In Brittany buckwheat crepes are EVERYWHERE. They’re found in restaurants, at street vendors and in every supermarket chain. As a gluten-free person traveling in France, buckwheat crepes became one of my go-to food items. The only trick is to know what you are talking about. In Brittany buckwheat crepes are call galettes and are always considered a savoury food item. Crêpes on the other hand are made with wheat and are filled with sweet toppings.
And if being gluten-free is important, then be sure to check for authenticity as many of the tourist-focused restaurants will mix a little wheat flour into their galette batter to improve the end product. So be sure to ask if it is made with blé (wheat) or sarrasin (buckwheat). To make things even more confusing buckwheat can also be called blé noir (black wheat).
The galettes that we were buying in Brittany were all made with just 3 ingredients: salt, water and buckwheat flour. I interviewed a street galette vendor, who explained that a 24 hour sourdough ferment was necessary to get the right flavour. So I experimented with a simple sourdough based buckwheat crêpes… and it appears that I was missing the key ingredient: A well-seasoned nonstick pan with the special “crêpe” tool.
Here’s the evidence of my lack of success.
So I decided to try this recipe so that there would be enough added enough fat and egg to give my crêpes stability and stop them from sticking. Now I can safely say that I have mastered the galette!
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 cups water (chlorine free)
- Remaining Ingredients
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- ¼ tsp salt
- Mix the flour and water in a glass container and leave it somewhere warm to ferment for 24-48 hours. It won't take long to become active.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Preheat a cast iron, or non-stick pan until it is hot.
- Ladle on a small amount of batter. It should be thin enough to spread into a thin layer. You don't want it too thin as you won't be able to flip it.
- Once it has started to bubble and dry out in the middle, flip the crêpe over and allow to cook for another few minutes.
- Fill and serve immediately.
–Traditional crêpe pans are flat cast-iron circles with a long spatula. I just used my cast-iron frying pan and regular spatula, which worked for this recipe.
-Traditional fillings for buckwheat crêpes include: cheese, bacon, sausages. However, feel free to use sweet fillings as well. My kids like berries with cultured whipping cream.
Here’s what the crêpe looks like when it’s ready to flip.