Author and Educator
Try this “wonderfully good” yeast dough–based dessert as the finale to an outdoor summer luncheon. James Beard felt it had “all the virtues of French country cooking—it is simple, inexpensive, and makes thoroughly delicious eating.”
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water, 105ºF to 110ºF
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind, from about 1/2 of lemon
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened
Preheat oven to 450ºF.
Butter two 9-inch cake or pie pans and set aside.
Dissolve yeast in warm water and add 2 tablespoons sugar. Let this proof while you combine in a large bowl 1 cup flour, salt, lemon rind, egg, and 1 tablespoon butter.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and blend together very well. When blended, work in the remaining cup of flour, mixing thoroughly. The dough should be quite firm, but not sticky. It does not have to be kneaded, just mixed well with your hands. Or you can make it in an electric mixer that has a dough hook or paddle attachment.
Let the dough stand in a warm place in a greased bowl covered with a cloth until it doubles in bulk, about 1 hour, then divide it in half and roll each half on a lightly floured board into a circle 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4 inch thick. Put each circle in a buttered cake or pie pan, and dot the top of each with the remaining butter, cut in small bits. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup sugar over each circle, and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until just golden in color.
While the galettes are still warm and fresh, cut them in small wedges and serve with crème fraîche. Or spoon sugared strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries over the wedges and top with cream. You can also sprinkle thinly sliced blanched almonds over the buttered and sugared dough before baking. Any of these versions makes an exciting change from the usual dessert.
8 to 10 servings