It has been three years since I began writing my blog. Since then, I have shared countless recipes. Some have been family favorites passed down from past generations of my family. Others are new family favorites that have recently been added to our repertoire.
Of all the recipes that I have shared, the smoked cheddar gougères are the recipe I receive the most comments and requests for. My family requests them on a regular basis here at 1840 Farm and my readers drop by to tell me about making these little cheesy bites for their family and friends. I have yet to hear a story about these gougères that doesn’t end with happy diners and an empty tray of gougères.
I first tasted gougères several years ago. I couldn’t get over their intense cheesy flavor or their delicate texture. Once I made the first batch, I couldn’t believe how simple it was to create something that tasted so complex. Since then, I have made this recipe dozens of times. It’s a go to recipe when company comes calling or on holidays when we gather together to celebrate family with food and laughter around our family table.
A gougère sounds exotic, but it’s really quite simple. It’s basically a cheese puff. Of course, I believe that it’s the most delicious cheese puff on the planet, but it’s a cheese puff nonetheless. Each bite is packed with earthy, cheesy flavor and delivers a crispy exterior paired with an airy, light interior.
This recipes doesn’t call for much flour. It seemed like an ideal candidate for updating with our freshly milled flour. I decided to take the plunge and tinker with my family’s favorite recipe. I ground a batch of red winter wheat on the bread setting and set about preparing a batch of gougères.
I wondered if my family would taste the difference in gougères made with wholegrain, fresh flour. I was confident that the flavor of sharp cheddar cheese would help to mask any difference that the fresh flour would make. There was only one thing to do, bake a batch in the oven and see what my official taste testers thought of the finished product.
When the gougères had cooled and were ready to enjoy, my family gathered around, eager to pop a bite sized cheesy puff into their mouths. They did just that as I waited anxiously to gauge their reaction to the change I had made. Only time would tell if they would be happy or if they would question why I had dared to modify one of our classic, favorite recipes.
Within moments, they began asking me what was different about this batch. I had been wrong, the cheese had not distracted their taste buds from the flavor that whole wheat flour imparts. It was too soon to tell if they were happy with the change or wishing that I had left well enough alone. That was, until they all reached for a second gougère.
I told them about my substitution and watched as they were able to put their finger on what was different about this batch. I finally gave in and tasted one of the gougères, curious to see for myself what kind of difference the fresh flour had made.
As was the case with every recipe that I had incorporated the fresh flour into, the difference was simple. It tasted better. In spite of the smoky cheddar and eggs fresh from our coop, the earthy flavor of the fresh flour shone through. It was a lovely counterpart to the richness of the eggs, butter, and cheese.
Chalk one more victory up for freshly milled flour and the WonderMill. We won’t be making our beloved gougères without them. With the fall and winter holidays fast approaching, I am quite certain that I’ll be making these whole grain smoked cheddar gougères to serve on our family holiday table.
- 8 oz Whole Milk
- 4 oz Butter
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- 1 cup freshly milled whole grain flour
- 4 large eggs
- 4 oz Sharp Cheddar, grated
- 2 oz Smoked Cheddar, grated
- Position the racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.
- Measure the flour into a small bowl. Crack all of the eggs into a bowl and set aside until they are needed. Grate the two cheeses and gently combine them before setting aside as you prepare the dough.
- Combine milk, butter, and salt in a medium sized pot over high heat. Monitor the mixture closely, stirring often, to avoid scorching. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the flour in one addition. Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Stir continuously for two minutes until the dough is completely smooth and leaves a film on the bottom of the pot. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for five minutes.
- Once the five minutes have elapsed, add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition. With the addition of each egg, the dough will break. This is normal; rest assured that the dough will be perfectly smooth by the time the fourth egg is incorporated. Once the eggs have all been added, stir in the grated cheese until it is evenly distributed.
- Using a spoon or a Tablespoon sized cookie scoop, drop the dough by rounded Tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets leaving 1 inch of space between each gougère. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 20 – 28 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.
- The gougères will be done when they become golden brown in color and have a puffed appearance with a dry exterior. Remove the gougères from the oven and place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool.
- Gougères can be served warm or at room temperature. Room temperature gougères will have a more pronounced cheese flavor. They are delicious served with blue cheese or savory jams. We love to pair them with smoky tomato jam and caramelized onion and red wine jam.
- Note: Rounded Tablespoons of dough can be frozen individually on a tray lined with freezer paper. Once they are completely frozen, store the gougères in a freezer bag until ready to use. To bake, simply place frozen gougères on a prepared baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 – 36 minutes.