How do you feel about trying new things? Does it excite you? Terrify you? Something in between? For me, it can be some or all of those things because…let’s be honest…failing (or even the prospect of failing) can be horrifying. I’ve talked before about how little changes can make a big difference. A primary goal of mine is to teach you ways in which you can grow as a leader through parts of your life you wouldn’t normally pay attention to. To help you learn how to think through possible outcomes and test your hypotheses as opposed to avoiding things all together because there’s a chance you might mess up. Taking steps to expand your tolerance for change can start with something as small as a substitution in your process. Below is an example.
One substitution I experimented with recently was to create a crust that used coconut oil instead of butter for a peach galette I wanted to make. I also, on a whim, decided to use a gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour and let’s just say the results were…interesting. I don’t mean interesting ‘bad,’ because the results were certainly edible and the coconut flavor from the oil was definitely pleasant, but there were a few observations I made based on the fine product that I didn’t even consider to be possible outcomes (and that, my friends, is how you grow as a leader…you learn from the outcomes, make notes, and pivot one way or the other).
Let’s chat about the results now and what I mean when I say interesting. With a traditional dough, you typically have a flakier crust. As this crust baked, the oil melted and some of it seeped onto the baking tray. Fear not…this really didn’t impact the finished product and actually created a crisp to the crust as it browned in the oven (which I loved!). The crispy was good, but quick! think about what happens when you add moisture to rice… Ding ding ding! It absorbs the moisture and becomes sort of gummy…you know…that rice-y/tapioca-y type of texture. So picture this…the oil is melting and some is seeping out…but the rest is sort of absorbing into the rice part of the flour mixture and creating this gummy texture on the inside part of the galette where the fruit touched the crust. Again…flavor = good (no complaints there!), but the texture was definitely something interesting (and not really my taste). Does this mean I failed? No. Does it mean I learned something? Absolutely.
Now I’ve got a new hypothesis…if I want to use gluten-free flour in the future, I should make sure it’s a flour that does not ‘gum-up’ when it’s presented with excess liquid – so maybe an oat flour or almond flour. More to come, but here’s the recipe if you want to take a chance and experiment on your own. Don't forget to take notes!
Adapted from No Thyme To Waste's Plum Galette
2 cup all-purpose flour (Sub in gluten-free flour for the experiment)
1 cup cold butter, diced into small pieces (Sub in coconut oil for the experiment)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup super cold water (I measure the water approximately, then drop in an ice cube or two, let it chill down nice and cold, then remove excess ice pieces and measure liquid again)
3 large peaches, cut into thin slices
Preheat oven to 425F
Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl
Cut in butter with forks, knives, or a pastry dough blender (or in this case, coconut oil – I chilled the coconut oil in the fridge for 10-15 mins while I prepped the rest of the ingredients) until combined with the flour and the mixture resembles coarse sand with some pea size chunks of butter remaining
Pour in ice cold water and stir until most of the dough is stuck together
Remove the dough and any loose pieces from the bowl and place onto a floured surface. Continue to work the dough until you have a ball (be careful not to overwork the dough…the chunks are important for the baking process and you do not want the dough to be completely smooth) and then press the dough into a disk (mine was approximately ½” thick and 8” in diameter)
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
Once the dough has finished cooling, place it on a liberally floured surface and roll it out to your desired thickness (mine was about 1/8” thick)
Sprinkle a large handful of sugar onto the center of the dough leaving a 1 ½” border
Place the peach slices on top of the sugared crust in a fanned-out manner. Sprinkle another large handful of sugar on top of the peaches and fold up the edges of the crust to lay on top of the outer edge of the peaches.
wash the edge of the tart (this means you whisk an egg and brush it onto the part of the crust that is on top and exposed to the heat)
Bake until the edges of the crust are golden brown (a minimum of 40 minutes)