Baking with alternative flours is such an exciting endeavor to me, but in most of my attempts to make gluten-free treats with them, I just haven't been able to produce a really satisfying recipe—until now. My sweet friend Alanna just came out with a wonderful book called Alternative Baker, and if you want to experiment with alternative flours, this is the book for you.
Her book is filled with stunning images, delicious recipes, and valuable information about alternative flours.
After flipping through her book, I was instantly drawn to these buckwheat and pear galettes with a salty caramel sauce. I'm a big fan of buckwheat desserts, so this seemed like a good place for me to start my alternative flour baking journey. I really appreciate how Alanna gives you very detailed instructions as you work through her recipes. This made the whole process much more enjoyable for me because all of her tips really do set up you for success; a delicious piece of success that you get to eat.
Alanna’s recipe uses fresh pears, but since I had the loveliest concord grapes and green apples on hand, I thought why not make a variety of flavors? These galettes were absolutely delicious. The texture of the dough was incredible, and the deep and rich flavor that you get from the buckwheat flour is, in my opinion, what makes these little treats so memorable.
Yields 8, 3 1/2 (9-cm) Galettes
Recipe by Alana Taylor Robin
1/4 cup ice water
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup GF oat flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs buckwheat flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp tapioca flour
2 1/2 tbs finely ground chia seeds- preferably white
1 tbsp organic cane sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
8 tbs cold, unsalted butter, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup cold buttermilk
4 pears, 4 granny smith apples, or 2 cups grapes
1/2 a lemon
2 tbs cream or milk
3 tbs organic cane sugar
salty caramel, for drizzling
flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
In a large bowl, combine the rice, oat, and buckwheat flour with the cornstarch, tapioca flour, ground chia seeds, sugar and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and work in the butter with a pastry cutter, or with your fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand, that has lots of butter chunks that resemble the size of small peas and almonds.
Stir the ice water and buttermilk together and drizzle the mixture over the flour, one tablespoon at a time tossing the dough with either a flexible spatula, or two forks to moisten the mixture evenly. Add just enough of the liquid mixture for the dough to hold together when you give it a squeeze, and add it directly to the dry floury pieces that tend to hang out at the bottom of the bowl. Alana also mentions in her book that you may or may not need all of the liquid called for in this recipe, or you may need more ice water. Simply pay attention to how the dough feels and you'll be fine.
Knead the dough in the bowl 10-20 times until it comes together. Press the dough into a disc, wrap with plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
*Alana also provides a few other options on how to get a super flaky crust, but you'll have to buy her gorgeous book to get those :)
Once you're ready to make your gallettes, remove the dough from the fridge and using a sharp knife cut it into 8 equal portions, placing 7 of them back into the fridge. Use a rolling pin to roll out the first portion of dough into a 6-inch round that's about 1/8-inch thick, flipping and dusting with extra buckwheat flour to prevent sticking. Trim the edges of the dough round as necessary and place back into the refrigerator. Repeat this process until all the of the dough pieces have been rolled out. Dust the rounds with a little extra flour, cover and store in the refrigerator until firm, or for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
To make the filling, position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat to 400°F. If using pears or apples, peel the fruits, half them lengthwise, and remove their cores. Slice the fruit into 1/4 inch thick slices and drizzle with a bit of lemon juice to keep them from browning. If using grapes, no additional prep work needs to be done.
Dived the dough rounds between two baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper. Keeping the fruit slices together, tranfer the pear or apples slices to the top of a tart. If using grapes, simple mound about 1/4 cup of grapes in the center of the dough round and carefully fold up the dough around the fruit to create a 1-inch lip, creasing and pleating the dough. If any cracks occur, simply press the dough back together to seal. Place the galettes back into the fridge to chill until firm. Brush the dough lightly with cream and sprinkle the apples, pears, or grapes, and dough evenly with the sugar.
Bake the galettes until the juices from the fruit begin to bubble and the dough is golden. Since the dough is already dark, make sure to take a close look to see if the crust is done baking; about 30-40 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom for even browning after the first 20 minutes.
Remove the galettes from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes, or up to several hours. Serve the galettes with a drizzle of caramel sauce, like the salty caramel sauce Alana shares in her book, and a pinch of flaky sea salt if desired.