Crust. My true love. It is a chicken or the egg thing for me. Do I love crust because I’m rather good at making it? Or am I rather good at making it because I love it? Also, can someone be a natural a crust maker?
The butter, the elusive flakiness. It has to be just salted enough and baked sometimes scary long to avoid the dreaded sogginess. And that color, the universal sign of goodness- golden brown. It was created by a hand not our own.
But alas, I will save my true love story with crust for a day I can do it justice. I am always trying to learn new crust recipes and I gave Cook’s Illustrated’s Whole Wheat Crust a go.
Let us focus on the beauty below and why it is just the thing for when you are feeling on the savory side of things.
With both all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, this dough has a heartiness that really sets the savory mood for any vegetable filling. Rustic, in the best way.
The technique for this dough flirts with intermediate but if you attack it without fear there is no reason you can’t have tender flakiness to serve! First, the addition of vinegar to the dough makes it almost fail safe when it comes to the tenderness of the dough.
The sticking point comes when you are mixing in the water and vinegar to the butter/flour mixture. It is a mistake to think the dough should look uniform and form one mass when you are mixing all the ingredients together. But that would lead to over mixing and toughness. It is hard to trust in yourself and no more so when you are making crust.
When the dough begins to form a shaggy mass- stop mixing. Trust your gut, trust your eye and trust the recipe. Put the spatula down and walk away.
Now after you have ventured into the world of psychotherapy with flour and butter, venture further into perceived scariness-lamination! If you are a lamination pro, skip down to the recipe and get baking!
Lamination feels intimidating because we associate it with grandiose and intricacy- croissants, puff pastry, the French. But as it is essentially just the folding and layering of butter and flour on top of itself-it shouldn’t scare you so!
After your roll this dough out into a rectangle, fold it on top of itself like letters you sent to Santa and roll it out again and then repeat three times. Just think of it as you helping the dough as much as you can to create layers without working the dough too much.
This galette is filled with simple, seasonal flavors that can be changed in many ways to work with your menu or palette! Don’t ever leave out the lemon though, it is the constant brightener. Like under-eye concealer.
Asparagus Galette with Whole Wheat Crust
Like most crusts, and galettes, this is best eaten on the day of and while still slightly warm.
1 1/4 cups (6.25 oz.) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2.75 oz.) whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes and chilled
7 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 lb. asparagus
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon chives chopped roughly
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Combine flours, sugar and salt in food processor or bowl. Pulse or whisk to combine.
- Add butter and pulse (or cut with pastry cutter) till butter forms pea-size pieces, about 10 pulses.
- Transfer dough to large bowl and sprinkle water and vinegar over mixture.
- With a rubber spatula, press and fold until dough forms a shaggy mass. If dough seems dry, add 1-2 teaspoons more of ice water. Do not over work, loose flour will remain.
- Transfer dough to plastic wrap and form into rectangle.
- Refrigerate dough at least 45 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into an 11 by 8-inch rectangle.
- With short side of dough facing you and using a bench scraper or metal spatula, bring bottom third of dough up. Then fold upper third over it like a letter. You should have a 8 by 4-inch rectangle.
- Turn dough 90 degrees.
- Roll dough out again to an 11 by 8-inch rectangle and repeat folding process.
- Turn dough 90 degrees again and repeat folding process for a third and final time.
- With your final 8 by 4-inch rectangle, fold into have to make a 4-4inch square. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 2 days.
- Toss asparagus in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast asparagus at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes and set aside.
- Whisk ricotta, egg, 1/4 cup of grated parmesan, lemon, chives and mustard in bowl.
- Preheat oven to 425 degree with oven rack at the lower-middle position. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- On generously floured surface, roll dough out to desired shape, about 1/8 inch thick, and trim edges.
- Transfer dough to parchment lined sheet and with tip pairing knife prick dough evenly in center of dough. Brush top of dough with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
- Spread ricotta mixture on top of dough leaving a 2-inch border.
- Arrange roasted asparagus on top of ricotta mixture and sprinkle evenly with remaining parmesan cheese, kosher salt and pepper.
- Fold 2-inch border of dough over filling. Pinch pleated areas where dough over laps (do not press on filling). Brush dough with egg wash and extra parmesan if desired.
- Lower oven temperature to 400 and bake for 25-35 minutes or until deep golden brown and filling is beginning to brown.
- Let galette cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Using spatula, loosen from parchment and carefully slide on to cutting board.
- Cut into wedges and serve.
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