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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Buckwheat Galettes (Crêpes)

I've been living in France for about 7 years and I have never made crêpes or crêpe batter once in my life.  Back home in the US, my mother would do it and everybody in the neighborhood (I may just be exaggerating a bit) would flock to the house to brunch on this foreign French delicacy nobody else they knew could make.  She was good at keeping her secrets.  She also put rum in her batter so of course everyone was addicted to her crêpes!  I always figured I'd leave the crêpe making to my French friends and I'd handle all the "weird" cooking.  Tonight, though, I wanted to participate because I love buckwheat, and I have some home made maple syrup from my colleagues in Quebec that work wonders with buckwheat, and I wanted to share that goodness with the unbeknownst.
Yield 10 large diameter galettes
260g (9oz) buckwheat flour
5g (3/4 Tbsp) cooking salt (not fine table salt)
1 medium egg
25cL (9floz) + 30cL (10floz) cold water
a touch of butter per galette for cooking
1.  In a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt (I used gros sel de Guerande), egg, and one of the water portions.  Stir together with a wooden spoon.  No need to beat the egg before adding, this should come together very smoothly.
2.  When it has a thick consistency, film the top of the bowl and let it rest for at least 4 hours with one of those hours at room temperature.
Overnight in the fridge is best.  There is a fermentation process that happens during this time that gives these their signature taste.
3.  Add in the rest of the water and beat well.  The consistency should be more fluid.  If it's not, add just a touch more water.
4.  Ready to cook.  In a flat crêpe pan (if you have one), melt just a touch of butter, spoon some of the batter in and spread it into an even circle.  Here in France, they cook it on a flat electric hotplate called a bilig and spread it with a flat wooden squeegee-ish utensil called a rozell as shown below.
(photo borrowed from LaCuisinedeBernard)
I of course have neither of these things and made this batter to bring to a "Crêpe Party" I was invited to.  There was an electric mini crêpe cooker where everyone cooked their own and added the toppings of their desires.
You can also just do this in a very wide round flat pan and flat spatula.
5.  Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.  Flipping is optional if you can spread it thin enough.  Top with fun things such as egg, spinach, cheese, mushrooms...
you know, all the good stuff.
You can also go sweet and add some maple syrup or whatever floats your sweet tooth.  Here in France, this batter is used for savory and a different batter with wheat flour is used for sweet.
I do not follow those rules.  I love buckwheat too much to NOT have it with home made maple syrup for dessert..
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