Tuesday, June 18, 2013

TWD: Cheese and Tomato Galette

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Flo Braker

This is an incredibly quick and easy recipe- so easy that you can make a few to serve at a gathering, each with a different filling. I made the recipe as instructed, though this is one of those recipes begging for optional fillings of unlimited possibilities. (I did add a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil before baking.)

The filling for this recipe is made up of Monterey Jack & mozzarella cheeses, basil, and tomatoes, a common flavor combination. You see it as caprese salad, margarita pizza, and caprese skewers to name a few, sans the Monterey Jack cheese.

At first bite I thought this tasted like your typical pizza, though bite after bite, I realized it was really great, fresh pizza. I am, however, undecided as to whether I like the crust or not. The dough is made with cornmeal which gives it a gritty bite, though it is soft and flaky at the same time. This is the same dough that was used for the berry galette the group made back in August; I used leftover pie dough I had in the freezer. I'm sure I would not have cared for this dough for the berry galette. I do still have half the dough in the freezer to give it another go to see if I truly like it or not. I'll let you know.

Other than being undecided about the crust, this was an easy, flavorful, light dinner. I served it alongside one of my favorite salads - Arugula Strawberry Salad.

Success meter (1-3): 3

Why is it for the life of me, I cannot roll out a circle of dough, except when I need to roll out a rectangular shape as I did here.

It did turn out round in the end, and if it didn't, that would be OK too, for galettes are supposed to be rustic looking.

I'm sure there will be many different versions of this galette made by the many talented bakers of this group. You can find the links for their delicious creations on the TWD site; look for the LYL: Cheese and Tomato Galette link.
Cheese and Tomato Galette
Serves 2

½ recipe galette dough, chilled (recipe to follow)

2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 oz. mozzarella, preferably fresh, shredded
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade or torn
2 to 3 firm but ripe plum tomatoes, cut into a ¼-inch thick slices

Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Position a rack on the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll it into an 11-inch circle that’s about 1/8-inch thick. Since the dough is soft, you’ll need to lift it now and then and toss some flour under it and over the top. Roll the dough up around your rolling pin and unroll onto the prepared baking sheet.

Making the filling: Toss the cheeses and basil together in a small bowl, then scatter them over the rolled-out dough, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Place the tomatoes in concentric circles, one slice slightly overlapping the last, on top of the cheese. Fold t he uncovered border of dough up over the filling, allowing the dough to pleat as you lift it up and work your way around the galette. (Because you’re folding a wide edge of dough onto a smaller part of the circle, it will pleat naturally – just go with it.)

Baking the galette: Bake the galette for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp and the cheese is bubbly. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the galette rest on the sheet for 10 minutes. Slip a wide spatula or a small rimless baking sheet under the galette and slide it onto the cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Storing: The galette can be kept at room temperature for several hours, but it is best served the day it is made.

Galette Dough
Yields enough for two 8-inch galettes

3 tablespoons sour cream (or yogurt or buttermilk)
1/3 cup (approximately) ice water
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces

To make the dough by hand (I used the processor method): Stir the sour cream and 1/3 cup ice water together in a small bowl. And set aside. Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a fork to mix. Drop the butter pieces into the bowl, tossing them once or twice just to coat them with flour. With a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour, aiming for pieces of butter that range in size from bread crumbs to small peas. The smaller pieces will make the dough tender, the larger ones will make it flaky.

Sprinkle the cold sour cream mixture over the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork to evenly distribute it. After you’ve added all the sour cream, the dough should be moist enough to stick together when pressed; if it’s not, add additional cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time. With your hands, gather the curds of the dough together. (You’ll have a soft, malleable dough, the kind you might want to overwork.)

Chilling the dough: Turn the dough out of the bowl and divide it in half. Press each piece of dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To make the dough in a food processor: Stir the sour cream and 1/3 cup ice water together in a small bow; set aside. (I added the sour cream to the dough then added water as needed – ended up only using 3 tablespoons.) Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in the work bowl of a processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse to combine. Drop the butter pieces into the bowl and pulse 8 to 10 times, or until the mixture is speckled with pieces of butter that vary in size from bread crumbs to peas. With the machine running, add the sour cream mixture and process just until the dough forms soft, moist curds.  

Chill the dough: Remove the dough from the processor, divide it in half, and press each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.

Storing: The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two, or it can be wrapped airtight and frozen for a month. Thaw, still wrapped, in the refrigerator. It is convenient to roll the dough into rounds, place parchment between each round, and freeze them wrapped in plastic; this way you’ll need only about 20 minutes to defrost a round of dough at room temperature before it can be filled and folded into a galette, and baked.

Baking with Julia/Dorie Greenspan


  1. It looks great! I liked the cornmeal in the dough. My cornmeal was really fine, though. I don't think I would've liked it with a coarser ground cornmeal.

  2. Wow! Your pictures are awesome! I also like the detail in the recipe. Thanks for baking along with me ... or am I baking along with you? Have a blessed day! Catherine www.praycookblog.com

  3. Looks beautiful. It's funny, but I had the opposite response to the dough; I didn't really like it for the savory filling, but really enjoyed it for the fruit filling we baked last year. As they say, variety is the spice of life.

  4. Vibrant colors! Glad you enjoyed

  5. your tomatoes look much riper than the ones i used! and you are right about it being like a pizza. while mine was in the oven, i could have sworn i was going to pull a pizza out and not a tart!

  6. Fantastic pics! Great looking galette. It was like a pizza! I liked the dough, as it was different from a regular crust. I might have to see how I like it with a sweet filling. (might be different)

  7. Mine was a bit of a square too, but it all works out. Looks delicious, especially that first picture. I wish I'd had fresh basil on hand!

  8. Yummo - your galette looks terrific.

  9. You did a great job!!! I read in another blog exactly the same thing about the dough!!! Will haveto try it!

  10. Beautifully done, as always. I didn't mind this crust in a savory tart, but it wasn't my favorite for the berry galette.

  11. Lovely looking galette. My pastry dough also refuses to become a circle, it must be how pastry doughs roll (no pun intended). I used walnut instead of cornmeal for a fruit galette, and that worked well too.

  12. Very nice photos...I especially like your leading photo and the ones showing the last slice of galette on the pan. I liked the texture that the cornmeal added to the crust...maybe it all depends on how finely ground the cornmeal is.

  13. As always lovely photos, Cathleen! And a simply beautiful galette! Mine didn’t roll into a circle either. I really loved this recipe and know I’ll be making it again.

  14. Your cheese looks so brown and delicious! I'm iffy about cornmeal too, but I was OK with this crust.

  15. Your galette looks picture perfect. Let us know what you think of the cornmeal crust when you do it again!


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