This Bacon and Cheese Puff recipe makes about 50 gougères full of cheese and salty bacon. They’re the perfect little snack for a cocktail or dinner party appetizer. And you can even make and freeze your bacon and cheese puffs for months!
This bacon and cheese puff recipe is easy to make once you understand choux. Or if you’re a choux pastry pro, grab your wooden spoon, jump to the recipe with me, and let’s make gougères!
Choux pastry, or pâte à choux, is a light dough with a high moisture content. It’s made by cooking a mixture of water, butter, flour, and eggs; piping or shaping the dough; and baking it until it puffs up, creating a hollow interior that can be filled with sweet or savory fillings. You can read here more about choux pastry.
Leave out the cheese and bacon in this recipe and fill the puffs for profiteroles. Pipe them into lengths for eclairs. Or make Dorie Greenspan’s unbelievable craquelin-topped cream puffs.
Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations and substitutions
While gruyere is classic in a gougère, almost any cheese would work if it melts well. Some suggestions would include Parmesan, cheddar, or even a blue cheese.
You can stuff these cheese puffs with another savory filling like a whipped cheese or a fig jam. Mmmm figs and bacon and blue cheese.
Recipe tips and tricks
Choux is yet another baking formula that can be found in Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio. By weight it is 2 water: 1 butter: 1 flour. You can Ruhlman’s ratios in practice in my variations on quick breads (kale and cheese quick bread and blackberry lemon bread), waffles (orange poppy seed waffles), shortbread cookies (lemon lavender cookies), and muffins (orange and poppy seed muffins).
Making the bacon and cheese puff batter
Previous versions of this recipe had more cheese and bacon, but the puffs weren’t stable and deflated. Cutting the cheese and bacon in half and upping the temperature created a more stable puff. If you really NEED more cheese and bacon, feel free to increase the amount. They’ll still taste delicious.
Step 1: The first step in making choux involves cooking the flour in a mixture of butter and water.
Step 2: After the mixture cools a bit, put it into your food processor or mixture and let it run for a minute. Add the eggs and process until shiny, and then add the cooked bacon, cheese, and salt.
If you don’t have an extra set of hands, a large coffee cup or small bowl helps hold the piping bag as you fill it with the puff batter. Fold the bag over as far as you can in order to get the batter as low as possible into the bag. If you don’t have piping bags, you can use a clean plastic storage bag and cut off the corner to make a half-inch hole.
Step 3: Pipe your cheese and bacon puff batter into rounds spaced about an inch apart.
Step 4: Put the baking sheets into the oven and turn the oven down to 425°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 375°F and bake for about another 20 minutes until the puffs are firm on the outside and mostly dry on the inside (you’ll just have to try one!).
If the outsides are brown but the insides are not completely dry, turn off the oven and leave the baking sheets in the oven with the door slightly ajar for another 30 minutes or so. Serve warm or at room temperature.
What to serve with bacon and cheese puffs
Gougères are an easy-to-make, make-ahead appetizer perfect for a dinner party, so I’d think about serving them with other simple salty snacks like olives and spiced nuts. Or go with an array of cheeses and meats on a cheese board or charcuterie plate.
For beverages, you can never go wrong with a glass of champagne or a dry white wine. If you’d prefer a summer cocktail, I’d serve a dry gin martini or a lighter aperitivo like a Negroni spritz or Aperol sour. During the holidays go festive with a Cranberry Negroni or rose-flavored French 75!
“Gougère” is a French word with no direct translation. It’s pronounced “goo-zhehr,” with that second syllable starting like the second syllable of “treasure” but rhyming with “chair.”
Because of the bacon and cheese, leftover gougères should be refrigerated for up to three or so days.
Yes, if you need to make several batches ahead of time for a party, you can make them, cool them completely, and freeze them in a freezer bag. Reheat them gently in the oven. You can also freeze piped out puffs on the baking sheet before baking – just bake them straight from frozen for a few minutes longer!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.
Bacon and Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)
- Food processor or stand mixer
- 2 Baking sheets lined with parchment or silicone mats
- 8 ounces (1 cup) water
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 4 ounces (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped fine
- 1 ounce gruyere or other cheese, grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil over medium heat.8 ounces (1 cup) water, 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- Once the butter has completely melted, turn the heat down to medium-low, add the flour, and stir continuously for about 5 minutes, mashing and stirring.4 ounces (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
- Let the mixture cool for a minute or two and then put it into your food processor (or stand mixer).
- In a food processor, remove the feed tube to let the hot air escape. Turn the machine on and let it run for a minute to cool the mixture.
- Add the eggs very slowly while the machine runs and then process or mix for about one minute. The mixture will be shiny and still liquid enough that it does not hold firm peaks.4 eggs, lightly beaten
- Add the bacon, cheese, and salt, and process or mix only to combine.2 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped fine, 1 ounce gruyere or other cheese, grated, ½ teaspoon salt
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag or plastic gallon storage bag with a corner cut out. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, keeping the puffs about an inch apart. If the puffs have peaks after piping, smooth them down with a wet finger.
- Put the baking sheets into the oven and turn the oven down to 425°F. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Turn the oven down to 375°F and bake for about another 20 minutes until the puffs are firm on the outside and mostly dry on the inside (you'll just have to try one!).
- If the outsides are brown but the insides are not completely dry, turn off the oven and leave the baking sheets in the oven with the door slightly ajar for another 30 minutes or so.
This bacon and cheese puff recipe was originally created for the reddit 52 weeks of baking challenge, week 18: pâte à choux. It was last updated for clarity on August 5, 2023.
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