1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated cheese, such as Gruyere or Cheddar (or a mixture of smoked and regular cheese)
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a rapid boil over high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low and quickly start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon. The dough will come together and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring with vigor another 2 to 3 minutes to dry the dough. The dough should now be very smooth.
Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or you can continue by hand). Add the eggs one by one and beat, beat, beat until the dough is thick and shiny. Don’t be concerned if the dough falls apart by the time the third egg goes in, the dough will come together again. Beat in the grated cheese. Once the dough is completed, it should be used immediately.
Using about 1 tablespoon of dough for each gougere, drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of puff space between each mound of dough.
Slide the baking sheets into the oven, bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the sheets from top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking until the puffs are golden and firm, another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the gougeres piping hot as soon as they come from the oven.
Makes about 36 puffs.
from Dorie Greenspan, who comments:
Spooned-out, unbaked cream gougere dough can be frozen and baked just when you need it, so having fresh puffs at the ready is a cinch. You can shape the gougeres and freeze them for up to 2 months before you bake them. To freeze, spoon the dough in mounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. When the dough is completely frozen, remove the balls from the baking sheets and wrap them airtight. They can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months and don’t need to be defrosted before baking.