parchment paper burned while baking pate a choux
Posted: 15 January 2009 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  8
Joined  2009-01-11

Ok so I went through the trouble of making pate a choux last night. I used a pastry bag to lay out small ball sized shapes onto a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.

About 10 minutes into the baking (at ~410 degrees) the parchment paper started burn, specifically the portion that extended past the edge of the tray and touched up against the inside wall of the oven.

I took out the tray and sniped it off with a scissor, and placed it back in. However a few minutes later I noticed that the underside of the pastries were now dark brown and burning, while the tops were still white. Somehow the parchment paper or the bottom of the pate a choux was burning.

The tray was on the bottom rack in the oven, and I did apply egg wash to all the pastries, perhaps a bit too much that may have dripped down the sides of each pastry and settled around its underside.

The other thing I forgot to do was add 1/2 cup of water to the batter/paste. I only used 1/2 cup of milk. I’m not sure if that means that they dried out too much, but the paste was silky when I applied it, so I would be surprised if that was the answer.

The recipe called to line the tray with either parchment paper or buttered wax paper. What is the story here? Why would parchment paper burn, and would I have better luck with wax paper? Forgive my ignorance, but wouldn’t the wax melt and get all over the pastries? And wouldn’t it eventually burn too?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2009 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4741
Joined  2008-04-16

Sorry to hear about your burnt-bottom pate choux!  Normally, parchment shouldn’t burn at 410, maybe check the box to see what max temperature is recommended?  Moving the choux higher in the oven (upper third) should result in more browning on the top and less on the bottom.  Also consider checking your oven temperature (with a thermometer), if your parchment is supposed to hold up until 500F, your oven may be running hot. 

Just curious, did your pate choux collapse when you opened the oven to trim the parchment?  The first time I made them, I rotated the pans half way through baking, and ended up with wrinkled, slightly flattened puffs.  Lesson learned.

Not sure about the wax paper, my fears would be the same as yours.

 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2009 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  8
Joined  2009-01-11

Thanks for the feedback, I got much further but am still coming up short.

Just when I thought I nailed this patte a choux, I turn over my eclairs to find that they deflated from the *underside*, so that I didn’t even notice until I had already gone through the trouble of making the filling.

What’s the trick? I have read multiple recipes with a whole variety of oven temperatures.

I’ve seen some that say to leave the oven door open after 5 minutes, others say after 20 minutes. I can’t tell if the inside of mine are under cooked after 25 minutes of cooking, or if the steam didn’t get a chance to escape and therefore the dough became mushy inside.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2009 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  282
Joined  2007-11-16

Foodsmith, sounds like you have several variables going on here that could have contributed to your choux not turning out.  First thing I would do is check my oven temp with a thermometer to make sure it’s running at the correct temperature.

I’d remake the recipe, since you said you omitted water.  I don’t use milk in my choux recipe, basically, flour, butter, water, sugar, eggs and salt. You opened the oven door, which may have contributed to the deflation. I’ve also not seen recipes that call for brushing the tops with egg, but I don’t think that would have caused any of your problems.  I brush my scones with an egg wash, and bake them on parchment paper at 425 degrees, and never had a problem with burning parchment.

Another factor, as Julie also mentioned, is your position in the oven.  I think they may have been too close to the heat source.  You also said the parchment was touching the sides of the oven. It’s important to have a good air flow completely around the baking pan, next time, just line the pan and cut off the excess paper.  And move them up to the middle rack at least.  They will brown better the higher in the oven they are placed.

I have also seen the variation in temperature/baking times, but again, I don’t think that would have contributed to the burned parchment.  Here is the recipe I use:

Cream Puff Dough - Pate a choux
About 1 pound of choux pastry
 
1 cup water        
6 tablespoons unsalted butter    
1 cup all-purpose flour      
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400?.  Lightly grease two cookie sheets or line with parchment.

Bring water and butter to a full boil and immediately stir in salt, sugar, and flour. Stir until all the flour is blended and the mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan to form a mass. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl (if mixing by hand) or in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then (with mixer running or stirring) add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Mixture should look smooth and glossy after the last egg is added.

Spoon the paste into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe out mounds of dough about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Use a blunt knife dipped in water to separate dough from tip. Or form with a spoon and drop onto the pans. 

Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350? and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes, until the puffs are firm, well colored and crisp. Remove from oven and let cool in a draft-free place.

These will keep well on the day they were baked if covered loosely and kept at room temperature. 

Good luck!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 January 2009 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  592
Joined  2007-11-27

I always bake choux puffs/paste/paris-brest rings on double pans and use parchment.  The part that extended past the pan was what burned, and that doesn’t surprize me.  I agree with the other posters that being on the bottom rack of the oven contributed to the burning bottoms of the puffs.  The wax paper would work, too.

I don’t this this recipe (I have a large yield formula I use at work) but I don’t use an egg wash and if I can, I let the choux dry in the oven overnight.  If not, I let it bake until it is a beautiful dark golden brown and that usually ensures that the centers are dry.

 Signature 

I Dream of Jeanne Cakes selected by Brides Magazine as one of their 100 Favorite Bakers (2013)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 January 2009 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2568
Joined  2007-11-15

I like to bake my choux paste on silpats instead of parchment.  I also like my puffs to be a less dry, not wet, but soft and webby if that makes any sense.  The degree of preferred dryness varies from person to person.

 Signature 

Come visit my blog at

http://butteryum.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top