Salt & Wind Travel

{Gougères} Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Props to the French for always finding a way to sneak cheese into pretty much everything from soufflés to these French cheese puffs.

Okay, to call gougeres (pronounced “goo-zhehr”) cheese puffs really doesn’t do them justice. Gougeres are very special because they’re made with pâte à choux or choux pastry, which is the same dough as cream puffs. In other words, they’re basically savory cream puffs.

Origin Of Gougeres

It’s said that the French cheese puffs originated in France’s Burgundy region and they’re classically made with Swiss-style cheeses found in the region like Gruyère, Comté, or Emmentaler cheese. In fact, there is a specific town in Burgundy that takes great pride in saying that these airy cheese delights hail from their town.

A twist on that classic that we adore is these sweet, salty, herby gougeres with Pancetta, Fontina, and herbs.

Gougeres Cooling Off On Baking Sheet

Tips For Making Gougeres

Make Them Classic

The classic style is pretty fantastic. If you want to make the classic French cheese puff recipe, simply omit the pancetta and thyme and swap Gruyere or Comte cheese for the Fontina.

Don’t Mess With The Ratios

This is a dough where the ratios are very specific in order to achieve a cheese puff that is adequately risen, perfectly puffy, and flavorful.

Cook The Dough Until Dry

Don’t skip this step! You want to make sure you cook the dough ball in the pan until most of the moisture is cooked out and that it doesn’t stick to your hand when you touch it. Do this before you add the eggs for a dough that rises well.

Beat The Eggs In Completely

Also, make sure each egg is beaten in well before you add the next. If you have the eggs not fully beaten, the final dough will have a gummy consistency.

Make Them Gluten Free

Use your favorite gluten-free flour blend to make these gluten-free.

Make Them Ahead

These French cheese puffs can be made ahead of time. Just bake them and then keep them at room temperature for up to one day before serving. Warm them up in a 200°F oven until just warmed through before serving.

High Altitude Adjustments

Trying to make French cheese puffs at a high altitude? Here are our adjustments (tested at 8,000 feet):

Add 1/4 cup more milk or water to the dough. Shape gougeres as directed but let them chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before baking.

Bake at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes then let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing. These gougeres will spread a tad more than in the photo but turn out great at high elevations with these adjustments!

Go stock up on all your cooking essentials then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

French Gougeres Cheese Puffs In Serving Piece
Gougeres French Cheese Puff Appetizers

{Gougères} Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs Recipe

A recipe for the classic French snack, gougeres, but with a twist thanks to the addition of pancetta, Fontina cheesee, and herbs. These French cheese puffs are our go-to for cocktail parties.  
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 30 gougeres
Calories 90 kcal


For The Pancetta:

  • 4 ounces pancetta

    small dice

For The Pate Au Choux Dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk plus 1 tablespoon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 ounces Fontina cheese shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

    finely chopped


  • Prepare The Baking Sheets: Heat oven to 400°F and arrange racks in the upper and lower third. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
    If making the pancetta, line a plate with paper towels and set aside. Place pancetta in a medium nonstick frying pan and cook until crisp. Remove pancetta to paper towel-lined plate and set aside to drain.
    TIP: Pancetta can be crisped up to one day ahea of time. Store refrigreated in an airtight container until ready to use.
    4 ounces pancetta
  • Cook The Pate Au Choux Dough: Meanwhile, make the choux pastry dough. To do so, combine one cup of the milk or water with the butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, dump in all the flour, and stir vigorously until flour is incorporated.
    Cook, stirring constantly, until the dough comes together in a ball and feels dry to the touch, about 2 minutes.
    1 cup whole milk, 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Beat In The Eggs: Transfer dough to a food processor fitted with a blade or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Pulse or beat in five of the eggs, one by one, letting each egg completely incorporate before adding the next.
    Reserve 3 tablespoons of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese then add pancetta, remaining cheese, and thyme; pulse or mix on low until thoroughly incorporated.
    5 large eggs, 3 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, 3 ounces Fontina cheese, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • Arrange On Baking Sheets: Drop tablespoon-size portions of dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1/2 inch apart. Whisk remaining egg yolk with the remaining 1 tablespoon milk and brush tops of cheese puffs then evenly sprinkle reserved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over top.
    Bake The Gougeres: Place in oven and bake, rotating halfway through, until puffed and golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. 
    TIP: Gougeres can be baked up to two days ahead. Rewarm in a low oven within 30 minutes of serving. 



Serving: 1gougereCalories: 90kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 4gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 147mgPotassium: 42mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 189IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 1mg
Keyword classic french food, french cheese puffs, vegetarian appetizers
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

Travel Planning Resources

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to our privacy policy.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


We'll help you taste Italy Mexico California Hawaii Mexico France Spain the world

We specialize in food-focused experiences in the most interesting culinary regions of the world.

We host unique small group trips to California, Italy, and Mexico from Sicily to Oaxaca.

Our tailored-to-you trip planning services help you make the most of your trip.