This bacon and cheese puff recipe makes a gougère full of cheese and salty bacon. It’s the perfect little snack for a cocktail or dinner party appetizer.
This bacon and cheese puff recipe is easy to make once you understand choux. And this recipe makes about 50 bacon cheese puffs, enough for almost any occasion.
When people ask what appetizer they should make, my first question is always, “Is it to go with cocktails, for an informal dinner, or for a party?” Depending on the answer, my response might include cheese and crackers, olive poppers, or this bacon cheddar popcorn. But for every occasion, the answer will always include gougères (cheese puffs made from choux pastry).
This bacon and cheese puff recipe was created for the reddit 52 weeks of baking challenge, week 18: pâte à choux. For ages I have wanted to make eclairs again, but, alas, I needed an appetizer for my own party. Eclairs will have to wait.
Tips and tricks for this recipe
Choux is yet another formula that can be found in Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio. By weight it is 2 water: 1 butter: 1 flour. So far I’ve used Ruhlman’s ratios to create my own 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.
The first step in making choux involves cooking the flour in a mixture of butter and water.
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.
Pipe into rounds spaced about an inch apart.
FAQs about this bacon and cheese puff recipe
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. Mmmm figs and blue cheese.
I’m thinking I’d like a glass of champagne or a gin martini, right about now.
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.
Leave out the cheese and bacon and fill them for puffs or profiteroles. Pipe them into lengths for eclairs. Choux is so versatile. You can read here all about choux pastry.
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.
If you make this bacon and cheese puff recipe or have questions about how to make it, please leave a comment or rating here.
Looking for inspiration?
Week 1: New Year new recipe – blueberry galette
Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
Week 4: Australia – sausage rolls
Week 5: bite sized – cookies
Week 6: Chinese New Year – mushroom bao
Week 7: new tool – baguette baker
Week 8: chocolate – chocolate peanut butter bonbons
Week 9: timed bake – under 1 hour! chocolate chip scones
Week 10: allergy/diet restriction – macarons
Week 11: quick breads – kale and cheese quick bread
Week 12: signature bake – purple cow bread
Week 13: enriched breads (kale and cheese babka fail)
Week 14: childhood favorite –fudgy triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting
Week 15: decorating challenge – purple velvet cake
Week 16: crispy crunchy – bacon cheddar popcorn
Week 17: p52 of your favorite cookbook, or your favorite blog – chocolate peanut butter drip cake
Next week: a sweet made from vegetables