they are fairly simple and straightforward to make but do take a bit of patience as there is mixing, rolling, cutting and docking involved, not to mention baking! don't let that deter you from trying your hand at these, however. using a food processor makes a fast and painless execution of putting everything together. if you don't have a processor, they can still be made by hand or standard mixer.
the following recipe is from a cookbook (a joan nathan one, i think — have it [recipe] scribbled on a recipe card) and almost exactly identical to my original, given to me many years ago by a good friend's aunt. as i seem to have misplaced that one, this will be second best — but in no way less worth making. there is virtually little, if any, difference in taste when all is said and done. this recipe has 2 tbsp of the now considered no-no of shortening (transfat blah blah blah; haven't died yet from it and 2 tbsp won't kill you). i'm not sure what the result of using only butter will be but i'm quite satisfied with the outcome of the ingredients listed below, transfat or no transfat.
and now for the recipe ....
les (petites) galettes salées
good for those times when you want something savoury rather than sweet, these are buttery , salty and short-crusted ..... quite different from your normal snack. what makes them north african (moroccan) is the use of both sesame and anise seeds, common in many such baked goods, from breads to both sweet and savoury cookies and pastries.
makes 22 to 24 galettes (i suggest doubling or tripling recipe)
4 tbsp butter*, unsalted (@ room temp)
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
2 tsp sugar
*you can use parve margarine; it turns out good but don't expect the same final flavour you'll get from butter
1 egg yolk
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 - 1 ½ tsp anise seeds
3/4 tsp (kosher) salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 c flour, divided in 1/3 cups
2 tbsp very cold water
in processor or with mixer, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar.
add the egg yolk, seeds, salt, and baking powder and mix well until incorporated.
add the flour in three additions.
by the end of the third addition, it should be a sandy and crumbly mixture.
add the water in two additions and PULSE the mixture until it comes together. do not overwork the dough. if using a mixer, mix enough until it comes into a ball, more or less.
after second tablespoon of water (pulse only 2 or 3 times):
it is important for the final texture that you don't knead the dough at all.
place the dough in a bowl and refrigerate it, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes.
preheat oven to 400 F.
take the dough and shape it into either a round or a rectangle or square.
place it on a well floured surface, and roll out the dough until it is about 3/8" thick. you may find it more convenient to roll out the dough on the piece of parchment you'll be baking on. you can also use an extra piece of either wax paper or parchment to cover the dough and roll it out. this is a little easier for the beginner or those who have problems making pastries.
either use a knife or a fluted pastry roller (cutter) and square off the rough edges. place the scraps in a bowl and cover it. to use them up, see the end of this recipe.
cut out your shapes — you can make squares, rectangles, fingers, or diamonds (if you've rolled it out in the round). you can also use cookie cutters.
take a fork and dock the galettes all over. you can also take a knife and make little cuts to make a pattern. you must either dock or cut the dough so it will not puff in the oven. there is a special cutter for galettes which looks like a pastry wheel and is used to decorate these kinds of pastries; it is a specialty item (not available in north america that i know of), so just use a knife or prick all over with the tines of fork.
separate the galettes carefully and place them equidistant on your baking sheet. bake the galettes for only 20 minutes or just until they are lightly browned and golden coloured. they must not brown.
let the galettes cool. be careful, as they are very delicate until they cool.
usually served with tea.
i suggest keeping these in the fridge or freezer to keep them at their best. they don't fare too well, taste-wise, sitting out in a warm kitchen for several days, in my opinion.
burekaboy's recipe extra:
how to use up those scraps effectively
this method for reworking scraps of pastry is good for all kinds of dough (pie dough, cookie dough, etc) . it does not incorporate any extra flour and is the least brutal on the dough with respect to rolling, two things which often result in inferior secondary baked goods. if your dough is very high in fat or moisture, you may need a bit of flour, however. key to success is keeping the scraps somewhat chilled and not working the pastry remnants at all.
take a piece of wax paper, no flour needed in this instance, and fold it in half (place the scraps in a little mound).
fold the wax paper or parchment over and start to roll. DO NOT KNEAD THE SCRAPS BEFOREHAND!
roll it out to the appropriate thickness.
open up the wax paper, recut the dough and proceed as explained above or in your recipe.