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Catholic Recipe: Galette

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg white
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: France

Another favorite French treat at Christmas is a sort of sheet pastry called Galette. It is like a crisp puff paste. It is baked in a shallow round or square pan. Sometimes a little metal doll is hidden in the cake to symbolize the Christ child, and to bring a holy year to the lucky one who finds it.

French Galettes are very similar to the Yule Bannocks of the Scotch. Much of the cooking of Scotland, of course, was influenced by the French interchange of kings and men of parts. Because the use of oat flour instead of wheat was a national custom in Scotland, Bannocks were thin round oat cakes that were marked with a cross before they were placed on the griddle. In one section of the Highlands, a Yule cake was made of oat flour and fermented oat water. Bannocks were baked before daybreak on Christmas morning. One was given to each member of the family. They were often flavored with caraway. The cake was marked in quarters by the cross, but, thin as it was, each person had to keep his cake whole through all of Christmas day. If, when the evening feast came, the cake were broken, bad fortune would fall on the careless one's head. If the cake were still Christ's bread, whole and entire, then joy and prosperity would be forthcoming.

DIRECTIONS

Cream butter. Add egg and egg yolk, milk and sugar. Work in sifted flour and salt. Roll into ball. Cover with towel and let stand two hours in a cold place. Roll one inch thick. Place on buttered sheet or in shallow pan. Brush with beaten egg white. Prick with fork to make a Christmas design. Bake in a hot oven (425°) for 20 minutes or until brown.

Recipe Source: Cooking for Christ by Florence Berger, National Catholic Rural Life Conference, 4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310, 1949, 1999
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