This wonderful almond-filled puff pastry is usually served on January 6th in celebration of the Epiphany, which my mom described to me as the day the Three Wise Men came bearing gifts for baby Jesus. Although this pastry is meant for one day, it is sold in patisseries and bakeries worldwide until the end of January due to its popularity. One of those bakeries being Dominique Ansel in SOHO NYC (which was my main inspiration for creating this video tutorial and recipe for a galette de rois). While I did not grow up eating this pastry, I do have some fond memories of learning to make this in pastry school. Since it’s been a few years since I was in school, I was feeling inspired to revisit these techniques and pastries. Specifically, making puff pastry from scratch.
In school they specifically taught us how to make pithiviers, which is almost the same as a Galette des Rois but filled with almond cream, instead of almond frangipane. To keep it simple I decided to use almond cream alone for this recipe, but if you wanted to make a frangipane, you would have to make 2 parts almond cream to 1 part pastry cream. When making almond cream (or frangipane, if you choose to), I would highly recommend using a vanilla bean pod and cutting it open to scrape out the seeds. If not, I would recommend vanilla bean paste, or even pure vanilla extract, to really emphasize the vanilla taste in the almond cream.
The thing about my puff pastry is that it is a blitz puff pastry — it comes together like a pie dough, but gets folded like any other puff pastry. Dominique Ansel uses an inverted puff pastry, where the butter layer is on the outside, and the dough layer is inside, but gets folded into many layers like a classic puff pastry. I find that blitz puff comes together easier and quicker, and is much more attainable for beginner bakers, so I went with a blitz puff. I do plan on creating a few tutorials for inverted puff pastry and puff pastry in the future (as soon as I decide what I want to create with it). In the meantime, enjoy this galette de rois — which is perfect for beginners.
Blitz Puff Pastry
This recipe makes enough for 1 x 8″ galette des rois
120g (1 cup) all purpose flour
120g (1 cup) cake flour
240g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) cold butter, cut into cubes
5g (1 tsp) salt
120g (1/2 cup) cold water
1 egg, for egg wash
Simple syrup for glazing the top (2 tbsp sugar 30g + 2 tbsp water 30g boiled together until the sugar is dissolved).
Icing sugar, for dusting
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and salt.
- In the same bowl, using a pastry cutter or your hands, add the butter chunks and cut the butter into the flour until the butter is 3-4 inch- 1 inch wide.
- Add in the cold water and mix just until the dough starts to come together.
- Dump it out onto a clean work surface and push together to form a shaggy rectangle of dough.
- If your dough is still nice and cold, dust your work surface and the top of the dough with flour, and roll out into a large rectangle about 18″x10″ and do a single fold, into three panels, like a pamphlet. Feel free to refer to the video tutorial for a better understanding.
- Turn it 90 degrees and continue to roll out again into 18″x10″ to do another single fold. As soon as the dough begins to shrink or stick to your surfaces, finish up the fold and place in the fridge for 1 hour or the freezer for 30 min to chill and let the gluten relax between folds.
- Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling process until you have completed 6 single folds.
- After the last fold, chill it thoroughly again before beginning to make the galette.
- Once the dough is ready, roll it out into a rectangle again into 16″x9″.
- Take a 8″ cake pan to measure out 2 circles. Cut with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
- Egg wash the outer edge of pastry.
- Pipe the almond cream into the centre in spirals to pipe an even layer. Place the second layer of dough on top, sealing the outer edge by pushing down with one finger, and using a knife to pull up opposite of your finger to create a crimp all along the edge.
- Bake at 400F/205C for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove the galette from the oven, brush with syrup, and place back into the oven for about 5 minutes to dry out the glaze slightly.
- Place a 6″ cake pan in the centre to create a border, and dust the outer edge with icing sugar.
This makes enough for 1×8″ galette de rois and a about 100g extra, perfect for baking off with puff pastry scraps.
113g (1/2 cup) soft butter
114g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
the seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract
18g (2 tbsp) all purpose flour
137g (1-1/2 cup) almond flour
2g (1/2 tsp) salt
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or a medium mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add in an egg, one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.
- In a separate bowl, sift and whisk the almond flour, flour, and salt together.
- Add the flours and salt to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
- Place into a piping bag with a #4 or 5 plain tip attached. Bake off in the galette for about 40 minutes.