Savoury galette and an almost catastrophe


I’ll start with the almost catastrophe. As I carried two savoury galettes from the kitchen to the dining table, they slipped off the cooling rack I was holding and fell –

– one of them face down –

– onto plates I had just set out. 

The pastry mostly stayed in tact. There was a little cracking and breaking around the edges, and a few bits of crunchy, flaky pastry made a bid for freedom and landed on the table, but the galettes held together better than I could have hoped. Even the upside down galette flipped around again, tarte tatin-style, not much the worse for wear.

The cheese probably helped to hold the galettes together, but I am also giving the pastry a tick for being tough enough to cope with my clumsiness. Really, some days my feet seem to look out for potholes or uneven paving stones to trip over, or poles to walk into. And the number of times I’ve almost knocked over that bag of flour or sugar!

Catastrophe aside. the pastry was a delight to eat, and not at all like a brick (which would also survive my clumsiness). There is cornmeal, sour cream or yoghurt, and a long resting time. The result was different from your superfine Parisian pastry, it had character, crunch, colour, and a certain heft. It was a pastry that helped to set off the toppings on the galette, but also held its own. We talked about the flavour and texture of the pastry as much as the colours of (miniaturised) tomatoes on the topping.

Which brings me to the tomatoes. I saw these in the grocers and knew, just knew, they were destined for the galettes. They were yellow, 1960s orange, red, and a dark red-brown with darker streaks. They created a beautiful colour wheel on their own.


They also had that real tomato taste, that umami taste, and only needs the tiniest amount of sugar, or balsamic vinegar, to become a complete salad. Paired with basil and mozzarella, it was a real pretty sight.

Other toppings joined in the festival of colours and textures. You see, we are going on holidays, and I have a tight schedule of meals for the next week to ensure there are no perishables in the house by the time we go. So the tomatoes befriended pine nuts, and some aged Emmantal cheese sprinkled on top. In one of the galettes, brie replaced mozzarella.

It was all good. The tomatoes remained colourful and happy, the cheeses mingled in the way that cheeses only mingle for Sunday brunch (they seem to be more particular when it comes to Saturday evening dinner), the cornmeal pastry gave everything a sort of comforting (yet golden, crispy) hug, and we all ate happily ever after.

So, if you decide to try this one, go ahead, play, tweak, flip things upside down.

Oh, and don’t forget to see what other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers have done with this one. I saw the post from Lemon Grove Cake Diaries last night, the photos looked fantastic, and Karen tells a rollickin’ Australian story too.

Baking and improvising notes: I can’t help playing around with ingredients. A small bag of walnuts was on the list of things to use up before the holidays, so I also made walnut pastry using the same recipe, replacing the cornmeal with a slightly larger amount of ground walnuts (ground to about the same consistency as cornmeal). It also worked, and we had both an apple-raspberry galette and an apple-quince pie (my first lattice top pie!!).

The galette was eaten warm from the oven, and left the world without a photographic trace, but the apple pie may be making its way here over the next couple of weeks.


Galette pastry dough

(from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan)

Makes: two 8-inch galettes, or four small ones. (small galettes = galette-lettes?)


3 tbsp (45ml) sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk
1/3 cup (approximately) iced water
1 cup (about 130-140g) plain / AP flour
1/4 cup (about 30g) cornmeal (some people used polenta instead)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
7 tbsp (about 90 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces


1. Stir the sour cream / yoghurt / buttermilk and the water in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt into a bowl, stir to combine. Add the chopped butter and stir to coat with flour. Using a pastry cutter, cut butter into the flour mixture – quickly, before butter warms up – until the mixture is speckled with pieces of butter that vary in size from bread crumbs to peas. 

3. Add the sour cream mixture (the recipe says one tablespoon at a time, I added the whole lot and mixed with a light hand), and fold into the dry ingredients just until you get ‘soft, moist curds’ and the mixture can come together into a ball of dough. You can knead it slightly, but try to resist over-working the very soft dough.

4. Divide the ball of dough in half.  Flatten, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

5. When using the dough, pre-heat the oven to 400F / 200C, roll out each piece of dough to 11-inch circles, add topping, fold up and flute the edges, and away you go.

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31 thoughts on “Savoury galette and an almost catastrophe

  1. Food and Forage Hebrides 19 June 2013 at 9:58 am Reply

    Looks lovely and unscathed, I would like to give it a try with buttermilk. I had a similar incident with a cake recently, unfortunately it landed on the floor face down. Up side was I recovered it before the dogs got there, but it was beyond eating!

    • saucygander 19 June 2013 at 7:32 pm Reply

      Ah bummer about the cake! I was lucky this time, my kitchen floor has been feasting off my clumsy hands for years!

  2. johnnysenough hepburn 19 June 2013 at 11:06 am Reply

    Oops, it’s sort of comforting to realise I’m not the only clumsy person around. Yes, I find those potholes as well.
    – This pasty sounds great. When I made mine last month, and was cursing that I was short of about 20 – 30 g of plain flour and had to sub with wholemeal, that made such a difference! I’m not going back to just plain in future.

    • saucygander 19 June 2013 at 7:34 pm Reply

      Clumsy people of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but our dignity.

      Plain flour can be a bit…plain, can’t it? Except when paired with huge amounts of beautiful cultured butter, and then it’s really about the butter.

