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

To use your stand mixer's dough hook, first mix dough ingredients using a flat paddle or regular beaters. Then knead with dough hook on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.

Baking Tip

When kneading yeast dough, coat your hands and rolling pin with flour or cooking spray. Add just enough flour to keep dough from sticking.