Galettes Bretonnes | French Butter Biscuits

Galettes Bretonnes are sweet and salty golden butter biscuits from Brittany, France. They are easily made with salted butter, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla and flour and are a delight to eat anytime. You may bake with love and gift your loved ones during this holiday season! :-)

Plate of Galettes Bretonnes with two cups of tea and a kettle

Guess what! But First Chai turned 6 today! Also, my mummy is with me! :-)

Happy 6th Birthday But First Chai! I should say this blog received its momentum only starting 2019 and Alhamdulillah, it is getting better since then. Thank you from my heart to each of you who trust my recipes, read and share my blog since my Life in Yanbu days! I am here because of you - I know sounds cliché but that's the truth, right? 

You should know that I currently have a total of 288 posts of which 234 are recipes, which obviously makes it a food blog that showcases my family favourites. For last year's blog birthday, I had shared my all-time favourite ripe plantains recipe and the year before that I had shared F's favourite Shami Kebabs! Check my HBD tag for all the previous blog anniversary posts. So for today's occasion of "sticking with this space for six long years", I am sharing my love for Galettes Bretonnes - no, not the savoury stuffed crepes that google will throw when you search but the popular French Salted Butter Sablés from Brittany. 

The first time I saw Galettes Bretonnes was on Linda's Instagram page in late October 2020. Unlike my million other must-try "saves" and "Pins", I had my eye on this one and wanted to bake a batch immediately. Linda was super kind to share the salted butter biscuits recipe with measurements via dm. I did not even have a cookie-cutter when I attempted them for the first time. I quickly googled to find out more about the biscuits or is this cookie? 

I made a batch in my "baking-biscuits-challenged" kitchen and almost hated myself for not sticking to the recipe. I was a mess, the kitchen counter was a mess, but the biscuits made it to the oven perfectly shaped. That was half a battle won! For the next 15 minutes, I was doing the dishes while getting heady with vanilla aroma permeating my home. The perfectly shaped biscuits are baked into shining golden goodies! If well thought through, this is super easy to make but make sure to use the best quality ingredients for the real taste! 

Some Galettes Bretonnes with a mug of chai
First batch where I used a tumbler to cut the cookies

These salted biscuits are so easily addictive that you just cannot stop with one. We devoured the entire batch in the next few days. I then placed an order on amazon for the scalloped cookie cutter to make another pretty batch of Galettes Bretonnes for my brother and family. We planned to travel to Sharjah over the weekend of November 19th to meet his newborn baby boy and also to bring my mummy to Abu Dhabi! 

Obstacles and Solutions from the first attempt

  • I used my hand whisk to whisk the softened butter and sugar - but it just kept getting trapped inside the whisk and tested my patience to edge. So wiped clean the whisk and then used my handheld electric whisk for the work.
  • I tried to roll the chilled dough on a floured surface and used a tumbler to cut out the cookie shapes. It was hard to pick and transfer without losing its shape. I had to collect it all into a dough again and put it back to chill again. I then, Googled "how to roll cookie dough" and found Sally's method of rolling and then chilling. Genius. 
  • I didn't have silicone sheets nor wanted to spend my baking paper! So used my wooden plank and baking paper or zip lock bag on top to roll the dough. 
So once you have sorted your method to accomplishing the rolling, chilling and cutting, Galettes Bretonnes are a breeze to make. This time I followed a YouTube recipe (not her method) and without breaking a sweat, I baked a whole batch of 30 cookies! I packed half a dozen each for Rafeeda and Faiza, one dozen for my munchkins and a few leftovers that F and I relished! Yes, going to Sharjah means meeting my blogger friends over a cup of chai! 

You can easily double the recipe but don't halve this further else you will regret it! :-) 

Holding one Galette Bretonne Biscuit between index and thumb

Ingredients for Galettes Bretonnes Biscuits

Galettes Bretonnes is French that translates to Breton Pancakes. We are familiar with "galette" as the rustic pie but the salted biscuits or cookies are also called Galettes Bretonnes or Salted Butter Sablés (where Sablés translates to"sandy texture"). A popular biscuit that is served across Brittany in France is a local favourite and for anyone who has travelled or had access to supermarkets with French goods. 

