A Basic Tart and Pie Dough from Dorie
This easy, workable dough is from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi. Try it as a base her Fall-Market Galette or anytime you want a simple, basic dough. Leave out the sugar for a savory application. Read our interview with Dorie, our full book-review and don’t miss her recipe for Cannelés. If the beautiful texture of the pastry turn you on, read our interview with Alan Richardson the photographer, as well.
Excerpted from Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, © 2014 by Dorie Greenspan. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photos Alan Richardson
If the French made pies— and some of them do these days—I’d tell them to use this dough, which has the flakiness of the best all-American pie dough and the sweet butter flavor of the nicest French tart dough. It’s quickly made in a food processor and it’s both sturdy and supple.
Storing: The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or wrapped airtight and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, leave it on the counter to come to a workable texture and temperature.
Bonne Idée Sweeter, Flakier Galette Dough: Increase the sugar to 3 tablespoons and the butter to 9 tablespoons (4½ ounces; 128 grams). I like the texture of this dough, but it’s softer and stickier and not as easy to work with as the basic recipe.
- 1½ cups (204 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces (frozen butter is good here)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) ice water)
- To make the dough: Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to blend. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut into the flour. At first you’ll have a mixture that looks like coarse meal and then, as you pulse more, you’ll get small flake-sized pieces and some larger pea-sized pieces too. Add a little of the ice water and pulse, add some more, pulse and continue until all of the water is incorporated. Now work in longer pulses—about 10 seconds each— stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl if needed, until you have a dough that forms nice bumpy curds that hold together when you pinch them. Just before you reach this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change—heads-up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface.
- To incorporate the butter more evenly and to catch any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing, separate small amounts of dough from the pile and use the heel of your hand to smear each piece a few inches across the counter. In French this is called fraisage, and it’s the ideal way to finish blending a dough.
- Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk and put it between two large pieces of parchment paper. (You can roll the dough between wax paper or plastic film, but if you use parchment, you’ll be able to bake the galette directly on the bottom sheet of paper—no transferring needed.) Roll the dough, while it’s still cool, into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Don’t worry about getting the exact size or about having the edges be perfect; when you construct the galette, the edges will be bunched up and pleated and they’ll only look prettier if they’re a bit ragged. The dough will be somewhat thick and that’s fine—you want to have a little heft for a free-form pastry.
- Slide the rolled-out dough, still between the papers, onto a baking sheet or cutting board and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. (Well wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months.)
- When you’re ready to use the dough, leave it on the counter for a few minutes, just so that it’s pliable enough to lift and fold without cracking.