Recipe for Galette des Rois

ricetta galette des rois

Baking fascinates and impassions us because each recipe is linked to memories of the past or historical facts. This, perhaps, is the reason why many recipes survive the passage of time and are handed down from generation to generation.

This is certainly the case with the typical French dessert for Epiphany, the Galette des Rois. Its origins seem to date back to Ancient Rome, where, on the occasion of the Saturnalia celebrations, a sun-shaped dessert was prepared, containing a broad bean, a symbol of prosperity. All trace of the Galette’s ancestor are then lost for centuries, until the dessert re-emerges again in fourteenth century France, where it is associated with the Epiphany and has a similar tradition to that of today. The Gallette des Rois takes its name from the protagonists of this feast, the Magi, or Three Kings, but today, not only is it inevitable that you’ll find it on French tables on January 6, it is also prepared continuously throughout the month.

And the broad bean? Well the broad bean, despite having been replaced over the years by small ceramic objects of the most disparate shapes, continues to be called such and remains the protagonist of the Galette. Whoever finds it in their slice becomes King and offers the Galette the following year.


Ingredients for the puff pastry

Method for the puff pastry

    1. Place the flour, water, salt and soft butter into the mixer and mix on first speed for about one-and-a-half minutes. The end result will be a smooth, coarse dough.
    2. Add the cubed cold butter and mix for about a further minute. The goal is not to amalgamate it into the dough but to distribute it throughout.
    3. Remove the dough from the mixer and flour it lightly on both sides.
    4. Roll it out to a thickness of 5mm.
    5. Make a 3 fold. After each fold it is important to remember to turn the dough through 90 degrees as it should be rolled out in the direction of its open ends.
    6. Roll it out to a thickness of 5mm.
    7. Make a 4 fold.
    8. Place it on a tray and wrap it in nylon and place it in the fridge at 4°C for an hour.
    9. Roll it out to a thickness of 5mm.
    10. Make a 4 fold.
    11. Roll it out to a thickness of 5mm.
    12. Make a 4 fold.
    13. Place it in the fridge at 4°C for at least 10-12 hours covered with nylon.

Ingredients for assembling the Galette des Rois

  • All of the puff pastry made with the recipe above
  • Crème pâtissière made with the following quantities:
    • 132g whole fat milk
    • 80g single cream
    • 106g egg yolk
    • 56g caster sugar
    • 10g cornflour
    • vanilla essence to taste, without exaggerating.
  • Almond Cream:
    • 135g soft creamed butter
    • 160g almond flour
    • 160g icing sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 20g cornflour
    • 3 tablespoons Amaretto di Saronno
  • For decorating:
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 30g water
    • 30g caster sugar

Method for the Galette des Rois

    1. The day before cooking the galette, prepare the puff pastry as described above.
    2. Also the day before, prepare the crème pâtissière, the almond cream and the syrup.
    3. For the crème pâtissière, while bringing the milk and cream to the boil, mix all the other ingredients together well in a bowl. Add the milk to the other ingredients, return to the pan and bring to a temperature of 84°C, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
    4. For the almond cream, mix together the creamed butter and the icing sugar in a mixer fitted with a flat beater attachment. Add the almond flour (blanched or not, it doesn’t matter) and the cornflour. Then add one egg at a time and finally the three spoonfuls of Amaretto di Saronno. The crème pâtissière and the almond cream will be mixed together when cold the next day.
    5. For the syrup, bring the 30g of caster sugar to the boil in 30g of water. Leave out of the fridge overnight for use the next day.
    6. On baking day of, proceed by rolling out the puff pastry, which has rested overnight in the fridge, to a thickness of 2mm. To avoid rolling it out too much in one direction and not enough in the other, keep to hand a reference of the sizes of the two discs that will make up the galette.
    7. Once the pastry has been rolled out, prepare a square of baking paper on the baking tray on which we are going to assemble our galette.
    8. Cut out two discs: one with a diameter of 30cm to cover the galette and one with a diameter of 28cm for the base.
    9. Transfer the 28cm disc onto the oven paper. To avoid deforming it whilst moving, fold it in half and gently lift the semicircle formed. You can use the rolling pin again to restore the shape of the circle if necessary.
    10. Using a template, mark a 22cm diameter circle in the middle of the moved disc. Then fill a piping bag with the frangipane cream which is made up of two parts of the cold almond cream (400g) and one part of cold crème pâtissière (200g), mixed together well.
    11. At this point, beat two egg yolks (or two egg yolks and two tablespoons of milk) and carefully brush the space between the 22cm and 28cm circles and, using a piping bag fitted with an appropriate nozzle, fill the 22cm circle with the frangipane cream. It is important that the frangipane cream does not extend beyond the 22cm circle, any excess of frangipane cream should be distributed in the center of the circle.
    12. Position a dried broad bean (alternatively you can also use an almond) by sinking it into the frangipane cream.
    13. Place the larger (30cm) pastry circle precisely on top of the smaller one which now houses the cream. To position the larger circumference precisely, use the same technique used to move the smaller one: fold it in half and line up the semicircle created, with with the base.
    14. Before pressing down the edges to seal the galette, massage the surface of the “dome” to look for any air bubbles. Should you find any, remove them by pushing them to the outside.
    15. At this point, press the edges together well from the outside inwards, taking care not to press down too near to the frangipane cream as this could lead to the edge detaching and the filling coming out during cooking.
    16. Finally seal tight by pressing well with the prongs of a fork all around the edge.
    17. Brush the entire surface of the galette with the egg yolk and milk mixture.
    18. Place the galette in the refrigerator for 30 mins. This will allow for flakier pastry and a better rendering of the surface decoration.
    19. Remove the gallette from the fridge and press the edges down again with the fork prongs.
    20. Make a hole in the centre as a vent for the air generated inside during cooking. This will also be the centre of the circular lines that make up the decoration. It’s important to make a fair number of these so that they don’t expand too much during cooking. For the decoration, use the blade of the knife, but not the cutting edge.
    21. Bake in a fan-free oven for 45 minutes at 175°C. You can check that it is baked correctly by looking at the bottom of the galette.
    22. As soon as you take it out of the oven, brush the top of the galette with the sugar syrup.
    23. Leave to cool completely before tasting.


Want to make this recipe?

You can make a Galette des Rois with Sebòn Croissant flour from our online shop.

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