer made cream puffs?....the technique is the same....pretty much the only difference is the substitution of 1/2 cup of rye flour for white.
Did you try dropping it on a baking sheet and baking?
Perhaps you didn't take the pan off of the fire when you added the flour....and then the eggs and it was too hot and the eggs cooked.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 4:41PM
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I've never made cream puffs. This is my first foray into dough of this sort.

I did not get to the stage of adding eggs. The water/butter/flour mixture was a mess. The butter separated out from the git-go and I was never able to reincorporate it.

I did not take the pan off the fire when I added the flour. The recipe didn't say to do that, although maybe it should have. I just dumped the flour mixture into the butter-water, while the butter-water was at a rolling boil.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 4:55PM
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Well then.....the eggs would have fixed that.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 5:52PM
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Well, I finally figured out the problem. I mis-measured the butter! Twice as much as called for. Bummer! The whole thing went down the disposer.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 9:04PM
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Here is the recipe I use. (New York Times Cookbook) The proportions look the same as yours.

About method. It is important to thoroughly incorporate each egg. I use a wooden spoon to beat in each egg. With each addition of an egg the dough will seem slimy. Beat beat beat and the texture will change and the egg will be one with the dough. Add the next egg.


1 cup water
1/2 cup butter(1 stick)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sifted all purpose fur
4 eggs

Cooking Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven t0 450 F.

2. Combine water, salt, butter and bring to a boil in a deep pot. Remove from the heat and add the sifted flour all at once. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pot. If the ball does not form almost immediately, hold the pan over low heat and beat briskly a few times. Cool slightly.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until the mixture is smooth and glossy after each addition.

4. Drop pastry mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Space two inches apart as the mixture will expand to several times its size.

5. Bake 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake about 30 minutes more until no bubbles of fat remain.

6. Cut each puff in half with a serrated knife. Fill with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or custard.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 9:17PM
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barnmom, thanks for sharing the recipe. I am going to master puffs! I just need to find someone to give them to, so I don't eat them.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 9:25PM
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bbstx, that's the recipe I use and I've made it successfully many times and filled with the cream cheese filling or with corned beef and saurkraut and cheese.

The directions you have, though, are not clear unless you have made cream puffs or choux pastry before. Barnmom has posted a much more concise set of instructions.

The dough is not difficult, once you know what it should look like and how it should act, but it definitely takes a little practice. As me how I know. (grin)

Good luck, they're good filled with lots of stuff. I've made them filled with seafood or chicken salad, the reuben ingredients, ham salad and swiss cheese, even scrambled egg.

You just have to get that dough right!


    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:19PM
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I doubt that any pate choux recipe is sufficiently forgiving to accommodate what I did ... added twice the correct amount of butter. Sometimes you just can't fix dumb! :o

But I'm going to work at it and master this recipe!

Do most of you pipe the batter/dough or do you spoon it onto the cookie sheet?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:30PM
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I spoon with a small ice cream scoop thing. It's just the right size for minis. I spray the scoop with cooking spray so the dough releases easier.

I also think the 450 temp is the key to the "poof." I then reduce the heat to 325 not 350 for the rest of the time (drying, crisping time). But I always make mini puffs. Larger puffs might take more time or the higher temp. I haven't made big ones in a long time.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Thanks, barnmom. I have several of those scoops. The middle size sounds like it would be just right.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:46PM
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In the beginning of the recipe, it says "stir until a smooth balls forms", and this to me is a bit vague - I'm sure they mean one ball, but when I make this type of recipe, I continue to cook the mixture on low heat for a minute or two after the mixture leaves the sides of the pot and forms a ball. It is important at this stage to have enough of the water evaporated from the mixture, and it is difficult to know when this has occurred, but better to have it a bit too dry than too wet. If you take it off heat too soon, the dough will fall apart when the last egg is added. The eggs can only be added after the flour/water/butter mixture has cooled, and there is no way to fix it if it is too moist after the eggs have been added. I used to make cream puffs frequently when I was a teenager and in my 20s, but I haven't made them in a while.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 2:00PM
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