Galette is a term that means “flat cake,” and is used in French cuisine to describe a freeform tart. There are many versions of galette, such as a Breton galette, which is a buckwheat pancake with savory filling. The Canadian French version is similar to a large cookie. A cake type of galette, King Cake, commemorates the feast of the Epiphany.
The origin of the galette dates back to medieval times in Brittany. During that time crops were very hard to grow in the rocky terrain and poor soil. It was soon discovered that buckwheat was easy to grow in poor conditions because of its durableness. The early Bretons discovered the versatility of the gluten-free buckwheat, and crepes and galettes were born. Crepes were very thin pancake-like round pastries and were typically filled with sweet ingredients. Galettes were thicker pastries filled with savory ingredients.
Today, crepes and galettes are served both sweet and savory. Fruit galettes are extremely popular and can include a variety of seasonal fruit mixed with sugar and cornstarch then baked in the freeform crust which is folded around the fruit. Savory galettes can include a variety of meat, cheese, seasonal vegetables and herbs, also baked in the freeform crust.
Try your hand at a breakfast galette, which can include any combination of breakfast meat, cheese, egg and vegetables placed on the unbaked crust then folded into a square with the egg in the middle and uncovered. The galette is baked until the egg is cooked until sunny side up.
Galettes are versatile and easy to prepare and will add a sophisticated but homey touch to your meal!
Have fun in the kitchen!
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 lb. heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 oz. firm cheese (such as Asiago, cheddar, or Gouda), finely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped basil
Pulse 2 cups flour and 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl; drizzle with vinegar and 1/4 cup ice water. Mix with a fork, adding more ice water by the tablespoonful as needed, just until a shaggy dough comes together. Turn out onto a work surface and lightly knead until no dry spots remain (be careful not to overwork). Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Gently toss tomatoes, garlic, and remaining 1 tsp. kosher salt in a large bowl. Let sit 5 minutes (tomatoes will start releasing some liquid). Drain tomato mixture and transfer to paper towels.
Unwrap dough and roll out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to a 14" round about 1/8" thick. Transfer on parchment to a baking sheet. Scatter cheese over dough, leaving a 1 1/2" border. Arrange tomatoes and garlic over cheese. Bring edges of dough up and over filling, overlapping as needed to create about a 1 1/2" border; brush dough with egg. Sprinkle tomatoes with sea salt and pepper. Chill in freezer 10 minutes.
Bake galette, rotating once, until crust is golden brown and cooked through, 55–65 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet. Sprinkle with basil.
Do Ahead: Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.