  3. SandraM 19 June 2013 at 11:56 am Reply

    Great post. And the galettes look great! Lucky to find good tomatoes!! This is such a good recipe. I was impressed with how easy it was to make the dough and how it was so good when baked.
    You are not alone in the clumsy department…..sometimes I’m afraid to move! 🙂

    • saucygander 19 June 2013 at 7:36 pm Reply

      Yes, this was a good recipe, and the pastry dough was so lovely and soft, and tasted good too. This is a keeper!

  4. I have been amazed how well these hold together also! What a save to have your beauties land on the table and onto plates! 🙂

    • saucygander 19 June 2013 at 7:38 pm Reply

      Yes indeed, I was impressed by my foresight in setting the table just so! 🙂

      I really like this pastry dough, and so easy to put together, even by hand! I am making a sweet galette tomorrow night, using the same dough.

  5. lemongrovecakediaries 19 June 2013 at 12:32 pm Reply

    Loved the post and don’t worry I also put my hand up for being a very clumsy person – you are not alone 🙂 Your galette sounds delicious and I am loving the sound of the fruit ones.

    • saucygander 19 June 2013 at 7:41 pm Reply

      It’s good to know I’m not alone in clumsiness 🙂

      The fruit galette was so easy, yet good, I’m making it again tomorrow when we have friends over for dinner. Just roll out the pastry and voila.

  6. Jenny Colvin (@jenofjennybakes) 19 June 2013 at 1:03 pm Reply

    I like the idea of nuts on these thin galettes, to add a bit of texture.

    • saucygander 19 June 2013 at 7:42 pm Reply

      Thanks! We liked the lightly toasted pine nuts. 🙂

  7. Jody and Ken 19 June 2013 at 1:44 pm Reply

    Done that a couple of times with pizza, though never on the floor. Looks good. Ken

    • saucygander 19 June 2013 at 7:43 pm Reply

      Thanks! I would have made a terrible waitress, so perhaps lucky I have a safe office job that doesn’t require hand eye coordination.

  8. yummychunklet 19 June 2013 at 1:58 pm Reply

    I’m glad the galettes turned out so great!

  9. Liz 19 June 2013 at 2:33 pm Reply

    beautiful!!! Love the tomatoes–so fresh. And great story–glad you didn’t lose these babies 🙂

    • saucygander 19 June 2013 at 7:50 pm Reply

      I’m very glad we didn’t lose these, as there would have been a few hungry people! The tomatoes were a lucky find, bland or watery tomatoes would have been…less good.

      Thanks for visiting!

  10. galettista (Peggy) 20 June 2013 at 12:50 am Reply

    They look beautiful with the colorful tomatoes. I’ve used this dough with the cornmeal for a fruit galette, but I think substituting ground walnuts sounds delicious too.

  11. steph (whisk/spoon) 20 June 2013 at 12:54 am Reply

    instead of saying you are clumbsy, i’d say you are lucky that they fell onto a plates! they look lovely and were delicious, even tatin-style, I’m sure.

  12. louisawalter 20 June 2013 at 3:06 am Reply

    Catastrophe? Sounds like a save! They look terrific! I liked the pastry crust as well. Kristine

  13. thatskinnychickcanbake 20 June 2013 at 3:18 am Reply

    So glad you saved the galettes! And this would be even better with the yummiest of summer tomatoes!

  14. Cathleen 20 June 2013 at 3:50 am Reply

    Wow! Absolutely beautiful.

  15. Cathy B. 20 June 2013 at 4:38 am Reply

    I’m glad your galettes survived their fall. These were really good, weren’t they? Love the addition of pine nuts. I’ll have to try that.

  16. 20 June 2013 at 12:50 pm Reply

    A perfect save…they look beautiful! Love the different colored tomatoes and the addition of pine nuts!

  17. Sunshinex2 21 June 2013 at 2:28 pm Reply

    Your tomatoes sound amazing. Love those heirlooms.

  18. laurasmess 24 June 2013 at 3:21 pm Reply

    Aw no! I’ve dropped beautiful food on many occasions (sometimes salvageable, sometimes not) and it’s a horrible feeling. Your galettes definitely look beautiful and unscathed… love the gorgeous fragrant tomatoes and that flaky pastry! I’ve always wanted to make a galette but I’ve never ventured into action! I’ll have to try this recipe. Thanks lovely xx

  19. Tea with Erika 26 June 2013 at 3:41 am Reply

    What beautiful galettes! It’s never happened to me but I must be insane in the mind cause every time I’m carrying food to my friend across the street I picture myself tripping and dropping not only the food but one of my favourite platters…

  20. Yvonne @ bitter baker 30 June 2013 at 4:06 am Reply

    You’re so lucky! There’s nothing worse than dropping something you just made… So glad they stayed intact! And they look beautiful!

  21. lovinghomemade 8 July 2013 at 7:59 am Reply

    Sounds amazing! And looking forward to seeing the apple pie. Great idea for the walnuts.

  22. Kathleen 8 July 2013 at 9:04 am Reply

    I agree about the cornmeal pastry – slightly sturdy, and also warm and a bit crunchy. Thanks for your improvising notes – I’ve also found that nut flour can be added to just about any baked good, to replace part of the wheat flour.

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