In our town there is a library that looks like it was once a hobbit church. It is short and stout, with low stained glass windows, and a second story with a floor made of frosted glass on an iron grid. Well, parts of the floor are still glass; the rest is plywood laying over where the glass has broken away. The overhead lights on the first story light up the glass, making it feel pretty ethereal if not death defying. In the 70’s, the hobbits must have left the church for good, and an addition was made to the building with complete disregard to the original structure. It is the tale of two buildings in one, and I love it. The best part, of course, is the books. I’m up to my eyeballs in cookbooks these days. It is a miracle I can sleep.
Any-who, I whipped this together for lunch. Yes. It was shocking, not just because I have been known to serve a few slices of jack cheese, celery and baby carrots for lunch (just about daily during the holiday cookie rush), but because it really was that easy. I made the dough the night before, so it really just took a bit of assembling and some time in the oven
I’m giving you the recipe pretty close to what it is in the book. The dough is my new favorite thing in the world, other than the 70’s hobbit church library. Really, it is incredible. The cornmeal. Buttermilk. Love it.
We used different tomatoes than the recipe calls for, because they looked better at the store. I also used Romano and ricotta cheese, because it sounded good today. Skylar and I agree, fresh mozzarella and ricotta, with a sprinkling of parmigiano right out of the oven would be divine. That is part of the beauty of this galette; you can play with it.
I also love that it is laid back and fancy at the same time. And, the thing about it I love most of all is that Harper ate it! She loved it, and she is a bit of a picky eater in the way Cubs fans are a bit into baseball.
Adapted from Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan.
Galette Dough, Makes 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 kosher salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 or 8 pieces
2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 ounces mozzarella, preferably fresh, shredded
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade or torn
2 to 3 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
Combine the sour cream (or yogurt or buttermilk) with the ice water, and set aside. To make the dough by hand, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter to the flour mixture with a pastry blender, until the butter is about the size of peas. Sprinkle the sour cream mixture over the dough, one tablespoon at a time, and toss with a fork to moisten. Add just enough sour cream mixture so the dough will hold together when you press it.
If you are using a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients to combine. Then add your butter, and pulse 8 to 10 times, until the butter is about the size of peas. Add in the sour cream mixture, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the dough forms moist cruds and holds together when pressed.
Turn the dough out and bring it into a ball. Divide in half, and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours. Dough will keep in the fridge for 5 days on in the freezer for 2 months.
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven, and preheat the over to 400° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
To prepare the filling, toss the cheeses and basil together in a small bowl, and slice your tomatoes.
Roll out one of the galette disks into an 11 inch circle that is about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough, by draping it over your rolling pin, to your prepared cookie sheet.
Spread the cheese mixture over the rolled out dough, leaving a 2 to 3 inch border. Place the tomatoes in concentric circles, slightly overlapping the last. When the cheese is covered, fold the edges of the dough over the tomatoes. It should drape nicely, and there is no need for perfection here. It should be a bit rustic.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating halfway though, until the edges are golden and the cheese mixture is bubbling. Allow to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before serving. It is best served out of the oven, or at least, on the day it was made.