Simple Fall Baking

The leaves are changing color and a chill has returned to the air—which can only mean one thing: it’s time to turn the oven back on and dive into some fun fall baking. Happily, some of the season’s tastiest treats are also the most unfussy. Whip up a batch or two of this basic pastry dough—it couldn't be easier!—stash them in the freezer, and think of them as money in the bank. A little imagination—and your trusty rolling pin—are all it takes to transform them into an array of delicious autumn delights. Here's a basic recipe and a few of our favorite ways to use it:

Basic Pastry

Combine 2 1/2 cups White Lily All-Purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl. Add 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, and press it into the flour, working it until the mixture is crumbly. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in 1 beaten egg and 2 tablespoons ice water. Use a fork to stir the mixture until dough starts to come together. (If it is too dry, add water one drop at a time.) Knead the dough lightly, shape it into a ball, and divide the ball in two. Press each half into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill until ready to use or freeze for up to 3 months.

Plum Galette

Place one disc of dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 12-inch round. Transfer round to a parchment-lined baking sheet. In a medium bowl, add 3 cups sliced plums, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon cardamom, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine. Arrange sliced plums in the middle of the round and fold the edges up and over the fruit to form a 2-inch border. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and bake at 400°F until bubbly and golden, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Cinnamon Cocoa Pinwheel Bites

Place a disc of dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a large rectangle. Brush dough lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Roll the dough up into a tight log and transfer to the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. When the log is firm, use a sharp knife to slice it into ½-inch discs. Transfer discs to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until the rounds are crispy and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Rotisserie Chicken Skillet Pot Pie

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in an 8- to 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Add 1 finely chopped onion and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons of White Lily All-Purpose Flour and season generously with salt and pepper. Continue cooking while slowly drizzling in ½ cup of milk and 1½ cups chicken broth, whisking until the mixture is smooth and thick. Stir 1 cup frozen peas, 1 cup diced carrots (fresh or frozen), 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roll 1 disc of pastry dough into a 12-inch round. Drape round over the skillet, tuck the ends under, crimp the edges to seal, and use a sharp knife to slice 2 small vents in the top. Place skillet on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F until crust is golden and the filling is bubbling about 40 minutes. Let rest at least 30 minutes before serving.

Baking Tip

When making shortcake, be careful not to over-handle the dough, or you might end up with a heavy, tough cake.

Baking Tip

The warmth of the liquid used in bread recipes is very important. If too hot, the yeast can be destroyed and the dough will not rise.