Savory Buckwheat Crepes Recipe (Gluten-Free)
On Groundhog Day, we usually make galettes de sarrasin at home. Galettes de sarrasin, the French name for buckwheat crepes, are basically a food group in Brittany where they are served year-round with a side of salad and a bowl of hard cider. For us, it’s a typical Groundhog Day meal because Groundhog Day is also known as Crepes Day (Chandeleur) in France. Though “crepes” is the generic name for crepes and galettes, galettes are quite different.Traditionally, they’re shaped square and made with buckwheat flour instead of wheat flour. Buckwheat flour has a distinct nutty taste, is highly nutritional and is gluten-free, making it a healthy alternative to regular crepes in a gluten-free diet. Also, galettes are served with savory toppings while crepes are served with sweet toppings. Hence the “Complete” topping described below – it’s the king of all toppings in Brittany.
Now just pretend you have a view on the Mont Saint Michel, play some Celtic music and enjoy!
Photo gallery – click on thumbnails to enlarge:
Now with the recipe, masterfully executed by my 7-year old wonderchef.
Nobody wants to wait hours for a galette while others are eating. To speed things up, I cook the galettes ahead of time (can be done the night before) so that I can whip them out at dinner time and cook 2 galettes on two separate pans at the same time. Means there’s always 2 galettes ready while 2 are cooking until you run out of galettes.
Ingredients for galette batter (yields 8 large galettes, enough for a dinner for 4)
- 300g /2 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
- 75 cl /3 1/4 cups cold water
- 1 large egg
- 3 pinches of salt
Make the batter: In a bowl, mix the buckwheat flour with the salt. Add the water slowly while mixing. Add a whisk to avoid big lumps of flour. Crack the egg in the batter and mix again. Rest in the fridge 2 hours before using.
Cook the galettes: heat up a low-sided 8-inch skillet or crêpe pan. Mix the batter before each galette as the flour tends to settle at the bottom of the bowl. Add a 1/2 cup of batter to the lightly-buttered medium-heat pan and swirl it around to evenly coat the pan. At this point if you realize your batter is too thick and doesn’t spread fast enough, you can thin it with more water for the following galettes. Let it cook a minute or so until the edges curl up, become brown and peel away from the edges. Using a wide flat spatula, gently lift away the edges of the galette and carefully flip the galette over. Give it another 30 seconds so the other side cooks too and gently slide the galette on a big plate. Cover with a kitchen towel or foil so it doesn’t dry up. Repeat until you have no more batter. Tada!
Make a “Complete” Topping for Dinner
- cooked ham slices for 8 galettes (2 or 3 thin slices per galette)
- 250g/1/2 pound shredded cheese (we used Gruyere, cheddar works too)
- one egg per person
- chives (optional)
- butter to grease pan
Lightly grease a low-sided 8-inch skillet or crêpe pan and warm up a pre-cooked galette. Add ham slices in the center of the galette. Sprinkle shredded cheese on the ham and around until 2″ from the galette’s edges. Last, crack an egg on top of the cheese.
Now comes the tricky bit and you have to act fast. With a wide spatula, you are going to fold over the sides of the galette until the edges barely touch the egg yolk (see photos at the top). Fold all four sides until you have a square and lightly push down on the edges with the spatula so they are somewhat flat.
Wait for the egg to cook. It might take a while because it’s far from the heat source what with all these toppings but if you’re in a hurry, you can cover the skillet with a lid. If you feel like it, add chives to the galette now.
To know if your galette is ready to eat, cautiously lift one side and check inside whether the egg white is opaque (not transparent any more). If not, give it some more time. If yes, it’s ready to eat. The egg yolk will be runny and the tradition is to pierce it with a fork so it covers most of your bites.