I cup water
1 stick (1/2 cup) sweet butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup grated cheese, such as Comté or Gruyère
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Line two cookie sheets with silicon pads or parchment paper.
In a large sauce pan, boil water, then add the butter and salt. Continue to cook over high heat until butter is thoroughly melted.
Remove the pan from heat and add flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from the side of the pan and forms a ball.
Return mixture to a medium heat and stir 3-5 minutes until dough starts to dry out a bit. Mixture will glisten when it is ready and be thick enough for a spoon to stand up in it.
Transfer mixture into a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. You can also use a hand mixer.
Working at a high speed, add one egg at a time, making sure each one is fully incorporated. The dough is ready when it is smooth and thick enough to hold a stiff peak.
Beat in the grated cheese.
Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough or use a small, one- inch ice cream scoop, placing them one-inch apart on the cookie sheet.
If desired, lightly sprinkle tops with additional grated cheese or spicy red pepper such as cayenne or Espelette.
Bake puffs for 35 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave puffs in the oven 5 more minutes to dry out and become crisp.
Makes 30 Gougères.
Tip: You can also freeze unbaked Gougères.. Scoop dough onto a baking sheet; freeze then transfer to an airtight container. You can bake them directly from the freezer but allow additional time to cook.