Thursday, January 07, 2010

An Epiphany

Well, maybe not. But we did have the traditional French galette des rois, in celebration of the epiphany. It's a tart made with pâte feuilletée (puff pastry) and a filling of frangipane (almond paste).

The bottom half of the dough, with frangipane, and the fève.

I make my own pâte feuilletée these days as well as my own frangipane. So naturally, I make my own galette. Given that these little cakes go for ten to fifteen euros in a bakery, I think I'm getting a better deal making them on my own.

I got the dough recipe from Eric Léautey, a chef on CuisineTV. Here it is:

Mix 250 g flour, 12 cl water, 5 g salt on a cool surface. Work the dough lightly and wrap it in plastic. Place it the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

The finished galette, with edge and top decoration done with a sharp knife.

Put 250 g butter in between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten it into a rectangle of about 1 cm in thickness.

Roll out the dough so that it is bigger than the flattened butter. Place the butter on top of the dough and wrap the dough around the butter, enclosing it completely. Roll it with a rolling pin, making it uniform and rectangular.

Make the first turn. That is, turn one third of the dough over on itself, then turn the other third over on top. It sounds complicated, but it's not. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.

Hot from the oven.

After an hour, roll the dough out lengthwise and make a double turn. That just means to turn a quarter of the dough over on itself, turn the opposite end over the same way so that the two folded ends meet in the middle, then turn the dough over itself again.

Repeat the double turn step six times, allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator for an hour in between each turn. This is the hard part, because you need to be there each hour to take the dough out of the fridge, roll it, and fold it. This is what retirement is for.

A slice of the galette des rois.

To make the galette, you roll the dough and cut two rounds, fill it with the frangipane, make some nice decorative cuts on top, glaze with an egg wash, and bake in a hot oven.


  1. You deserve an award for dedication to the art of baking.
    It looks superb !!!!

  2. Wow that turned out incredible! It looks so good.

  3. you're a pro now.....maybe a side job? galettes r us

  4. Ohhhh my FFFFFFFF'n......@#()$#&!!!!!

    You're galette is sooooooo beautiful.. I'm red or green with jealousy!!!! Hahaha...

    First, how did you do those swirly cuts-- beautiful-- I had a hard time with the soft uncooked crust- in makin the design... Did you do it before or after you put it on top of the filling?
    Also... how did you do the sides? Did you use a tarte mould turned upside down?
    I need to do a stage at your place... I'm coming to stay for a month when the weather is warmer.. heheheh!!! hehehe!!!!
    Looks sooo much better than in the stores!! YUMMMMMMM!!!!!!

  5. One more thing... Was your egg wash:

    1. the whole egg?

    2. just the egg yolks?

    3. did you add any milk or cream to the egg for the egg wash (if so, how much)...

    4. Did you do two egg washes as I did or just one?!!! Yours came out so much richer looking than mine, but maybe that was because you made your own crust!!

  6. What Lisa said first;-) with the ffffs;-) I tried to make that pastry once with much different results than yours.

    Tell us how you do the frangipani--do you grind the almonds your self?

    Happy Epihpany!

  7. Wow! I can't believe you made that! It's a work of art.

  8. Beautiful!

    I'm glad ugly pastry still tastes good, because that's the kind I make. My audience is very understanding.

  9. Absolutely gorgeous. You must really get a great sense of satisfaction at making such a great looking thing! And so tasty!!

    What is your little fève?
    What goes in your frangipane other than almond paste?


  10. It looks wonderful and must be tasteful also for sure.
    I want a piece :-) Miam!!!!!!

  11. Bravo Maestro!!! To me, that is a real "tour de force".

  12. I love the banner and the larger pictures.

  13. That is just beautiful! Can't believe you did that yourself. Bravo.

  14. jean, I'd like to thank the Academy...

    justin, and it tasted just as good as it looks!

    melinda, well, I can make one at a time. If I had to make 50, I'm not sure I could handle it!

    leesa, the swirly cuts I did with a knife, and the same with the edging, just knife cuts in the dough. The egg was is 1 whole egg, a pinch of salt, about teaspoon of sugar, and a splash of water.

    evelyn, yes, after I've picked them from my tree, that I planted myself. Hahahaha! No, the almonds come ground in a bag from the supermarket. I added butter, sugar, and an egg to make the paste.

    suzanne, thanks! This is my second year. I started last year when I was annoyed at how much they cost.

    chris, I've made and eaten ugly pastry, too. It's a labor of love.

    judy, the feve is a little cartoon character of a pastry called an opéra, invented by le Nôtre. We've saved all our fèves from years back, so I can use a different in each galette.

    beaver, if you're ever in the Loire in January...

    nadege, merci!

    diogenes, thank you!

    michael, take that, Mr. 70 degrees in January! :)

  15. Hello Walt,

    Thanks you for sharing it sound delicious! I'll just have to try this myself very very soon ;-)

    And just to let you know, you have been nominated for the “Kreativ Blog Award”, please see my recent post for more details,

    Until next time… stay happy and healthy.
    I LOVE your blog


  16. Oh man, that looks so appetising.

  17. Wow, that is seriously impressive! Not a big fan of frangipane, but your dough looks so professional!

  18. evol, another reason to come back to France.

    duchess, thanks! Do you get them with other fillings?

  19. Hey... If you guys were buying galettes des rois at Le Nôtre in the past, I can see exactly why you make your own to cut down on the cost...
    But, Mon Dieu.. to get such a great crust takes forever!!

  20. leesa, no, we never bought galettes from le Nôtre. I'd have to mortgage my house! It's just that fève we got once is based on a pastry that he invented.


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