“[Bilbo] had a horrible thought
that the cakes might run short, and then
he –as the host…might have to go without.”
If there’s one thing I know from twenty years of Tolkien nerdom, it’s that hobbits like to eat. After all, they were the ones who decided that breakfast and lunch were too far apart and practically invented brunch (aka. “elevensies”). You’d be hard pressed to find a hobbit whose three favorite things aren’t food, drink and a warm fire (in that order).
Bilbo Baggins is no exception. He’s a homey sort who is at his most content relaxing with a cup of tea, a pipe, and a good book, so when a bunch of dwarves barge into Bag End unannounced, he is understandably perturbed. This chapter in The Hobbit always puts me on edge, because I, like Bilbo, like my evenings quiet. I get particularly irritated when the dwarves raid his pantry without so much as a please or thank you. That’s why I decided I would make Bilbo a meal that his guests couldn’t get their greedy paws on.
Once the dwarves are fast asleep, Bilbo would hear a soft knock at the door. When he opens it, he’d find no dwarves, only a freshly baked galette with a flakey, golden-brown crust topped with buttery slices of sweet potato, apple, and onion. So as not to wake the dwarves, Bilbo would carry it to a quiet spot in his garden, and eat it with both hands. Once he’d finished, he would pull his handkerchief from his breast pocket and wipe the grease from his hands and mouth, because he is still a gentleman after all.
I didn’t eat this whole galette myself, but I’m pretty sure I could have. It was warm and buttery, and the fried rosemary paired beautifully with the slight hint of sweetness from the apples and potato. I decided to use these ingredients for the filling because they seemed like the kinds of foods you’d find at a hobbit farm stand: simple, hearty, and earthy, just like hobbits. After making this galette, I think I would make a pretty good hobbit, myself.
Hopefully, my galette would give Bilbo the energy he needed for his long journey the next day, or it would just make him miss home more. Either way, he would have another one waiting for him when he returned home from the Lonely Mountain.
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp salt
- black pepper
- 10 tbs cold unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
- 1 egg yolk
- ice water
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 sweet potato (sliced thin)
- 1 apple (sliced thin)
- 1 handful of sliced red onion
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 oz container crumbled goat cheese
- 2 tbs butter (cut into small cubes)
- olive oil
- 1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- 2. In a food processor, combine first the five crust ingredients and pulse to combine. Add diced butter and pulse until dough looks like crumbs.
- 3. In a small bowl, wisk the egg yolk and 3 tbs of ice cold water. Add to dough and pulse until dough comes together. If dough is still too dry, add 1-2 more tbs of ice water.
- 4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a flat disk. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.