Pumpkin Buns: Stage One

I promised the recipe for my Pumpkin Buns, and so I come today to deliver…in stages. First, I give you the recipe for Choux Paste, which is the dough that makes the bun-like container for the dessert. These are eggy and not too sweet, and you may know them better as cream puffs, sans the cream.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I would rate these a 3.5 for difficulty for one reason alone — the choux requires a degree of judgment for when the dough is ready, rather than a measure of minutes. Otherwise, this is a silly-simple recipe.

Pumpkin Buns:Choux Paste (the bun part)

1 C milk

4 oz. butter, small piece

7 oz. AP flour

1/2 t. salt

5 large eggs

(water to adjust)

How to:

  • Combine milk and butter in saucepan, bring to a full boil. Butter should be melted by the time it boils.


  • Add flour and salt once milk mixture comes to a full boil. *Flour will not absorb all liquid if not at full boil.


  • Take off heat. Stir until it the dough looks a bit like a limp of firm mashed potatos, or for you Germans in the audience, a kenerdle.


  • Return to heat, stirring, until it steams and just begins to stick to bottom. *It will “crack” like PlayDoh.


  • Transfer to a mixing bowl with paddle attachment. Stir to cool. *Eggs added to hot dough will cook, resulting in no structure for later in the baking process. Dough does not need to be cold…just warmish.
  • Add eggs one at a time. With each egg, dough will first look sloppy and wet, then suddenly the egg will incorporate to form a kind of batter. If dough is still too thick, add water 1 Tablespoon at a time to get it to a smooth state. How do you know it’s at a smooth state?….

Three tests for Choux paste

a. Turn off mixer and you want to see the paste actually slump (no pic as a “slump” is hard to capture)

b. Pull up the mixer paddle, see if it the paste coats the beater and comes to a point.



c. Pull finger through the paste to make a canyon, see if the edges curve in slightly.

Piping the Choux

Fill a pastry bag (or ziplock bag) with choux paste. Pipe from a large-ish hole onto parchment covered baking sheet.

Egg wash ( one whole egg, beaten) *Do not get wash on paper or choux will stick as it rises.

Dip a fork in water and make indents across tops of buns (like with peanut butter cookies) for expansion as the dough rises in the oven.

Place in oven at 375-400° for 15-18 min. for buns piped to the size of a donut hole. (Larger buns, like the ones I made, require about 10 extra minutes.)





Stages of baking for choux:

1) doubles in size in the first 12-14 minutes (!!!Do not open oven at all during this first baking period!!!)2) bakes in pace for next 3-4 minutes*Note.

They’ll pop right off the parchment. You’ll find you can split them very easily to make two halves, and even dig out the guts a little to make a deeper container for when you put things like pastry cream or mousse inside. Or, poke a hole in the bottom and fill them using a pastry tube and bag.

*These freeze nicely in a bag. To defrost, pop in oven @ 300° until warm. They do not make a yield, they are merely a batch depending on how large you pipe them.


2 thoughts on “Pumpkin Buns: Stage One

  1. Yeah, that is too much work. I’ll just have to take your word for them being tasty.

    Congrats on your super smart blog (see Jen G.’s blog).

  2. Instead of hearing about me botching up a batch, why don’t you just save us all some time and trouble and send me some frozen ones???

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