The Fresh Loaf

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Science of choux

hannahislearningaboutchoux's picture

Science of choux

Hello. I am currently doing a project on choux pastry. I was just wondering about a few things. 

- what is the function of gluten in choux pastry

-what effect do eggs have in the pastry 

-what correlation does protein have with gluten

and any other information about gluten, eggs or science in general to do with choux pastry is very helpful. 

Thank you for your help, Hannah

rondayvous's picture

I’ve seen them before but had no idea how they were made. I had to look it up. Sounds similar to a popover.

mariana's picture

Hi Hannah,

what is the function of gluten in choux pastry

Gluten has no function in choux pastry. In making that pastry, low protein cake or pastry flour is used and the process itself does not allow gluten to form or to be developed.

If high protein bread flour is used, it will negatively affect the volume of the resulting baked goods.

what effect do eggs have in the pastry

Egg proteins are sensitive to heat. Once they’re hot enough, they’ll denature and set. They give firmness to your final choux pastry.

what correlation does protein have with gluten

In wheat flout, correlation coefficient varies between  2.4 and 4.2 i.e. if your flour has 10g protein, it will form 24-42g of wet gluten when moistened depending on the quality of wheat and amount of time.

Inside wheat flour, there are four different proteins, two of which link together in presence of water  to form a new substance called gluten. This process takes time. In choux pastry, wheat gluten is not allowed to form. Those proteins are denatured (cooked) instantly as soon as they touch boiling hot water or milk when flour is added to the pot.

Egg or milk proteins in choux pastry do not link to form gluten. Egg proteins stay raw inside choux pastry and later expand and set during baking.

run4bread's picture

Thanks for the questions, Hannah, and Mariana for the answers! I made gougères for the first time yesterday and delayed adding the eggs, letting the dough cool a bit. Won't next time. Good to understand why rye works well. (I made Chad Robertson's rye & cocoa version.) Next time I'll try a lower protein wheat. 


rondayvous's picture

How did the rye effect the texture and taste?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Now THAT sounds like fun!