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Practical Alchemy: Galette Dough

Galette

As any astute reader of Practical Alchemy will notice I'm a little obsessed with desserts. My obsession comes front and center again this week in the form of galette dough. A galette is a flaky pastry prepared similar to a pie, however with a stronger dough and without a pie tin. To clarify, a galette is pure delicious, a galette is a reason to get out of bed in the morning, a galette will be the driving force behind world peace in the year 2014*. As amazing as a galette can be the best part is galette is how quick and easy creating this fancy desert really is.

The galette dough can be made in bulk and frozen ahead of time, needing only a quick overnight thaw in the fridge before being rolled, having fruit added, and baked making it an ideal dessert to make when you are pressed for time, but really want to impress friends and family alike. Click through to find out how to stock your freezer with these ready-to-go discs of deliciousness.

Recipe from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson

Like all pastry doughs the layering of cold (and thus firm) butter and flour creates the flaky finished product. Start by mixing 8 3/4oz (1 3/4 cup) white flour, 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt. This mixture should then be placed in the freezer and left for at least 10 minutes until it is chilled throughout.

When the flour mixture is chilled, cut 6oz (1 1/2 sticks) of cold unsalted butter into 1/2" cubes then toss the cubes in the frozen flour mixture. Mix the butter into the flour using a pastry blender or food processor and work it until the mixture has become course with the butter in small fragments no more than 1/4" around.

Re-freeze the flour-butter mixture for another 10 minutes while mixing 3 tablespoons of ice water and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Pour this over the cold flour-butter mixture and mix with a fork until the dough loosely holds together. It will not form a solid glob, and will be crumbly. If the dough does not stick together when pressed with fingers add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of ice water gradually, mixing until the the dough behaves properly.

Put the mixture on a floured counter top and gently press it into a rough rectangle. Fold this rectangle over itself several times to form the many layers of butter and flour that will become the flaky texture of the final baked product. Once you're done folding, flatten the dough into a 1" thick round disc and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Prior to baking the galette the disc of dough should chill for at least another hour in the fridge. I know, it's a lot of chilling. It's worth it.

Galette dough with plums

This is an easy recipe to double. In this case the second disc can be frozen after it's been tightly wrapped in plastic and foil. It will keep for up to 3 months. The night before baking, just move the disc from the freezer to the fridge to thaw.

Galette chilling before baking

When ready to bake roll the chilled dough into a 12-14" circle and place any fruit tossed lightly in 1:1 mixture of sugar and corn starch in the middle. Leave about 2" on the edge to fold over to form a hollow area for the filling. The completed galette should then be chilled in the fridge for at least 20 minutes while the oven warms to 400 degrees. More chilling. I know.

The galette should be baked at 400 for 30 minutes, then at a reduced temperature of 350 for an additional 20-30, until the crust is golden brown, and cooled before slicing (pizza-style!) and serving. Enjoy!

--Sparky

*world peace via galette not guaranteed.

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