Firstly, oops. Last week for the oatmeal bread recipe, I listed 7-8 cups of flour among the ingredients, but in the instructions I left 2-3 cups out. Several of you emailed or wrote to ask when to add them in. So, everyone go get a pen and annotate your recipe. You can put two more cups into the dough either right after the first rising or the second, and any additional flour is for kneading. I treat the first rising as a sponge — that is, I let the yeast work on the flour and oatmeal until it is all bubbly and then I poke it or stir it down. Then I let it rise again and add the rest of the flour.
I have to say, I was just delighted to see that there were so many of you out there interested in making bread. There are really only a couple of steps and the rest of the time, the bread does its own thing. I find it very forgiving. I have assembled the dough, then decided to go do something else, punched it down, stuck it in the fridge, come back later, punched it down again, then finally got around to finishing the loaves all out of order of the recipe’s recommended assembly.
So now, Galette Dough. If you have been reading this column for any time, you know I like tinkerability in a recipe. What I like about this recipe is that the dough is useful for just about any kind of filling you may want to put in it. I used apples which I am storing in the cellar, and some of which will not last much longer. Using them up before they get mushy is the order of the day. I sliced them as if for pie, then dumped on a big old spoonful of peach jam, some cinnamon and sugar, and tossed it around. Then I plopped it in the middle of the dough.
As it happened, I was a little short of butter and ended up substituting a couple of tablespoonfuls of cream cheese for butter which actually worked quite well, though I ended up rolling a little extra flour into the dough because it felt a little soft to me. If, however, you use the recipe as it stands you will end up with an easy-to-handle dough that you can roll out, put on a baking sheet, and fill with fruit.
I make a rustic little galette out of it by folding the dough up around on the edges and over the fruit, leaving an opening in the middle. I usually use a food processor to cut the butter into the flour and cornmeal (yes, cornmeal) mixture but you can certainly do it by hand with a pastry blender or two knives or whatever your favorite tool is. You need to cut in the butter, however, more finely than usual for pie dough.
Serves six to eight
1 cup flour
¼ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons sour cream
⅓ cup ice water
Toss together the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt, then cut in the butter until you can’t see butter bits. Stir together the sour cream and ice water, and add to the flour and butter mixture, tossing until a ball of dough forms. Divide it in two, form a flat disk and chill for an hour or so.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. Prepare the filling of your choice. Roll out the disks and place on the baking sheet. Pile about two cups of filling in the center of each disk, and fold the edges up and partly over the filling. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the filling is soft and the dough is golden brown. Cool.
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