Flour is such an incredible ingredient. These days, it can be vilified – seen as over-processed, filled with gluten and basically the basis of junk food. But lately I’ve been thinking about how incredible flour is. Flour, water, maybe an egg or some butter, a tiny bit of salt and/or sugar – can be turned into the most delicious pasta, tangy sourdough bread, sweet rolls, flaky croissants…I could go on and on. There is absolutely nothing that makes a house feel more like a home than the aroma of some sort of baked good in the oven. I remember my mom making her Southern biscuits when she was off of work on Wednesday afternoons. When I came home from school, she was just pulling them out of the oven and setting them on the table with butter and honey for a snack. I will never see a biscuit and not think of being welcomed home and loved by her. Like many things in the standard American diet, we’ve taken flour and stripped it of its nutrients, extended its shelf life beyond belief and hybridized and refined it until it’s practically unrecognizable.
The trick is to seek out great quality ingredients and use them to bake from scratch. Need some inspiration? I give you: The Galette.
It’s a sort of rustic, open faced pie that will make you feel like you live in a villa in the South of France where the rosé flows all day and there’s nothing on your agenda except a good book and a rest by the pool. As a mother of three tiny humans with an outside-the-home full time job, I’m HERE for that fantasy.
The galette can be made sweet or savory and the flavor combinations are infinite. I love to fill the dough with cinnamon-dusted apples in the fall but since it’s officially summer, I shared a sweet version with juicy, sweet berries and a savory option with mushrooms & goat cheese on my weekly Minnesota Live cooking segment today.
A couple of notes about the ingredients (since they matter!): always look for unbleached and preferably organic flour. I love Sunrise Flour Mill (I order in bulk) or King Arthur (easy to find at grocery stores). My butter of choice is Kerrygold or Hope Creamery. Salt is Redmond Real Salt and Maldon Sea Salt (those are the staples in my kitchen – I do love adding other specialty salts to the mix too!). And I love using maple sugar in place of granulated sugar in my pie crust.
Sweet or Savory Galette
Galette Crust (makes enough for 2 galettes – if only using one, freeze the second half tightly wrapped in plastic and foil)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (350 g)
- 2 tablespoons maple sugar
- 1 teaspoon Redmond’s Real Salt
- 2 1/2 sticks cold butter
- 6 tablespoons ice water (I put ice in a glass, add water – then measure from the glass)
Cut the butter into small pieces (I slice into tablespoons, then slice those down the center). While you prepare the other ingredients, put the butter in the freezer so it stays really cold. To the bowl of your food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the flour is coated with the fat and has a sandy-like texture. Add the ice water and pulse again several times. Pour the “dough” (it will look sandy and won’t be in a ball shape) onto a large piece of wax paper or parchment and quickly form it into a ball. Using a bench cutter or knife, cut the ball in half and form each half into a disc, wrapping separately with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge to chill at least 1/2 hour before assembling the galette. When you’re ready to bake, pull one disc out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Flour your countertop, and put the unwrapped dough on top. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough and dust a rolling pin with flour as well. Roll out the dough into a rough circle (it does not have to be perfect!) until it’s about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Transfer to a parchment lined jelly roll pan. Fill with desired filling, leaving 2-3 inches of dough around the edge. Fold the sides up and over the edge of the filling, leaving a large part of the center uncovered. Brush the edges of the dough with heavy cream or a beaten egg and sprinkle with either flaky sea salt or maple sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.
Add one teaspoon of butter and one teaspoon of olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup diced onions or shallots, 2 large minced garlic cloves and 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (any kind you like works!). Season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside to cool. When you’re ready to fill the galette, either strain the mushrooms or remove with a slotted spoon so any residual liquid doesn’t go onto the crust. Fill the galette with the cooled mushroom mixture and crumble 4 ounces of chevré over the top. Sprinkle with about 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves. Continue with crust instructions to fold, salt and bake. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.
Mix 2 cups fresh berries (leave raspberries, blackberries and blueberries whole but slice strawberries) and combine. Fill galette dough according to instructions above and sprinkle the crust with maple sugar.