Before we moved to Calgary, I had a list of things that I was hoping for in whatever apartment we chose to rent. A balcony or outdoor space was at the very top of the list. I have never had access to outdoor space in any of the places I’ve lived in before so I was dreaming of a herb garden, a chair to read on, and maybe even a BBQ. Of course, when we actually moved to Calgary and realized how difficult it was to find any place at all, my list of requirements became much, much shorter. The quest for outdoor space went down the drain. In the end, I love our apartment and I’ve even managed to keep a few pots of fresh herbs alive (which I love! Fellow apartment dwellers, don’t despair. You can keep a bunch of herbs alive as long as you have a nice sunny window.) but an indoor BBQ is obviously not a possibility. Luckily, we have very nice, friends that have an entire deck, filled with a multi-stage (home-built!) garden and a big BBQ. So, when they asked me if I wanted to try grilled pizza, I jumped at the chance.
This is the second galette I’ve ever made. The first one was intended for this blog but it didn’t work out very well. I think I tried to ‘wing-it’ which is always a bad idea when you are not a proficient baker. This time, I researched the general approach to making galettes and this one was infinitely more successful (don’t worry, the burnt bits on the parchment paper are from rogue sugar crystals that I dropped on the baking sheet before putting this into the oven burning, the galette was safe and sound!). If you’ve never made a galette before, it is basically a more relaxed, rustic, pie. It doesn’t have to look perfect. In fact, a lot of it’s charm is the generous pile of fruit in the middle of a craggy, golden, crispy dough.
I’m in a dough kind of mood. I’ve been craving carbs lately and have also been eager to try and make all sorts of doughs from scratch. A few nights ago, I saw some contestants on Masterchef Australia cook some bao and a lightbulb went off in my head. I had never thought of making bao, and haven’t actually been able to enjoy them very much. If you’ve never heard of bao before, they are basically steamed buns filled with some sort of filling, found all over China. There is a wide variety of bao: ranging from 5-10 inches in diameter, filled with various meat, bean paste and even soup broth (if you’re in Vancouver, the xiaolongbao at Lin’s are award-winning)!