Makes 20 puffs

1 cup milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
5 eggs
1 ½ cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly butter a baking sheet.
2. Combine the milk, butter, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add flour all at once. Whisk vigorously for a few moments, then return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the batter has thickened and is pulling away from the sides and bottom of the pan, 5 minutes or less.
3. Again remove the pan from the heat and stir in 4 eggs, one at a time, making certain the first egg is completely incorporated before adding the second. Then stir in the cheese.
4. Drop the batter by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the puffs at least 1 inch apart.
5. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl. Brush the tops of the puffs with the beaten egg and sprinkle with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano if desired.
6. Set the baking sheet on the center rack of the over, reduce the heat to 350° F, and bake until the gougeres are puffed and well browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.