When I first applied to be on the Great American Baking Show, I started working to improve my baking skills. I made a list of general techniques and a list of “classic bakes” to go along with them. Two years passed by. I went to the tent and came back. But this “self-improvement process” goes on. In fact, being in the show gave me extra energy and passion to get better. Tackle the techniques I still feel insecure about. Bake the classics. Such as Galette des Rois. I have always associated it with France, but it originated in Medieval times, enjoyed during Roman festivities known as Saturnalia. Usually a hidden figurine (or a bean, a whole almond) is baked in the tart, and the person who finds it gets to be King (or Queen) for a day. I skipped that part in my dessert, afraid some departmental colleague would break a tooth. Galette des Rois: puff pastry enclosing almond cream. I can think of few things equally mouth-watering.
GALETTE DES ROIS
(adapted from Bake-Street)
For quick puff pastry:
125g all purpose flour
125g pastry flour
250 g unsalted butter, cold
6 g sugar
5 g salt
100-110g very cold water, from the fridge
for almond filling:
125 g almond flour
100 g powdered sugar
100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
to brush before baking:
2 egg yolks
to brush after baking (optional, but nice):
30 g water
30 g sugar
Make the puff pastry dough. Add the flours, sugar, salt and butter to the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix for about 1 minute in low speed until the butter gets into small pieces. Add 100g of the water and mix another minute, checking to see if you need to add a little more. The mixture should not feel too sticky, but it should come together nicely if you press it with your fingers. Do not mix for too long, to avoid developing gluten. Tranfer the dough to a plastic wrap, form into a rectangle and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out as a large rectangle on a lightly floured surface. No need to worry too much about dimensions, I try to make it twice as long as it is wide. Make one envelope-type fold bringing the top down and the bottom part over it. Turn the dough so that one folded part is to your right. Roll out the same way, fold again. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove from the freezer and roll again two more times. If the dough seems too warm, and the butter is threatening to melt into it, freeze it again for 30 minutes between the third and fourth folds. Once you finish the fourth fold, keep the dough in the fridge until ready to make the dessert. You can keep it overnight or longer.
Prepare the galette: Lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour. Roll the dough to a large rectangle, around 22 x 14 inches. Cut two circles of approximately the same size, with the diameter you want your galette to be. Mine was 8 + ¾ inch in diameter. Cover both circles with plastic and refrigerate while you make the filling.
Make the almond filling. To the bowl of your KitchenAid type mixer add the powdered sugar and butter, mix at low-speed until it starts to form a thick paste, add one egg and continue mixing. Add the almond flour, always at low-speed, ,then the second egg. Add the vanilla and the spices, mix to incorporate. Place in a piping bag, no need for icing tip.
Place the first round of pastry over parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pipe the almond cream makig a spiral over the circle, leaving a space at the edge without cream. Moisten the edges lightly with cold water. If you want to include a figurine or a whole almond, now is the time to do it.
Place the second disc on top, the water brushed on the edge should help it stick. Gently press the top dough over the filling to avoid bubbles being trapped underneath. Use the side of a knife opposite of the blade to mark the dough all around the edges, so that upon baking, it will form a nice wavy design. Brush the top with a well beaten egg yolk. Refrigerate for 1 hour, uncovered.
Brush with egg yolk again. Make a pattern over the surface, adding a small hole in the center to vent the galette during baking. Refrigerate, uncovered for another hour.
Meanwhile, make the syrup to brush the surface by adding all the ingredients in a saucepan. Place on medium heat and boil until the sugar dissolves. Cool completely before using.
Heat the oven to 375 F. Place the galette in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 340-350F and bake for 40 to 45 minutes longer. If you want to brush with the syrup, do it as soon as the galette is baked, still hot from the oven. Let it cool completely before slicing.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The traditional scoring on the surface is a spiral design. I decided to go with a different style, inspired by sourdough slashing. After I baked this galette, I saw a very nice version on Instagram decorating the surface with many concentric hearts. Who knows? I might fully ignore that Valentine is over, and go for it in the near future. After all, I already disrespected the correct day to serve this pastry, which happens to be January 6th. So a Galette de Coeur in March or April? Does not bother me at all.
The galette dough can be made with full-laminated pastry or a quick puff. I opted for the latter because it is a type of dough I am not that comfortable with. I made some for what would have been the semi-final of the show (click here), but had to speed up the process quite a bit to fit it all in the available timing. For this galette, you can see that once you take your time and allow the dough to stay very cold all the time, it really puffs up beautifully.
I loved the addition of spices to the almond cream, which was a twist shared in the recipe at Bake-Street. By the way, that is one of my favorite blogs, I never miss her posts, the videos are a pleasure to watch. She is the neat and precise baker I aspire to be. Next life. There’s always next life…
Grab a pin, and let’s Saturnalia together!
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TWO YEARS AGO: A Valentine’s Day Opera
THREE YEARS AGO: Incredibly Simple Times Four
FOUR YEARS AGO: Walnut-Cranberry Sourdough Bread
FIVE YEARS AGO: Ottolenghi in Brazil?
SIX YEARS AGO: Roasted Winter Vegetables with Miso-Lime Dressing
SEVEN YEARS AGO: 2012 Fitness Report: P90X2
EIGHT YEARS AGO: Caramelized Bananas
NINE YEARS AGO: Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette
TEN YEARS AGO: Whole Wheat Bread