As the list is simple and short, it is better to use high-quality ingredients.
  1. Butter: Traditionally beurre salé (salted butter, with sea salt flakes) is used to make these biscuits. You may be lucky to find them in supermarkets like Carrefour or Spinneys but I had Sel de Mer (coarse sea salt) with me, so crushed some in a mortar and used it. 
  2. Sugar: I have used fine-grain white granulated sugar. You may use vanilla sugar if you have that and if you don't have vanilla bean. 
  3. Vanilla extract: I have used the paste of one vanilla bean. Try not to use too much vanilla extract liquid as it alters the dough consistency. If you used vanilla sugar, then a dash of extract would be more than enough. If you don't have access to pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste or bean, then use the artificial essence as the last resort. 
  4. Salt: If you can't find beurre salé or fleur de sel or sel de mer, then skip and use regular salted butter with a pinch of salt.
  5. Egg yolk: Use a large egg's yolk. You need 2 for this recipe. One for the dough and one for coating.
  6. Flour: You need plain flour aka maida or all-purpose flour.
If your kitchen is well equipped with baking essentials then you can bake Galettes Bretonnes even more easily than me. I have tried to capture how I made these in my kitchen through images and IGTV video, so hope it helps you to make your first batch easier! 

How to make Galettes Bretonnes or salted butter biscuits of Brittany!

  1. Prepare the biscuit dough and chill for 15 minutes 
  2. Roll the dough and chill for 15 minutes (repeat with remaining dough)
  3. Cut out the biscuits in the desired shape (repeat with remaining dough)
  4. Coat each cookie with egg yolk and chill for a few minutes and repeat one more time (15 mins)
  5. Draw lines with a fork on each biscuit and bake the batch for 15 minutes
Please watch my Igtv video of making Galettes Bretonnes biscuits! I have shared some images here in case you cannot open the video. 


Ingredients for Galettes Bretonnes

Whisking for cookie dough

Adding the flour to creamed butter mixture

Crumbly dough texture

Rolling chilled dough with baking paper

Chilling rolled out cookie dough
Do keep the plastic or paper on it

Yolk brushed on cut cookies

chilling the cut cookies brushed with egg yolk

used fork to draw line over the cookies

Baked out of oven Galettes Bretonnes or Salted Biscuits



Galettes Bretonnes
Second and third batch with fluted cookie cutter

Galettes Bretonnes Recipe | Breton Biscuits | French Butter Biscuits Recipe

Makes 12 to 15 cookies using 2.5 inches cookie cutter
Prep time: 1 hour including all chilling time
Cook time: 15 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 90gms salted or unsalted butter softened to room temperature 
  • 60gms fine granulated sugar (approx 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or pulp one vanilla bean
  • 2gms of sel de mer, crushed (skip if using salted butter)
  • 1 large egg's yolk
  • 150gms all-purpose flour (approx 1 cup)
  • 1 large egg's yolk for brushing

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the biscuit dough
  1. Add the softened butter, sugar, vanilla and salt to a large bowl and use an electric whisk to cream the mixture. Add the egg yolk and whisk again until combined.
  2. Stir in the flour until no dry flour is visible and resembles a crumbly texture. Use your fingers and bring them together to form a soft dough. Do not over knead. 
  3. Flatten to a disc shape and cling wrap the dough. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. 
Roll the dough and chill
  1. Lightly dust the wooden plank with some flour, place the dough and keep a baking paper or ziplock bag over the dough. 
  2. Start to roll the dough evenly to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Refrigerate the rolled out dough for 15 minutes along with the plank. You may roll between two silicone sheets and refrigerate the whole thing.
Cut out the biscuits in the desired shape
  1. Take out the chilled rolled out dough and remove the baking paper or ziplock-bag off the dough. 
  2. Use a cookie cutter and cut as many as you can. Remove the cut-out biscuits carefully using an offset spatula or butter knife to slide underneath and transfer them to a lined baking tray. (watch the video)
  3. Bring together the remaining left out dough and roll again, chill again, cut into shapes again. Repeat until all of the dough is used. You may have to keep the cutout cookie/biscuits refrigerated until you have a batch ready to bake.
Coat with egg yolk and chill
  1. Brush the top of each biscuit with whisked egg yolk and let it dry for a few minutes before coating a second time. 
  2. Chill until the yolk coat is dried or for about 10 to 15 minutes meanwhile preheat the oven to 180℃ 
Bake the batch of Galettes Bretonnes
  1. Use a fork to draw a line pattern over each cookie.
  2. Place the tray of biscuits in the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. 
  3. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tray itself. Store in an airtight tin container and serve Galettes Bretonnes with tea or coffee.
Galettes Bretonnes | Salted Butter Biscuits

TRIED THIS RECIPE?
I would love to know if you tried this recipe. You may leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaiblog so that I can see your creations! Thank you! 

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