One nice thing about this recipe for galettes (besides the fact that they taste great) is that you can do most or all of the work ahead of time. If you serve these simple tarts at room temperature, which is perfectly acceptable, you can make them hours ahead. If you want to serve them warm, you can roll them out and fill them in the morning, then bake them just before dinner. Either way, the result is a very pleasing and rustic appetizer. (What recipe with bacon wouldn’t be?)
Making the filling, by the way, can be a creative undertaking, too. This is one I made for 75 guests at a farm-to-table dinner. But you can come up with your own combinations of tasty innards. Try sautéed mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, squash, prosciutto, or apples. Whatever ingredients you use, just make sure they’re not too wet.
I use a terrific dough recipe I found in by Dorie Greenspan, a real master. It’s special because it uses cornmeal in addition to flour. The amounts shown here make two 8″ galettes. I usually scale the recipe up a bit to make more, since the dough keeps frozen for up to a month.
or cooking oil
Slice the onions thinly.
Heat the pan, drop in a little oil and slowly saute the onions until they are brown and sweet. Set aside.
Fry the bacon, drain, and when cool, crumble.
Weigh or measure the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt, and combine them in a bowl.
Cut the chilled butter into pieces. In a separate bowl, measure and combine the sour cream and ice water.
Add the chilled butter to the flour-cornmeal mixture.
Cut in the butter using the pastry blender or fork. Reduce the butter chunks to pea-sized pieces.
Add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon, spatula, or your fingers. Don’t overdo this part, but the dough should hold together in a soft mass. If it doesn’t, add a tiny bit more ice water.
Form the dough into two or three spheres of equal size and flatten them slightly. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours. (The dough can stay in there for a couple days if you want, and even longer in the freezer.) I suppose you could make the disks even smaller if you wanted to try making bite-sized pieces, but I wouldn’t recommend this on the first go-round.
Retrieve the dough (and thaw if it is frozen), then place it on a floured surface for rolling. Roll out gently with your pin, (flour it first, too) moving and lifting the dough gently to make sure it doesn’t stick. The finished disk should be about 1/8″ thick.
Once your dough is properly rolled out, layer your fillings in the center of the disk. Be mindful that some of the filling will show through the top, so take care to make the arrangement look appetizing. (This is mainly important if using items such as sliced apples, or, say, salami. The slices should be uniform and neatly arranged.)
Carefully fold up the edges of the dough around the filling, pleating the folds as you go along. The finished galette should look like a change purse.
Place the galettes on a sheet pan and bake for about 30 minutes at 350˚ F or until the crusts are golden brown. Because there is so much butter in the dough, sticking should not be a problem, but if you feel you need insurance, place the galettes on parchment. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.