Rough puff galette de rois

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Galette de rois is a French pastry that consists of two circles of puff pastry surrounding an almond/frangipane-type of filling. Usually, there is a bead, bean, or some kind of trinket baked into the cake, and whoever finds it is crowned the king (or queen) for the day! Because of that, this cake is usually referred to as a king cake(not to be confused with the Mardi Gras one which is a completely different beast). This pastry is usually eaten on January 6th, which is the religious holiday known as Epiphany. Now I am not that religious, nor am I French. But I have been wanting to make a galette de rois for well over a year now, and I figured, why not finally give it a try? I only found out on the 4th about Epiphany, and from there, I realized it was a sign that I needed to make one of these. So I did! For my recipe, I went with a rough puff pastry, which is a little, but not by much, easier to make than the traditional laminated dough. While normally, puff pastry is made with enrobing a butter block in a dough and folding that into layers, rough puff pastry embeds a dough with chunks of cold butter, and by folding that repeatedly, it causes the butter to gradually encase all of your layers instead! For my filling, I did add black sesame powder, just because I might have run out of almond meal and my filling came out wetter than initially anticipated, so I used the black sesame to help thicken it. With the scraps of the dough, I rolled them up into little curls or roses, and baked that as a topper so that if my galette looked ugly because I am not experienced with scoring my dough, that could cover it. I’m willing to admit to my shortcomings. That’s all I will say. I also chose not to include the bead, since I would prefer that the galette be fully edible, and because I believe everyone should be royalty, not just one person!

For the rough puff pastry:
3 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Dice up your butter into 1/2-inch cubes and stick in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. Mix together the cold water, vinegar, and salt until dissolved and store in the freezer for at least 5 minutes. It is important that you keep both the butter and the water cold, or else your layers could melt together! In a bowl, toss the butter cubes with the flour, making sure that each cube is completely coated in the flour and separate from each other. Form a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture and pour in the cold water. Gently stir the water into the flour mixture until the water is absorbed into the flour. You want a craggy dough with the chunks of butter still visible. If you have mixed the dough to the point where the butter chunks are completely gone, you have overmixed the dough and you should just bake that into crackers or savory shortbreads. Pour your relatively unmixed dough onto a plastic wrap or parchment-lined cold surface and gently push the dough into a rectangle shape and then wrap your dough. Chill down the dough for 25 minutes in the freezer. Place the cold dough onto a floured surface and roll it out to be a rectangle that is about 1 1/2 feet by 6 inches. Fold the dough into thirds, taking each end of the dough along the length and folding them into the center like a brochure or pamphlet. Re-wrap the dough and rechill it for another 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat this step three more times. For the fifth roll, re-roll and fold it in the same fashion as before, but instead of the freezer, store the dough in the refrigerator until time to use. This will help guarantee that you will not need to wrestle or struggle with rolling out the dough when it comes time to baking with it.

For the filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup black sesame powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg white
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

In a bowl, start by creaming together your butter and sugar. Fold into that the other ingredients to form a batter-like paste. Transfer into a piping bag.

For assembly:
1 egg yolk
Puff pastry scraps
confectioner’s sugar
black sesame seeds

Roll out the dough again so that you can cut out two 8-inch rounds of dough from it. Place one round down on a parchment or silpat-lined baking tray. Pipe a 6-inch round of the batter onto the dough, making sure that the filling it piped within an inch from the edges of the dough. Brush the edges of the puff pastry with the egg yolk, and then press on the second layer of puff pastry. Indent the sides of the puff pastry using the blunt side of a butter knife to scallop the sides of your galette. Brush the top layer with more egg yolk and then score the top pastry layer with a sharp paring knife. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and re-bake at 400 degrees F for another 5 minutes. Allow the galette to cool down at least to lukewarm before transferring to a serving plate. For the scraps, cut them into 1/4 inch-wide strips and roll them into roses. Place them on their flattest side onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet, inside of an 8-inch ring mold. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Then dust with confectioner’s sugar and black sesame seeds and bake at 375 degrees F for another 15 minutes. Allow the rosette top to cool down before transferring on top of your galette.

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