Pâte sucrée (sablée)

For two galettes – 10-1/2 inch pie pans.

3 cups of all purpose flour
2-1/2 sticks of sweet butter, softened
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 tsp of salt

  • Combine the ingredients in a bowl and work until you can form a ball that holds together.
  • Place on the table and smear the mixture with the palm of your hand a few times.
  • Divide into two pieces.
  • Reserve one piece and refrigerate.
  • Roll the other into a 12-inch round about 1/4 inch thick.
  • It helps to roll the dough on a plastic sheet, which provides good support when the dough is lifted around the rolling pin, then unrolled into the pie shell.  This step can be tricky when the dough is too soft, since it breaks easily.
  • Either refrigerate it for awhile or simply press the dough in the pie pan by hand.
  • Make a border about 1/2 inch high.
  • Make it thicker at the base, to prevent it from collapsing during cooking.
  • Cut off any dough above that, and reserve for another pie, with the other half of the dough in the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerate until firm while preheating the oven at 400°F.
  • Cook for 12 to 15 minutes.

For a different dessert, cook the shell entirely for about 25 minutes.  Fill with crème patissière and top with fresh berries.

Pâte feuilleté

3 cups all‑purpose unbleached flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp of unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/8 cups of ice water
1-1/2 cups of unsalted butter (3 sticks)
1/2 cup of flour

  • Place the flour, salt and the 6 Tbsp of butter in a bowl or in the food processor.
  • Blend to the consistency of cornmeal.
  • On a pastry surface make a well 10 inches in diameter with the mixture.
  • Pour 1 cup of water  in the center.
  • Quickly flip the top of the well over the water covering all the surface.
  • Finish blending gently with fingers working all around the outside of the well.
  • Form shreds rather than a ball, this way the dough is not handled too much and does not become elastic.
  • Finish blending by cutting in 4 pieces with pastry cutter, making 1/4 turn counterclockwise and cutting again (about 4‑8 times depending on humidity).
  • Form into a loose, crumbly pastry ball.
  • If there are crumbs of dough that are not adhering to the ball you may add some of the remaining water.
  • Wrap in wax paper and chilled for 40 minutes.
  • About 10 minutes before dough is chilled, remove sticks of butter from the refrigerator and pound with a rolling pin until soft.
  • Knead 1/2 cup of flour into the butter.
  • Work together until it is malleable but cold (same texture as the chilled dough).
  • Form into a 5 inch square.
  • Roll the chilled dough into a large circle.
  • Place block of butter in the center and fold dough over it.
  • Roll into a rectangle 18″x9″.
  • Fold into thirds like a business letter (fold bottom then top over it).
  • Turn the dough counterclockwise 1/4 turn (like a book with binding on left).
  • Roll out again in a rectangle 18″x9″.
  • Fold into thirds, wrap and chill for 1 hour. (this is 2 turns)
  • Two more turns.
  • Chill again for 2 hours.
  • The last two turns should be done no more than 2 hours before the final shaping to obtain the highest rise.
  • Roll out for final shape.

Pâte à choux

This easy recipe, sometimes called cream puff shells or puff pastry can be used in many ways. Unsweetened, it is a base for Gnocchi or Dauphine Potatoes, a bland form for filling, soup garnishes or hors d’oeuvre cases. Sweetened, it can become a base for éclairs or beignets. Shaped as round cases, it can become profiteroles when filled with ice cream and covered with a chocolate sauce. In a towering pyramid, it becomes a Croquembouche.


For about 20 choux or 40 small puffs:

1 cup of water
1/4 lb. of butter cut in 5 or 6 slices
1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 Tbsp of sugar
1 cup* of all-purpose flour
4 eggs

For about 80 choux or 160 small puffs:

4 cup of water
1 lb of butter, cut in slices
1 tsp of salt, 2 Tbsp of sugar
4 cups of all-purpose
4 eggs

  • Combine water, salt, sugar and butter in saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Remove from heat and immediately add flour.
  • Beat vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball.
  • The dough, or panade, should be soft but not sticky.
  • Return to heat for a minute and continue beating to remove moisture.
  • Transfer to a clean bowl.
  • By hand, or in a mixer, add one egg at a time and beat well.

Fill a pastry bag with the pâte à choux, coat a large cookie sheet with butter & flour.

  • Squeeze out puffs about the size of a golf ball.
  • Brush the top with a egg wash (a whole egg, beaten), pushing down the tails.
  • Let the choux dry for a while before cooking.
  • Bake in a 370°F preheated oven for 35 minutes or until well puffed and golden.
  • Shut off the heat, open the oven door slightly and let the puffs cool slowly for 1 hour.

* 165 grams or 6 oz

French bread

f2 1/2 cups of warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 package of dry yeast
5 or 6 cups flour (unbleached King Arthur)
1 egg white

  • Mix the first 4 ingredients.
  • Add the first 5 cups of flour and form into a ball.
  • Depending on the consistency, slowly add the remaining flour.
  • The dough should not be sticky.
  • Knead for about 7 minutes.
  • Let rise until double in bulk.
  • Push down and let rise again.
  • Cut into four parts and roll each piece into a baguette.
  • Put into the bread mold and let rise above the rim.
  • Cook at 450°F for 15 minutes then reduce to 350°F for another 20 minutes.
  • Unmold immediately and let cool.

Crêpe batter

For about 20 to 25 small crêpes.

1 1/3 cups of flour
1 Tbsp of vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of milk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp of rum

  • Put flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
  • Make a well in the center.
  • Add the oil and some of the milk.
  • Stir well until smooth.
  • Continue adding the milk gradually to avoid any lumps.
  • Beat the eggs and add to the mixture. Flavor with the rum.
  • Let rest for at least 2 hours.
  • Cook the batter as demonstrated during class.

