While I appreciate the precise measurements and detailed process of crafting a loaf of sourdough bread, I often opt for the easy path when it comes to dessert. And even better if the dessert lets you put that abundance of ripe fruit in your kitchen to use and find an outlet for your sourdough starter discard, which might otherwise go into the compost. The charming style of this galette crust, which is rolled out and then simply folded up and over whatever sweet or savory concoction strikes you, is a flippant snub to the more involved—shall we say stuffy?—pie crust. And given a choice, I’ll take the casual and rustic dessert any day.
A sourdough starter is a well-fermented mixture of flour and water, so adding this to your dough adds a little of each. But the starter also brings with it additional flavor in the form of organic acids that have built up through fermentation. To be clear, we’re not adding our starter to this dough to ferment it in any way; it’s just a way to use our starter discard and bring with it added flavor complexity. If you think this galette might taste off-puttingly sour, that’s not the case. I find that the subtly added sourness helps temper the sweetness and makes for a more balanced dessert.
My sourdough starter is 100 percent hydration, meaning it’s equal parts water to flour and is rather loose. If your starter is lower hydration and stiff, you might need to supplement with a little more liquid when mixing this dough. Add up to a few tablespoons of extra cold water when called for until the dough starts to hold itself together.
This dough is a medium for not only sweet fruit but also savory ingredients. On the sweet side, ripe peaches are my favorite pick, but nectarines, blueberries, blackberries, rhubarb, and apples all work very well with this dough. For a savory take, try a spinach and tomato galette topped with salty feta cheese, or a galette with sliced and layered tomatoes, thyme, and prosciutto.
Because this dough stores very well in the freezer, I like to double the recipe and make two dough discs. Store one disc in the fridge and use it within the next few days; wrap the other tightly with plastic or reusable food wrap and then place it into the freezer for up to a few months. When you want to use it, take it out and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight until soft. —Maurizio Leo
Test Kitchen Notes
The Perfect Loaf is a column from software engineer-turned-bread expert (and Food52's Resident Bread Baker), Maurizio Leo. Maurizio is here to show us all things naturally leavened, enriched, yeast-risen, you name it—basically, every vehicle to slather on a lot of butter. Today, a guide to making magic—and a pitch-perfect late-summer dessert—with your sourdough discard. —The Editors
- Prep time 2 hours 45 minutes
- Cook time 40 minutes
- Makes one 8-inch galette
- Sourdough galette crust
1 1/4 cups
(175g) all-purpose flour
(1 stick, 113g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small squares
1 1/2 teaspoons
fine sea salt
(about 115g) ripe sourdough starter (liquid; 100% hydration)
cold water, plus more as needed
- Peach-blueberry filling
(about 150g) blueberries
ripe peaches (about 450g), sliced
freshly squeezed lemon juice
fine sea salt
(50g) granulated sugar
coarse sugar (for topping the crust before baking)
- First, make the dough: Measure out the ripe sourdough starter and place it in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, and sugar and whisk to combine.
- Add the butter to the bowl and lightly toss with a spatula until you coat the butter with flour.
- Using a pastry blender (or the back of a fork), cut the butter into the flour until only small butter bits remain. I like to shoot for small pea-sized chunks of butter.
- Add the chilled sourdough starter and the cold water to the mixing bowl.
- Stir everything in the bowl with a spatula until well combined. The dough should start to come together, but if it’s still very dry, add more cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough sticks to itself.
- Dump the contents of the bowl onto your counter and gather it into a disc shape. I like to quickly gather up the dough and knead it on the counter a few times, like bread dough or pasta, to get it to all come together, but avoid overworking the dough, which will result in a tough crust. Then, tightly wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight before rolling out.
- When you're ready to bake the galette, preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) with an oven rack in the middle and line a half baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and let it warm for 5 minutes on the counter. Lightly flour your counter and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large circle with a 12” diameter. Try to keep the thickness as even as possible by rolling from the middle of the dough out and away from you, then turn the dough and repeat.
- Once rolled out, transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet with parchment paper and place it into the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.
- Next, make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the filling ingredients and gently stir to combine.
- Remove the chilled dough and mound the filling into the dough circle’s center, maintaining a 2” clean border of dough all around. Avoid pouring too much of the residual fruit juice at the bottom of the bowl into the galette as this could leak during baking (not a big deal!). Depending on your peaches’ size and how far you’ve rolled out your dough, you might have some extra filling.
- Working around the dough circle, fold the dough’s clean edge up and over the fruit, pressing the dough together where it overlaps to create a seal.
- Place the baking sheet with galette into the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes, or in the freezer for 5 minutes, to firm the dough before baking. This helps the dough hold its structure during the early part of baking, reducing any chance for your filling to escape.
- Make an egg wash by whisking one egg and a tablespoon of whole milk. After the dough has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and brush the top of the dough with the egg wash, Liberally sprinkle coarse granulated sugar on top of the egg wash-covered dough (it should stick well to the egg wash) and on top of the fruit in the center of the dough.
- Bake for 40 minutes until the fruit's juices are bubbling and the crust is a deep golden-brown color. Remove the galette from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing, until the juices have mostly set.