Brown Butter Bacon Gougeres

When was the last time that you sunk your teeth into a food and fell absolutely in love with it?

For me, it was on Mother’s Day 2019. Earlier that week, I was planning out the menu for a Mother’s Day brunch for my wife and her mom, who are both fantastic cooks. Like most moms out there, they both are always doing what they can (without recognition) to make everyone around them happy and healthy. I wanted to create a brunch menu that showed them how much the whole family cares while also leaving them full and satisfied.

A simple egg sandwich and hash browns just wouldn’t do, I needed to get creative and push my culinary boundaries in the kitchen. After flipping through pages of cookbooks from incredible chefs (like Alice Waters and James Beard), then skimming Pinterest for breakfast inspiration, I finally came across a recipe for Gougeres. Now if you’ve never had a gougere, they are a savory pastry that has a thin, crisp exterior and an airy, fluffy interior. They were unique and would fit in well with my French-leaning theme for the brunch, so I gave them a try.

I honestly don’t remember what that original gougere recipe was, but it turned out to be a big hit and stole the show for the meal. From that moment, my gougere adventure began. After multiple trials, I’ve settled on a brown butter bacon gougeres recipe that I’d love for you to recreate and relish in your own home. We always eat them while they’re still hot from the oven, but you can let them cool and freeze them for up to a month without any issues.

One exciting thing about gougeres that I still have yet to try is piping them full of something delicious, such as a goat cheese & herb mixture, a meat pâté, or a delicate crème. The options are endless so I encourage you to see what creative fillings you can add into your gougeres!

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. (I rubbed butter over the baking sheets because I was out of parchment paper, so that works too!)
  2. Melt the butter in a medium size pot over low heat for 5-10 minutes until the butter turns a slightly bronze hue. This allows the water in the butter to evaporate and the milk solids to begin caramelizing, which creates the rich, nutty flavor and alluring aroma that makes us go head-over-heels for anything with brown butter!
  3. Add milk, water and salt. Bring to a low boil over medium heat then add flour and turn off stove.
  4. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a solid ball and is no longer sticking to the sides of the pot, about 2-4 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, transfer to a mixing bowl and let dough cool for 5 – 10 minutes. (If eggs are added while dough is to hot, then the eggs will cook instead of incorporating into the dough mixture).
  6.  Add 1 egg at a time and stir until incorporated into the dough before adding each of the next eggs.
  7. Stir in minced bacon.
  8. Stir in 3/4 of the shredded cheese.
  9. Stir in green onions.
  10. Using two spoons, scoop gougere mixture with one spoon and dollop it onto the baking sheet, using your other spoon to slide the mixture off of the scooping spoon. Place 12 gougeres on each baking sheet.
  11. Once the gougeres are on each baking sheet, sprinkle remaining cheese over each gougere.
  12. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, until the gougeres are fully puffed up and golden brown on top.

 

Butter, milk, water, salt mixture

dough ball

Adding eggs

All eggs added to mixture.

Add minced bacon

Add cheese

Add Green Onions

Dollop gougere mixture onto sheet pan.

Bake gougeres for 20-25 minutes at 400F

Eat and enjoy!


Recipe Credit

James Nimmer is the Director of Partnerships & Engagement at Green Bean Delivery and has been with the company since early 2010. When he’s not spreading the word about local farmers, artisans and food events, you can find James cooking up new recipes in his kitchen, getting his hands dirty in his garden, or exploring restaurants throughout the Midwest. Follow his culinary adventures on Instagram: @JamesNimmer