As a Louisiana native, I have eaten my share of king cakes, but I had never seen or eaten Galette de Rois, only heard about it. It is King Cake season after all so I decided I would make one. My first Galette des Rois!
Where to start? First to find a recipe… I have lots of cookbooks- baking books to be exact. This would not only give me the list of ingredients needed, but also a picture of what I was about to make – talk about blind baking. I went through volumes of books, but nothing. So I did the only things I knew to do next, I “Googled It”. . and there is was – Galette des Rois. Photos of beautiful golden puff pastry rounds- with pretty scored designs and pastry accents. Hurray!
Now the recipe: I was surprised by how may similarly different ways to make this treat. As in recipes, the ingredients may be same but the approach will vary. The most common ingredient was puff pasty and while most recommended store bought I decided to make my own. I took a croissnat class from King Arthur Flour a couple of years ago so I knew about Puff Pastry. Also, on Craftsy, I watched and made the puff pastry and rough puff taugh by Gesine-Bullok Prada. She is a good teacher. Anyway, I rewatched Gesine reteach me how to make rough puff and that is the way I decided to go. Next to find a frangipane receipe… was easy to find- and was easy to make. The recipe called for using a food processor and it turned out great!
Putting it all together: The size of a Galette des Rois seems to be more of a matter of personal preference. I am sure there is a standard size but one recipe said to cut 2 – pie plate size circles and while another said to cut “2 plate size shapes” – plate size- what size plate? Anyway, I decided to cut 2 circles the size of my dinner plates. They came out to be about 12 1/2 inches each, which turned out to be a nice size. After filling the bottom layer with frangipane, I brushed some of the egg wash in a 1 inch border around the edge. I then brushed the top with egg wash and scored it with a sharp paring knife. I also made some small slits all the way through the pastry to create steam vents. After placing the scored top layer over the filling, I pressed the edges together. (The egg wash on the edges acts like glue). To add an accent, I used a crown shaped cutter to make a crown for the top.
I baked the Galette des Rois at 475 degrees for 10 minutes then reduced the heat to 375 for 15 minutes. I removed the Galette from the oven, sprinkled the top with confectionery sugar and returned it to the oven for an additional 20 minutes. The confectionary sugar gave a little sweetness to the pastry but I don’t think I will use it for the next Galette.