This isn’t My Choux

Update: A Dear Reader has posted a much more polished Choux Recipe, right here. Similar in idea, but vastly better in execution. It’s similar to my own dietary restrictions as there are no gums or added starches. Please check it out. I haven’t tried it, yet, but I can tell from experience hat it’ll  worth your while making it. A huge thank you to Sulfite-Free Cooking for the recipe. Please do check out the site, it has man wonderfully creative recipes.

 photo WP_20170202_006_e_zpslwmelwmu.jpgThe first trial.

This post is going to be one of two things: It’ll either be a new recipe or a little insight into how recipes sometimes come about. Now, dearest of all dear readers, I like to think I’ve read through my fair share of blogs in my time. I’ve certainly read through enough recipes in search of eligible eatables, but what I haven’t seen a lot of is the middle ground that sometimes occurs when trying a new recipe. Not the failure of a recipe and the scathing look at what was supposed to be, nor the creation f one’s own or success with another’s. I mean the recipe that fails to be what it was supposed to be, but might be salvageable, or at least part of it, be it technique or ingredient. I once wrote, not many listened, but those were the early days, on learning from our failures in the free-from food journey. Looking back I really type a lot now. More to enjoy, ha ha…ha, moving on. But what worth in looking at the stage before the final failure or the salvaged success? There is something in the struggle, the striving for more than what we currently have, the help that the recipe might bring to you or to others. What do I know? I just like poking and prodding at potentials.

 photo WP_20170202_007_e_zpscuvolfjf.jpgInside.

Now, the recipe in question was from what I think of as the back-end of the internet. Something found by dumpster diving into the worldwide web, that metaphor got away from me. It was a wheat recipe adapted, well just by replacing the flour really, that sounded too good to be true, but I liked the idea. It was indeed too good to be true and I won’t share the site because you’re not getting clicks you big fibber! You deceiver! I’m furious, nah, not really. I’ve been here so often. Liquid off a water-fowl’s back. So, I’ll just fill you in. It was a choux, not shoe, I learned that by listening to cooking shows and not seeing the spelling, pastry made into a bread roll. Or not. So, butter boiled with water, buckwheat into that, egg into that. While warm, strangely. And the idea was a wet shiny dough that I’m laughing at the absurdity of. I know buckwheat, we’re blood-brothers, bosom-buddies, it doesn’t work like that. What instead happened was this: Butter boiled, water evaporated, buckwheat descended into the pot. Suddenly a shot rang out, no, sorry, it turned into a thick pasty dough and the egg went in, cooking sightly too. Then it formed into a rubbery dough, but a swelled light dough. So I looked at the mess in my pot and decided to add baking powder, formed it into a ball and baked it. It could be no more of a waste after being baked. So, I’ll get to the aftermath in a moment. Let’s stop at the doughy stage. It was only a small measure of flour, but it seemed to have swelled, it had a slightly elastic feel. It wasn’t easily workable, but it felt different. Perhaps the heat produced a change in the buckwheat. Perhaps the heat made the egg react. I’m not sure, but I seemed to have more dough than I usually would. As I say, this may become a recipe after this or it’ll die in its early days.

So, the dough. It wasn’t exactly perfectly workable, but it was pliable. So, I formed it into a round and baked it. It did crack and didn’t rise. What came out was akin to my many buckwheat scones recipes, but what was intriguing was that it wasn’t as crumbly. The exterior was crisper than the scones, more of a crust, thin though, yet the inside was soft and the whole wasn’t as dry as usual. It resembled a scone as I remember them, at least partly, don’t mistake me, it wasn’t a transformation, it was still a rough little lump. Tasty enough, but not a choux pastry, not even a runner up. You see a runner is a type of shoe or sneaker and…just forget it. It was the scone, but a lighter, less fragile version. Still all buckwheat flour too. So, I will try this again, I cut the recipe down to a quarter and now I’ll double that. I’ll form little scones. Whether it works or not I’ll still publish this, it’ll just mean the next paragraph will be different. What it’ll mean is that there might be a use for the technique of boiling the butter and water and adding the flour, it won’t be a a roux or a choux. Just another way to bake with buckwheat. Perhaps it’ll evolve into a hand-shaped loaf. Who knows? This is the time before we know for sure. It’s an interesting place to visit, but you never can stay. I wonder what will happen. Exciting, huh?

 photo WP_20170204_001_e_zpskievbek6.jpgOh, the second act twist!

Nothing is ever as cut and dry as we’d like, is it, dear reader? I’ll spoil the ending for you: They still aren’t right. I’ll get to why, but I’d rather get that out of the way. So what now? Now we look at what did work and use it as a educational post. I like to think, don’t disabuse me of my notions of adequacy, that a lot of these posts can be educational and help you not only make the recipes contained within, but also help you understand the how, whys and what-have-yous. I may never know if these are useful, bu I’ll type them up regardless. For the dear reader that might want to do more, that might need more help, the dear reader that might have been me a few years ago.

 photo WP_20170204_006_e_zps3afejdur.jpgSwirl or blob. You decide.

