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I followed the Pierre Hermé éclairs recipe:

60mL water
75mL whole milk
3g salt
3g caster sugar
56g butter
75g flour
A little over 2 eggs

I did the recipe and it called for 45 minutes of baking at 185°C.

I baked them for 40 minutes and left them in the oven for an extra 10 minutes before removing them.

The result was that the exterior was terrific, but the inside was too doughy and I couldn't fill it with crème pâtissière (custard).

Is skipping the 5 last minutes of baking the reason it failed?

  • Welcome to the site. "Doughy" as in uncooked, or something else? – BaffledCook Mar 21 '17 at 10:01
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    I would suggest the last five minutes of cooking were important to help 'dry' out the interior. Just try it again and see what happens. Good luck! – dougal 5.0.0 Mar 21 '17 at 16:13
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    It is not clear from the question itself, but from the "should be hollow in the inside right" comment it looks like your eclairs simply didn't rise. I am putting it on hold as a duplicate, whose answer is a very good troubleshooting list for eclairs. If I misunderstood you and you meant that they rose but something else happened on the inside, please edit in a more detailed explanation, and flag for reopening. – rumtscho Mar 21 '17 at 17:15
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    @droidnation OK, then we should reopen. How would you describe the interior? Was there no big hole to fill, despite them being larger than before baking? Or did the hole exist, but its walls were creamy instead of set? Something else? – rumtscho Mar 21 '17 at 17:53
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    Leaving it in a hot oven an extra five minutes would, I think, counterbalance the lesser heat from having the oven shut off the last five minutes of baking. A dish left in a hot oven does continue cooking in the residual heat, and I would not expect an oven to cool down enough so quickly (especially if unopened) to leave it under-cooked after forty minutes of baking. I would guess there was some other problem, not the baking time. – Megha Mar 23 '17 at 0:42
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I'm fairly certain that the last 5 minutes of baking would not have opened the texture of the interior.

Pâte à Choux is supposed to be very soft inside. It has ribbons of eggy material running through it. That is why cream puffs are usually scooped out before filling.

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The material is very tender so, with eclairs, injecting the filling pushes it out of the way and the shell is firm enough to hold in the pressure.

When the dough is baking the steam inflates the abundant egg proteins in big pockets. This happens in the first part of baking and the rest of the time is setting the proteins and drying the exterior. If your interior truly has as tight a crumb as bread, this would have happened at the beginning of baking and the 5 minutes at the end would not affect it.

Pâte à Choux is very easy to make. I wonder about your process.
Recipes always consist of:

  • Combine and scald, or boil, milk, butter, sugar, and salt,
  • Add flour all at once and stir until it forms a cohesive ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl,
  • beat in the eggs one at a time.

I would make sure that your milk mixture was properly scalded and that your flour was mixed in well enough before adding the eggs. The flour should have gluten activated and its starches gelatinized before you add the eggs.

If you haven't been already, you might try using bread flour and see if the problem is lessened.

  • Thanks. Overall, testing is made key ingredient for success. It was the first time and I will repeat again. – alim1990 Mar 23 '17 at 7:53

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