Years ago after a trip to see old friends of hers, my mom decided that she was going to revolutionize our family table. Her friends were kinda like hippies to us, so it didn’t bode well for us California kids who’d been living on pizza from a mix and mac and cheese from a box.
Mom bought whole wheat pasta and whole wheat flour and whole wheat muffins and a whole lot of whole wheat! Needless to say, this was a big shock to our systems.
I hate to say it, but our protests were a lot stronger than my mom’s resolve.
Fast forward a dozen years and I was that young mom trying to get her family on a better diet. Like my mother before me, I decided to just go “whole hog” and do all my baking with stone-ground whole wheat flour. This was back in the days before the internet, when you couldn’t order groceries online, but were stuck with the very coarse, dense stuff that the grocery store sold. And it was dense. Trust me.
You can guess how my brownies and apple pie went over. Everything tasted so wheaty. Like mother, like daughter.
My efforts at improving my family’s diet were dashed – for a few years. My problem was that I didn’t understand that different flours serve different purposes.
I discovered whole wheat pastry flour and my life was changed. I know, that sounds pretty dramatic, but it’s true. I spotted a bag of pastry flour at the health food store — Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour as a matter of fact — and gave it a try.
Wow. I could bake pancakes that didn’t land like bricks when I served them up. I could bake muffins that didn’t taste like a field in Kansas. I could bake brownies with whole grain and they didn’t taste “too healthy”.
I think that was when I heard angels singing.
There’s been no looking back since that day. Whole wheat pastry flour is a regular item in my pantry. It’s been a favorite ingredient in my cookbooks. I use it in my holiday baking.
At first I just went halvsies. But, earlier this year, I baked one of my famous-at-my-house) Slab Apple Pies, but I substituted all the regular flour with whole wheat pastry flour . No one in my family even noticed! It was just as good as if it had all-purpose flour in it.
Whole wheat pastry flou0 is one of my best friends when it comes to making holiday treats just a little bit healthier. I use it in muffins, pancakes, waffles, cornbread, cookies, and pies. It goes super well in savory baked goods as well, like this Galette with Mushrooms, Onions, and Cheddar.
This is the perfect appetizer for your holiday get-togethers. The pastry is light and tender. The filling packs just enough punch to offset the richness of the crust. You might even serve it with soup and salad for a light lunch or dinner.
I think I need to make this for my mom and apologize, don’t I?
Galette with Mushrooms, Onions, and Cheddar
- 2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 1 cup cold, salted Butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Cold Water
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces sliced Mushrooms
- fine Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped Parsley, optional garnish
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place the flour and butter. Pulse for 12 to 15 seconds until coarse crumbs are formed. With the machine running, add the water drop by drop until the dough starts to hold together. Form the dough into a thick disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator.
In a large skillet heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until they are tender and starting to brown a bit. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a small mixing bowl. Cool.
Once the mixture is cool, toss it with the cheese and Herbes de Provence.
Preheat the oven to 400 °. On a large piece of parchment paper, roll the dough out into a large circle, about 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the cheese and vegetable mixture on the pastry, leaving a one-inch border.
Brush the egg wash on the open border and fold it, in sections, over the filling. Brush more egg wash over the folded edge. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the pastry is golden. Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve.
Jessica Fisher is a mom of six children, aged 5 to 16. Homeschool mom by day, writer and blogger by night, she writes two blogs, LifeasMom and GoodCheapEats. She is the author of Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze, Organizing Life as MOM, and Best 100 Juices for Kids. Keep up with her on Facebook and Twitter.