Culinary Arts

From Alice Waters' MasterClass: Chez Panisse Cooking: Galette

Written by MasterClass

Apr 23, 2019 • 3 min read

Alice teaches you how to make Chez Panisse’s everyday dessert, the galette. Learn how the perfect pastry dough results in a beautifully flakey crust.

Topics include: Making Your Pastry Dough by Hand • Roll Out Your Crust • Fill With Fruit and Make • Glaze and Taste


Preview of Chez Panisse Cooking: Galette

This is an excerpt from Alice Waters' MasterClass.

I want to bring you in to Chez Panisse to show you how the values of my cooking at home translate into a restaurant. It really is an extension of my home. One of the things that make Chez Panisse unique is that all of the cooks taste the dishes together. It's an opportunity for dialogue, for training our palettes, and learning to put words around for what we're tasting. Like I do at home, we write a daily menu that is based on what's the very best that particular day. And we prepare the dishes simply so that they taste of what they truly are.

These are two dishes we do over and over again at Chez Panisse. They are challenging recipes, but when you make some again and again, they really become second nature.

It is really a treat to watch our pastry chef, Carrie Lewis, make this dough with ease and skill. Carrie has the flour, salt, and sugar pre-measured in a bowl. The sweet butter is cut into half-inch cubes and chilled. She is gently coating the butter with flour and pressing it into flat pieces. Carefully drizzle in one third of the ice water, stirring with a large fork. You want to integrate it completely before adding any more. Continue to drizzle in water and work it in with a fork. You want to toss the mixture, not mash it. Carrie is pressing the dough very gently together to test if she has added enough water.

It should start to get a little ropey texture, which means the dough should have enough water to just come together with a gentle squeeze, but no more. This kind of tearing and stacking creates butter layers that eventually make a flaky crust when it's baked. The final motion is to knead it very slightly to pull it together.

We find it easier to master this dough if you make it in slightly larger batches so that there is more wiggle room to get the texture right. Wrap the dough and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to give the gluten in the flour a chance to relax as the dough continues to moisten. We remove the dough from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before rolling. If it is frozen, give it 15 to 20 minutes. It should be cold, but not so cold that the butter chunks shatter when rolled. If it is too cold, the edges will crack and split while you're rolling. If it is too warm, it will be too soft and unmanageable. It will also absorb too much flour and melt the chunks of butter.

Unwrap the dough, flour the counter lightly and evenly. Place the round of dough in the center of your floured area and dust the top of the dough with flour. Press down on the dough ball to expand the circle. Carrie is using a dowel, but I prefer to use a rolling pin. Turning the dough frequently ensures that you're rolling it evenly and that is not sticking to the bottom.

Start to roll from the center outwards, continuing to rotate the dough frequently to keep that circular shape. If any cracks are opening on the edges, make sure to pinch them together, or a small crack will become a big one. Dust...

Reviews for Alice Waters' MasterClass

Authentic and personal. Brought depth to the process and truly inspired me on another level. What a treat! I never thought.....:) - Katherine

I loved this class! Alice's sweet and heartfelt approach to her cooking really inspired me to see, feel, and think about food differently and to make cooking a homemade experience. - Melissa C.

Alice's spirit and personality is amazing and really made the class for me. I went from thinking about food as tastes and textures to soul and feeling. The choices you make in all Life, even cooking, can and should be reflective of who you are as a person. I have lots to think about here. - A fellow student

The class is awesome. I love her style, and the great lessons she shared. How about a second class with Alice with spring and summer finds, and dishes. - Deniz E.