Tuesday, July 30, 2013

TWD - Baking with Julia: Cheese and Tomato Galette

This Cheese and Tomato Galette was supposed to be posted on June 18, but I just didn't get to it on time.  I did get the recipe made, but not on time.  Since there are 5 Tuesdays in July, I have an extra chance to post it now! 

This is pretty much a sort of fancy pizza, with a yummy pastry crust!  I made the galette crust once before, for the Berry Galette last summer.  At that time, I was not very impressed with the dough. I found it difficult to work with and a bit greasy.  The recipe suggested using sour cream, yogurt, or buttermilk, so this time I used sour cream and it was a lot better.  Did the sour cream do the trick?  There could be other factors involved, but at the very least, it worked!

The toppings for this galette are very simple - Monterey Jack cheese, mozzarella cheese, basil and tomatoes!  A Margarita pizza, right?  My favorite!    I made sure to use fresh mozzarella cheese, which I think makes a huge difference.  When mozzarella is a main flavor ingredient, fresh is the only way to go! 

The galette itself is a tiny thing - more of an appetizer or personal sized "pizza", though the galette dough makes enough that you could make two of them.  And you can use the dough for a variety of toppings, savory, like this one, or sweet, like the berry one last summer.  Now that I have had some success with the dough, I may just have to try it again with other toppings! 

By the way, if you look closely to the photo on the top, you will see that my "cooling rack" was actually a rack from my oven.  This is the very last thing I baked before moving and almost everything in the kitchen was packed at that point!  I had to improvise!!

Cheese and Tomato Galette
adapted from Baking with Julia, page 429

1/2 recipe Galette Dough - recipe follows
2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 ounces fresh mozarella, shredded
1/4 cup basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
2-3 firm but ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices

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

Place the galette dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into an 11-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick.  The dough is pretty soft, so you will need to lift it periodically to toss some additional flour underneath to help prevent sticking.  Place the dough on the parchment covered baking sheet.

Toss the cheeses and basil together and then scatter over the dough, leaving a 2-3 inch border.  Place the tomatoes in a concentric circle over the cheese, with each slice slightly overlapping the last.  Fold the border over the filling, allowing the dough to pleat as you lift it up and work around the galette. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp and the cheese is bubbly.  Keep the galette on the baking sheet and rest upon a cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Gently remove the galette from the baking sheet with a large spatula, and slid it onto the cooling rack to finish cooling.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Galette Dough
Baking with Julia, page 371

3 TB sour cream (or yogurt or buttermilk)
1/3 cup (approximately) ice water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 TB cold unsalted butter, cut into 6-8 pieces

Stir the sour cream and ice water together in small bowl and set aside.  Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.  Drop the butter pieces into the bowl and pulse 8-10 times, until the butter pieces vary in size from bread crumb to pea.  Add the sour cream mixture with the machine running, and process just until the dough forms soft curds.

Remove the dough from the processor and divide in half.  Press each half into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.

The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, or frozen for a month.  Thaw, still wrapped, in the refrigerator. 
Printable Recipe - dough only
Printable Recipe - dough plus filling


  1. Ha - great cooling rack!
    Hope you are well settled in by now.

    1. Thank you! Sometimes I have to be a bit innovative....


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