Lately, I’ve been creatively working my sourdough starter into baked goods around my kitchen. It started with my desire to reduce the “waste”1 of feeding my starter one to two times per day and eventually I began to fully realize the significant amount of flavor in that fermented flour mixture. You can find my recipes for sourdough pancakes, banana bread, and waffles but this is my first mention of a dessert with sourdough in the crust and it’s fantastic. This whole grain crust is everything you want in a pie or galette crust: buttery, tender, flaky and packed with flavor.
All the stars aligned for this galette, let me tell you. I recently went on a tour of a local lavender farm (photos here in my Apricot, Lavender and Walnut Sourdough recipe) and brought home some of their culinary lavender to use in a few bread recipes I’ve been playing with (more to come) and not a week later was I given a sack full of fresh peaches from my family’s tree back home. I waited for these peaches to reach optimal ripeness and then patience suddenly turned impatience as I woke up one morning to find myself on autopilot — my grain mill was on the counter and the sound of the burrs churning away sung in the background. As I was milling I reinforced myself: peaches and lavender just sound good together, right? It’s like some instinctual drive to put these two in the same dish, or perhaps a recipe I stumbled on long ago buried deep in my subconscious, either way, this pairing bubbled to the surface just as these fresh, local ingredients serendipitously arrived in my kitchen.
After my tour of the farm I brought home only fresh lavender but if you have culinary lavender oil two or three small drops should suffice for this recipe (you might have to experiment with this — be careful to not add too much lavender as it can come across as “soapy” in the end product). I used my mortar & pestle to pulverize the fresh lavender into a fine powder and then mixed it right into the filling with the rest of the ingredients. The smell is pretty intoxicating.
While this recipe calls for peaches & blueberries you could use this crust, and filling ingredients, as a base for almost any fruit, just adjust the sugar to suit — I personally like these galettes to be a little less on the artificially sweet side to let the fruit shine through.
With my mill going at full speed, the smells of creamy, fresh milled flour and lavender in the air, and my mind on those ripe peaches I could hardly wait to get baking.
Sourdough Starter Notes
I used my 100% hydration liquid sourdough starter at its peak for this recipe. If you’re maintaining a lower hydration sourdough starter keep 1/2 cup of very cold water nearby and after you add your starter to the dough & butter mixture add in more water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time until the dough comes together.
I firmly believe any starter variation will taste great in this recipe whether it’s a liquid starter or stiff starter and regardless of what flour is used for maintenance — white wheat, whole wheat, rye, spelt, anything. Using a starter at its peak, after undergoing heavy fermentation, any variation will contribute flavor complexity and tenderness to the crust. Note that the recipe calls for 1 cup of sourdough starter so make sure you have enough the night before when you feed to cover the requirement. When I’m doing my daily refreshments of 100g flour, 100g water, and 15g mature starter2 I end up with just enough discard to cover the needed starter.
Sourdough Pie Crust Notes
If you’re an experienced pie baker then you know about what level to blend the butter into the flour, if not just remember you want to avoid over blending — there should be some small and some large pieces of butter in the flour mixture. These irregularly shaped butter pieces help contribute to the flakiness desired in pie crust. Don’t fret about this too much, even if you over blend a bit the crust will still turn out great, just blend a little less next time. I like to shoot for the largest pieces about the size of a nickel.
After adding the ripe starter and gently stirring, the mixture will form up differently than when using just water. It will be a little more clumped, crumbly even, but stir everything just until it comes together. Use your hands to test periodically if the mixture will clump easily, if so then you’re done adding the extra water.
It’s so incredibly hot here this time of the year I noticed the mixture started to feel a little greasy and warm to the touch when I was mixing everything together. If this happens just toss the mixing bowl into the fridge and let it chill for 15 minutes. You don’t want the butter to melt.
Whole Grain Peach, Blueberry and Lavender Sourdough Galette
Recipe from the perfect loaf.
Sourdough Pie Crust
Makes 2 crusts for a pie (top & bottom) or 2 galettes. I usually freeze half for any impromptu fruit deliveries so I can quickly whip up a pie or galette but halve all the ingredients if you want only a single crust.
This recipe, with ripe sourdough starter, yields a wonderfully tender and flaky crust. Even with the starter, there’s very little sour flavor in the end product but this may become more pronounced if more is added or the sugar is omitted.
I used fresh milled, whole grain white Sonora flour from Hayden Flour Mills for this crust. It’s a lower protein flour that has a nice, mellow flavor (as I’ve noted in my sourdough bread with white Sonora) and works so well in this recipe. White whole wheat, or even all-purpose, would also work really well.
- 295g (2.5 cups) fresh milled white Sonora flour or white whole wheat flour
- 2 sticks (227g) cold European style butter cut into 1/2” chunks
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup ripe, cold, liquid sourdough starter
- A splash of cold water
Measure out 1 cup ripe sourdough starter and place into the fridge to chill while the rest of the items are prepared.
Add the flour, salt, and sugar to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the chunked up butter to the bowl and lightly toss with a spatula until the butter is coated with flour. Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the flour until there are only small bits of butter remaining. Take care to not overwork the butter into the flour, there should be some larger pieces (nickel-sized) and some smaller pieces (dime-sized or smaller).
Add the chilled 1 cup sourdough starter, cider vinegar and a few splashes of cold water to the mixing bowl. Stir with a spatula or the pastry blender until well combined. Add more water here if necessary: you want the dough to come together when squeezed with your hands but it should not be overly wet.
Dump the contents of the bowl onto your bench and gather into a large disc. If using the full recipe, halve the disc in two, form into two smaller discs, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the discs for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) before using.
Whole Grain Peach, Blueberry and Lavender Sourdough Galette
Adjust the amount of sugar called for to your liking, and more importantly, how sweet your fruit is! I reduced the sugar called for below just a bit since my peaches were incredibly ripe and sweet.
- One half Sourdough Pie Crust (above)
- 1 cup (about 150g) blueberries
- 1/2 tsp ground culinary lavender
- 5 medium peaches (about 560g), peeled
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot
- 1/4 cup (30g) light brown sugar
- Scant 1/2 cup (85g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
- Coarse sugar (like Demerara) for coating
Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly flour your bench and roll the dough out to a round with about a 12” diameter. Try to keep the thickness as even as possible by rolling a little and then turning the disc — any areas that are significantly thinner may fall down when baking (not a huge deal). Once rolled out transfer to the prepared baking sheet with parchment paper and place into the refrigerator.
Combine the filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and gently stir to combine. Remove the chilled dough and scoop the filling into the center but maintain a 2” clean border of dough all around. Depending on the size of your peaches, and how far you’ve rolled out your dough, you might have some extra filling — don’t overfill the dough or it might spill in the oven. Working all the way around, fold the border up and over the fruit, pressing the dough together where it overlaps to create a seal. Place the baking sheet with galette into the fridge for at least 15-30 minutes (important!) to firm up before baking.
Remove from refrigerator, brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle liberally all over with coarse sugar. Bake for about 40 minutes until juices are bubbling and the crust is a nice dark brown. Let cool on a wire rack until safe to eat, but eat when still warm.
If you try this recipe with any other flour types I’d love to hear how they work out. I’m excited to continue experimenting with not only freshly milled flour but also whole grains of all types for my dessert crusts. Well, that and of course my sourdough starter.