Pear Galette Debrief

The great thing about ze galette is that there no right or wrong way to roll out the dough. As long as you can gather the edges up around the filling without there being gaping cracks, you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. Like last week’s bread, it a lackadaisical affair. There are however a few rules you should always follow when working with short crust. The first is to give it as little water as possible. Since water equals toughness with short crusts, the less the better. You barely want enough to bring it together, and then it should still be a touch crumbly, for as the dough rests in the fridge the starch granules will soak up moisture and become more pliable. Next, be sure to give it plenty of time to rest. Don’t skimp on refrigeration time, and if you can, give it a little more (ten minutes or so) once it’s rolled. This gives any gluten strands that you may have accidentally activated time to relax and break. Lastly, be very, very (and did I say very?) gentle with it. You’d be surprised how many people who, having rested their pie or tart dough properly, will proceed to press, stretch and pinch their crusts getting them into the pan. It may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, you’ll pay for every extra squeeze in the oven when the activated gluten causes the crust to shrink. This isn’t as much of an issue with galettes since they’re free-form, but shrinkage can still open cracks that let precious filling out. The best pie and tart bakers are patient and possess a feather-light touch.

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