Saveur is an amazing food magazine. Its articles manage to expertly capture the regions, stories and people behind food and recipes. In Washington, DC we have been having a wet and rainy Spring and it reminded of an article I read in Saveur on Brittany and buckwheat crepes or Galettes that they make there.
Brittany is the rugged northwest region of northwest France, a regions that has its own distinct culture. Buckwheat is a heartier grain than wheat and can survive in tougher climates. Buckwheat also has a shorter growing season, important in areas like Brittany that does not have much of a summer. The flavor of buckwheat is more assertive than wheat. It has a tangy, nut-like flavor that gives buckwheat crepes the strength to stand up to stronger fillings. Strong fillings like onion confit and bacon help keep away a chilly Spring.
The recipe from Saveur, while authentic, called for a large amount of butter. I wimped out and went with more of a conventional recipe. I used a recipe I found in the LA Times, but the NY Times also had a good one. While you can’t read the Saveur article online, you can read the accompanying recipes:
â?¢ Buckwheat CrÃªpes (CrÃªpes de BlÃ© Noir)
â?¢ Scallops in White Wine Cream Sauce Sauce (Noix de Saint Jacques)
â?¢ Cider-Spiked Onion Confit (Confit d’Oignons au Cidre)
â?¢ White-Flour CrÃªpes FlambÃ©ed with Cider Brandy (CrÃªpes FlambÃ©es au Lambig)
â?¢ Thick CrÃªpes with SautÃ©ed Apples (Kouigns Bigoudens aux Pommes)
â?¢ Buckwheat CrÃªpes with GruyÃ¨re, Ham, and Egg (CrÃªpes ComplÃ¨tes de BlÃ© Noir)
Galettes (Buckwheat Crepes)
From: LA Times
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour for a little extra flavor)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- Softened butter for the pan
- In the jar of a blender, blend the flour, eggs, milk, salt and melted butter with 3/4 cup water at high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides midway with a spatula. Strain the batter through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Cover and let rest, refrigerated, for at least an hour, or overnight. (I didn’t let the batter rest and mine came out fine)
- Heat a crepe pan or nonstick sautÃ© pan over medium heat until a sprinkle of water sizzles when you throw it on the pan. With a paper towel, spread butter over the pan, being sure to wipe most of it off. (I brushed on some vegetable oil instead of butter…I was too lazy to melt the extra butter)
- Using a bowl or a measuring cup with a spout, pour enough batter to just cover the pan (for a crepe pan, a little less than 1/4 cup), immediately swirling the batter around until it covers the whole surface. The batter may be thicker than basic crepes once it has been resting and may need to be thinned a little; if so, add up to 1/4 cup water and stir until blended. It will have a different consistency than sweet crepes (more like honey than pancake batter) and will cook slightly differently, forming bubbles and lacier edges. Adjust the heat, if necessary, to medium-low. As with pancakes, the first one or two galettes are usually experiments.
- When the edges of the galette begin to turn golden and move away from the pan, after about 3 minutes, lift the edge nearest to you using a spatula (an offset spatula works best). Flip the galette over. Cook the second side of the galette only long enough for it to set, less than a minute. Remove from the pan and start a stack of galettes, using wax paper to layer between each galette as you cook more. (Again, I was lazy and just stacked them all together and it worked fine.)
- Add more butter when needed with a paper towel.