What happened? Well, I doubled the recipe, that was quartered, and this time it came together as a shiny, thick batter. Woo! Right? Well, no. But let’s take it in stages. The idea of a buckwheat choux style batter is interesting, it does work to a point. So, if an intrepid reader wants to try this out, feel free, I’ll give you the full recipe, roughly, but you’ll make it work. What was wrong with this was that it was too eggy, the overwhelming taste of egg would persist even if this was sweet. But he batter formed, that part is worth remembering for future experiments. I always hold onto these little titbits, these potential ideas. You may use this, you may not. But you have to take it further by yourself. I’m done here. I’ll tell you all I know, but I’m not holding your hand. Not answering any questions. I’ll give you the recipe now. Then tell you what was wrong. That sounds really uncaring, I admit, but there are vastly better recipes here already and I’d rather focus my attentions on those.

You’ll need 60g Butter, 120ml Water, 2 Medium Eggs (60-65g in shell) whisked in a bowl, 100g Buckwheat Flour, a pinch of salt and 1 Tsp Baking Powder. Heat the butter and water in a pot on a medium heat.
When they’ve melted add the flour and baking powder, stir until combined, remove from heat and stir until it’s fully mixed.
It’ll be a bit dry. Add the eggs, still off the heat, until fully mixed. It’ll be very runny. Then return to the heat stirring until a glossy batter has been formed. About a minute.
Remove from heat, pour into a piping bag. Pipe onto greaseproof lined tray. I kept them small.
Then bake at 230c, fan, for 5 minutes, turn down to 175c, fan, and bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

 photo WP_20170204_008_e_zps1jqfkpmm.jpgThis is like the clichéd old man ranting of posts, huh?

So, they bake, surprisingly with little spread. They have a slight crisp on the outside while fresh, but within minutes they start to soften and become sodden. The egg taste becomes very pronounced after cooling for only ten minutes. I couldn’t in good conscience say you should eat this, I wouldn’t. I ate them to see if they were worth posting as a recipe but they aren’t. I like the idea, but the texture is too rubbery, the taste too eggy and the whole just not worth the effort. There is something in boiling a fat with water and adding the buckwheat. But in truth I preferred it as it was in the first failure. This is a strange post, isn’t it? I tell you not to eat or make it, but I give you the recipe. I know there are those who, like me, love to push what meagre ingredients that are available on us on restricted diets. Testing the limits can yield a lot of messes, but also some interesting results. This was such a strange result. Never quite a failure, never completely inedible, but never quite right. That’s it for me, if an intrepid reader want to use the idea go to it. I’m done. I have other recipes to try, a garden to tend to and miles to go before I rest. See you later.

 photo WP_20170204_011_e_zpsq2jwjmyp.jpgIt’s springy inside, but feels off. Almost as it it were raw.


6 thoughts on “This isn’t My Choux

  1. Oh, come on, Jack, you mean to say you haven’t tried MY recipe? I used a mix of teff and rice flour (no starches!) and I give all the caveats of this culinary adventure in this link:
    Seriously now, becoming more and more familiar with teff flour, I feel it behaves pretty close to buckwheat flour, so you could well substitute one for the other. I encourage you to try, provided you follow the advice I give… I don’t know if I will have time to translate the recipe for my dear readers today, as I have surgery scheduled for tomorrow (not to worry, minor thing, I should survive but will be one-eyed Joëlle for a few days) but I am making a note of it. These choux are excellent, not hard to make, it’s only a matter of following instructions, and when you have made them you will be able to impress your guests with your French culinary expertise!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never been able to get my hands on any teff flour sadly. But if I do you can be sure I’ll try everything possible with it. I’ll have a look, but no promises, I’ve done a lot of baking recently and need to pull back before I burn out. Bu I’ll keep it in mind and see what I can do.

      I’ll keep you in my thoughts. I hope it goes well. Take care of yourself, I can’t have one of my dear readers not looking after themselves! Thanks for everything.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading your post again, more carefully, I have a question regarding the original recipe you found on the net: did the person intend to make some kind of bread rolls, really? Because traditional “choux” are hollow inside and meant to be filled with either something sweet (whipped cream or crème pâtissière) or salty (latest trend being a curry flavored filling). Also, I am surprised that you returned the dough to the heat after adding the eggs. The cooking is done before you add in the eggs, with the aim of “drying” the dough as much as you can. Again, this is from my knowledge of the traditional choux pastry.
    Anyway, I hope you can figure out how to turn this into something palatable. And if you don’t, well, you are right, there is always something to learn from the experiment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There wasn’t really any information as to what they expected or what resulted, just a link to a choux pastry recipe, which I’ve never made, wheat based or otherwise. Hence my curiosity. I’ve since, er, lost the link to the original. I think if I try anything in future it’ll be a variant of your recipe with buckwheat. It looks wonderful, really simple, but creative. I think you’re right about the eggs, the reheat might have caused the trouble. Whenever I can get a non-blended rice flour, it’s all white and brown in the shops currently, they both work differently and I’d like to just use one or the other to be sure of consistent results, I’ll return and try yours. I have no idea when that’ll be, so I’ll make no promises.

      Liked by 1 person

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