Place water, butter, salt and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. Add all the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until dough is formed (about two minutes). Transfer dough into mixer with paddle attachment and mix on medium to slightly cool the mixture. Add the eggs one at a time making sure to incorporating each fully (the batter should be silky smooth). Add the cheese and white pepper to taste.
Pipe quarter size puffs on parchment paper and bake in oven 450 for 7-8 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes until the gougeres are puffed and golden brown. Sobel likes topping his with a sliver of cured ham and a fried quail egg. You don't need to be that fancy though, because these taste darn good on their own.