Many home cooks think making dough is not just hard but tricky, with lots of ways to fail. Although it is, indeed, possible to mess up dough, it really isn’t difficult, especially if you relax, know your ingredients and know yourself.
Galette dough is the easiest to make and is ideal for anyone with warm hands, as it takes just minutes to make. The biggest problem with dough is working it too much and allowing the butter to get to warm. So, relax, follow the dough recipe exactly, and, if you know you have warm hands, put the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before beginning. Keeping things cold and mixing quickly will prevent the butter from warming, as will chilling the dough before and after rolling it out.
A savory galette makes a great summer meal, especially with a big green salad alongside. One large galette will serve 2 to 4 people if it is the main course, and no one has an enormous appetite.
Two large galettes make a feast.
When adding the filling to a galette, keep in mind that “less is more,” as you don’t want to weigh down the dough and have it get soggy.
Don’t worry too much about measuring each ingredient. Just use your judgment and your eyes, as my small zucchini, for example, may be a different size than yours. You don’t want fillings piled high, like an American-style pizza.
Savory Galette Dough, with Summer Fillings
Makes 2 large or 8 small galettes
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces unsalted butter, in small pieces, cold
1/2 cup ice-cold water
— Filling of choice (suggestions follow)
1 egg white, mixed with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)
— Maldon Sea Salt, Hawaiian Alaea Salt, or other high-quality coarse salt
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper and mix well with a fork.
Cut in the butter, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal; work very quickly so that the butter does not become too warm.
Add the ice water and press the dough gently until it just comes together; do not overmix — it’s okay if there appears to be unmoistened flour.
Spread a sheet of wax paper over a flat surface and turn the dough out onto it.
Grip the ends of the wax paper and pull them together, so that it presses the dough together. Wrap the dough into a ball and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. (At this point, the dough can be wrapped a second time in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.)
To make large galettes, cut the dough into 2 equal pieces; wrap one and return it to the refrigerator.
Set the other piece of dough on a floured work surface and use the palm of your hand to pat it flat.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick and about 14 inches in diameter.