- 1 cup water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup all–purpose flour
- 5 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup crumbled Blue Ridge Bleu, or any other semi-firm cheese, crumbled or grated
Preheat the oven to 425°
Bring water to a boil with butter, salt and pepper. Boil slowly until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and immediately pour in all the flour at once. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until all the flour has been absorbed. Then beat over moderately high heat for one to two minutes until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a mass around the spoon.
Remove from heat and make a well in the center of the dough. Break an egg into the well and beat until the egg is absorbed. Repeat with 3 more eggs. Stir in herbs and cheese, and taste for seasoning.
While dough is still warm, pipe into 1-inch mounds on greased or lined cookie sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. (You can use a pastry bag, a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off, or a spoon.) Beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water, and brush tops of gougeres with egg wash. Bake 20-22 minutes: the puffs are done when they are golden brown and crusty, and have doubled in size.
Julia recommends you remove them from the oven and pierce the side of each puff with a sharp knife to let the steam escape. This keeps the puffs from getting soggy. Return to the turned-off oven with the door ajar for 10 minutes. Cool on rack. Makes 40 puffs.