Preheat oven to 400 °F (200 °C).
Bring water, butter and salt to boil in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour all at once. Cook and stir well until mixture is smooth and leaves side of saucepan and forms a ball. Remove from heat. Let cool for about 2 minutes.
Add four eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) cheese and Italian seasoning.
Drop mixture by rounded spoonfuls (about 1 tsp/5 mL) onto foil-lined baking sheets lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Beat remaining egg in small bowl. Brush top of each puff with beaten egg, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in preheated 400°F (200°C) oven for 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F (180°C) and bake until gougeres are puffed and golden browns, about 5 minutes longer.
Serve immediately or let cool completely on wire racks.
Makes about 50 gougeres.
Cheddar Gougeres: Replace 1 cup (250 mL) grated parmesan cheese with 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded extra old cheddar cheese and replace seasoning with 1 tsp (5 mL) dry mustard.
Roquefort Gougeres: Replace 1 cup (250 mL) grated parmesan cheese with1 1/2 cups ( 375 mL) crumbled roquefort cheese. Omit seasoning.
Freezing and Reheating Tips:
Once the bite size gougeres are cooled completely, place them in airtight containers and freeze up to one month. Thaw them at room temperature on baking sheets, for about 1 hour. To serve them hot, warm in a 350°F (180°C) oven for about 8 minutes. Serve immediately.