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I'm trying to make eggless choux pastries for an egg-allergic friend (my eventual targets are croques-en-bouche and saint-honorés).

I have experience with choux pastry, but I've never made an eggless version. I'm following the recipe at https://www.gretchensveganbakery.com/vegan-eclairs/.

Here's my sorry result:

Choux-tastrophe

enter image description here

Well, that didn't work great. The gooey bottom eventually does dry up after a few hours, so it's not too bad, but that paper-thin top is miserable.

The problem doesn't seem to be specific to the particular recipe I picked: I get the same results, more or less, if I use my regular 2-1-1-2 choux pastry recipe, and use egg replacer.

I tried a many variations on both my usual recipe and the vegan recipe I linked to:

  • Strengthening the flour by using bread flour and even adding a bit of vital wheat gluten
  • Adding a bit of xanthan gum and guar gum
  • Making smaller dough balls
  • Wetting the tops with sugary milk before cooking
  • Omitting baking powder
  • Letting the dough rest before baking it
  • Using a different brand of egg-replacer (ENER-G)
  • Using a friend's oven (!)

All of my attempts ended up very similarly: a gooey bottom which eventually dries up (it gets fairly compact and doughy, but the taste is OK), and a paper-thin dome.

What causes this paper-thin dome to form, and how can I fix this recipe? I'd like to achieve something like the following picture (not taken by me), which is close to what I get with my usual (eggy) recipe:

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    Since choux pastry is somewhat related to Yorkshire pudding batter, I suggest you try the aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas) recommended here avirtualvegan.com/vegan-yorkshire-puddings. Like you, the author reports making many attempts before finding something acceptable. Feb 15 '19 at 11:52
  • I can't tell you with any authority, but the paper thin top and uncooked interior would lead me to try cooking them at a lower temperature for a little longer, reducing the heat at some point in the cooking and using tinfoil to reduce browning, or maybe piercing the puff once its solidified enough to not collapse. The thin top seems like something you'd get due to the steam bubble preventing the rest of the dough from also rising inside, which could also be preventing it from cooking through. That eggless solution doesn't seem to be creating the pockets that allow normal choux to rise through.
    – BobKayser
    May 17 '21 at 8:25
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It looks like more gluten could help with the structure. Adding some vital wheat gluten, or using a stronger flour might work.

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