Crème St. Honoré

This is a crème patissiere with almonds.

1-2/3 cups milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of flour
1 cup of whipping cream & 2 Tbsp of sugar

  • Scald the milk, add vanilla
  • Meanwhile stir egg yolks and gradually add sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
  • Add the flour.
  • Slowly add the hot milk, stirring constantly.
  • Pour in a saucepan and bring slowly to boiling.
  • Work very fast to avoid lumps.

Crème patissière

Assemble and measure all ingredients before starting.  Work quickly.

For one cup (about 40 puffs)

1-1/2 Tbsp of all purpose flour
1-1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch
1/3 cup of sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp of butter
1 cup of milk
1 Tbsp of rum or Cognac

For 4 cups (160 puffs)

6 Tbsp of all purpose flour
6 Tbsp of cornstarch
1-1/3 cup of sugar
8 large egg yolks
8 Tbsp of butter
4 cups of milk
4 Tbsp of rum or Cognac 

  • Sift flour in 2 quart mixing bowl.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk slightly with a fork.
  • Knead 2 Tbsp of butter with the heel of your hand and reserve.
  • In a 2 1/2 quart saucepan bring the milk to a boil.
  • Pour half the milk in the flour bowl and beat quickly until smooth.
  • Add the egg and blend well.
  • Pour this mixture into the remaining milk.
  • Bring back to the boil if necessary.
  • Cook for 30 seconds or until thick.
  • Cool by putting bottom of pan in cold water, continue beating.
  • When just warm, add rum.
  • Whisk in the butter and mix until incorporated.
  • Cover and refrigerate.

Crème anglaise

1 1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla
4 egg yolks
3 Tbsp of sugar

  • Warm the milk in a small pan and add the vanilla.
  • Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and mix until lemon colored.
  • Add the milk gradually while mixing well.
  • Pour back into the pan and cook gently, stirring all the time until the crème anglaise coats the spoon.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Cover and refrigerate.

Béarnaise sauce

The béarnaise sauce is similar to the hollandaise sauce but is enhanced with shallots, tarragon, and vinegar. These two are the most celebrated of emulsified sauces and consist of a stable mixture of two liquids – vinegar or lemon and butter – that normally separate from each other. To keep them together they need an emulsifying agent that occurs naturally in many animal substances such as egg yolks (lecithin), milk (casein) and blood. In fact, a small quantity of casein in regular butter does, to a slight degree, help emulsify your hollandaise sauce. These agents work in three different ways: they coat the oil droplets, reduce water’s surface tension and give the oil droplets identical electrical charges.

So, the stability of an emulsion is threatened if:

  • temperatures are too extreme (separates when frozen, curdles when heat reached 190°F)
  • there is excess agitation – overbeating destabilizes the emulsion.
  • a nasty thunderstorm strikes!

2 Tbsp of finely chopped shallots
1 Tbsp of red vinegar
1 Tbsp of water
1 Tbsp of fresh tarragon
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
1/4 tsp of salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter at room temperature and cut up in small pieces

  • In a thick-bottomed saucepan mix the vinegar and the shallots.
  • Cook on low heat until vinegar is evaporated.
  • Add the water, the yolks, the tarragon, the salt and the cayenne.
  • Beat with a whisk until just blended.
  • Improvise a double boiler with 1/2 inch of water brought to a simmer in a large pan.
  • Set the saucepan with the egg mixture in it.
  • Cook for 1 or 2 minutes until yolks thicken.
  • Beating constantly, gradually add increasing quantities of butter.

Pâte brisée

This dough can be made with 1-1/2 cups of regular flour rather than the cake flour, but it might require a few more drops of water to hold together. Don’t be discouraged when the dough does not seem to stick together at first and be tempted to add water too quickly.  However, it should stay together when gathering it by hand to form a ball. Also remember that the gluten will do its job of bonding while you let the dough rest for a few hours in the refrigerator.

It is important to not overwork the dough: tiny pieces of butter should still be visible for the crust to be light and flaky.

Finally, the golden rule it to keep the dough refrigerated between all steps. A warm dough becomes elastic and does not respond well to rolling. Furthermore it will shrink while cooking if it is not very firm and cold before going in the oven.

This dough can be used for dessert as well as appetizer. Only the amount of salt and sugar will change.

1 cup of bleached flour
1/2 cup of cake flour
1 stick & 3 Tbsps of soft butter cut into pieces (use frozen butter for food processor)
1/2 tsp. of salt, pinch of sugar in 1/3 cup of iced water
(for sweet dough: 1 tsp of sugar, pinch of salt) 

  • Place flour and butter in a large mixing bowl.
  • Rub flour and butter together until it resembles coarse meal.
  • Pour water in and blend lightly.  (All the steps above can be done at once in a food processor, just pulse the flour and butter 8 to 10 times then add the cold water and pulse a few more time.
  • Put on a board or counter, then do a final blending with the scraper if needed.
  • Press into a small ball, sprinkle with flour and let rest for at least two hours.
  • Divide the dough in half if you want to do two 10½ inch pies, reserve the other half in the refrigerator for later use. For a much larger pie roll the whole dough and save the left over for individual pies.
  • Roll the dough.  Gently press it in the pie pan to avoid air bubbles.
  • While it cools back in the refrigerator, preheat oven to 450°F.
  • After 10 minutes or more, take the pie out of the refrigerator and cover with foil pressing tightly in the corner between bottom and side. Spread some weight on on top of the foil (I use some small stones).
  • Precook for 8 to 10 minutes at 450°F.
  • After 8 minutes you may lift the foil and weight and let the pie bottom cook 1 or 2 more minutes. If it bubbles up push back down gently.
  • Let cool and freeze or use right away.