Buckwheat Crêpes (or Galettes) Recipe

Galettes de sarrasin

Tomorrow is Mardi-Gras, the last day before Lent begins. The Mardi-Gras tradition in France, amongst other things, is to gorge on crepes, supposedly to use up the eggs and butter that you won’t be allowed to eat until Easter. I am not religious and so I don’t observe Lent, but I will gladly take any opportunity to eat crepes. And last Friday, when my friends Marie-Laure and Laurence came over for dinner, I decided to make us crepes, using farine de sarrasin (buckwheat flour) like they do in Brittany, in the West of France.

Brittany is a fantasy land of wonderful crepes. We would spend a week of vacation there every year (often in Carnac) with my parents when I was younger. We would eat crepes every single night, to the sparkly-eyed delight of my sister and myself, and over time we had built quite a little itinerary of favorite crêperies to visit. In Brittany, savory crepes are made with buckwheat flour and are called “galettes“, whereas sweet crepes are made with wheat flour and are called “crêpes”.

And so it is that I can share with you my recipe for galettes de sarrasin, just in time for Mardi-Gras. You can use whatever filling suits your fancy, but the most traditional galette is probably the “complète“, filled with an egg (“mirroir”, sunny-side-up, or “brouillé”, scrambled) ham and cheese (usually gruyère or comté). But you can also use vegetables, goat cheese, tuna, bacon… This past Friday, I made a batch of galettes filled with egg (sunny side up), ham and cheese, and another of caramelized leeks and shallots with goat cheese.

The only downside of making galettes is that they’re in fact a little more work than I had foreseen, as I had to juggle two skillets, the fillings, and the keeping warm of the galettes that were ready. But we all enjoyed them very much, the taste of buckwheat flour is really special, nice and nutty ; the crêpe was just the way we like it, pliable in the middle and a little crunchy on the edges ; and the fillings were excellent.

Buckwheat Galettes Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes

Makes twelve 24-cm (9 1/2-inch) galettes.

Buckwheat Galettes Recipe

Ingredients

    For the batter:
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) buckwheat flour
  • 50 grams (1 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine seal salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 ml (1/2 quart) milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 500 ml (1/2 quart) water
  • For garnishing:
  • cooking oil
  • the fillings of your choice (see post for suggestions)

Instructions

    Step 1 : Prepare the batter.
  1. Put the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl and dig a little well in the center. Break the eggs into the well, and whisk them gradually into the flour in a circular motion. Pour the milk in slowly, whisking all the while. Add the water, still whisking.
  2. Cover and store in the fridge for at least 2 hours; overnight is best.
  3. Step 2 : Make the galettes.
  4. Take the batter out of the fridge and prepare all the fillings beforehand. Whisk the galette batter again, as some of the flour will have settled at the bottom of the bowl.
  5. If you're making several galettes in a row, preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). This is where you'll keep the galettes warm while you make the others.
  6. Heat up a large skillet over high heat and pour a little oil in a small bowl. When the pan is very hot, dip a folded paper towel into the oil and use it to (very cautiously) apply a sheen of oil on the surface of the skillet. Pour a ladleful of batter in the skillet, and swirl the skillet around so that the batter spreads out in a nice, even circle. Let cook on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, peeking underneath with a spatula from time to time to check on the cooking.
  7. Flip the galette when it's nicely golden underneath, cautiously or brazenly depending on your self-assurance. Put the fillings of your choice in the center of the galette. If using an egg, break it cautiously and gently maintain the yolk in the center with the eggshell or your spatula until the white has set enough to hold it in place.
  8. When the other side of the galette is nice and golden too, fold it as best you can: the traditional way is to fold the four sides in and make a square galette, but when there's a lot of filling and the galette isn't very big that's a little difficult, so just fold two sides in. Oil the pan again before cooking the next crêpe.
  9. Put the galette in a large baking dish or on a cookie sheet and into the oven to keep warm while you make the others. Serve with a green salad and liberal amounts of cidre brut, an alcoholic apple cider from Brittany.
http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/vegetables-grains/buckwheat-galettes-recipe/

  • http://www.makunas.com/aliveone Jenny

    Oh! What an exciting recipe!

    One of our favorite little restaurants in San Francisco is a little place on Fillmore St. called “Galette” where they serve Brittany-style buckwheat crepes. My favorite filling is chicken and spinach and a mustard sauce…I love the taste of the buckwheat flour and the texture of the crepes. It’s truly one of my favorite dishes in the whole city.

    I will definitely have to try to make these at home!!!

  • http://www.woolfit.com Meg

    Thanks for the inspiration, Clotilde! I have a packet of buckwheat flour in the cupboard which has been reproaching me for not using more of it. This sounds fantastic – especially with the leek, shallot and goats cheese filling.

  • http://jde.blogspot.com julia

    ah, “pancake tuesday” crepes. as children in england, we used to sprinkle sugar and squeeze orange juice on the crepes, and then roll them up and cut them into bite sized pieces.

    i think i’ll make some tomorrow for old time’s sake.

    thank you for the ideas!

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Jenny – Oooh I’m sure I would have loved that place when I felt all nostalgic about French food back in California!

    Meg – I think your packet of buckwheat flour is the long lost twin of mine! It had the same reproachful look on its face for quite a while! It seems to feel much better now…

    Julia – For sweet crepes, I have always been partial to sugar (a lot of), with lemon juice (even more of) squeezed on it, but the orange version sounds great too. Happy Pancake Tuesday! :)

  • http://loveandcooking.blogspot.com Charlotte

    Heh. I am religious but giving up butter and eggs for Lent would make me quite impossible to be around and would rather defeat the point.

    Actually, it was Paris that cured me of such a foolish notion – imagine being there and NOT ALLOWED TO EAT CHOCOLATE. (*sob* *sniff* yes, I had given up chocolate that year … never again.)

    Mmmmm…pancakes…

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Charlotte – Oh my, giving up chocolate, now that’s an act of faith! :)

  • http://www.artwhynot.blogspot.com artkennyb

    i lived in Rennes, Fr. for a year! oh les gallettes!!! avec de saussice, ou de jambon, fromage, qu’importe ………mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmMMMMmm~!!!

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Artkennyb – Aah yes, the saucisse version is really nice too!

  • cocoaloco

    In addition to bittersweet chocolate, my favorite crepe fillings are creme de marron and Grand Marnier. Yumola.

  • annadev

    I know the place in San Francisco, Ti Couz, and have eated there many times. This recipe and the discussion has inspired me, so Tuesday I’ll be making buckwheat galettes and I am planning to fill them with an eggplant-tomato mixture. Thanks for the reminder of San Francisco and the inspiration!

  • David

    What cheese is traditionally used in Bretagne for a galette fromage jambon
    ?

  • Walter Diewald

    My wife uses a similar recipe and adds a small amount (maybe substitute for half the water) of beer for the yeast and the flavor.

  • liette

    mmmh. Should you prefer a crispy galette than bake it slowly – over low or medium heat. For a fluffy soft galette high heat is a must. This is the same for crepes

  • http://www.christiananswers.net/spotlight/home.html Bryan Cole

    Very nice. I hope you’ll update very soon. Small Opponents is always Greedy TV: http://www.movie-list.com/ , Beautiful is feature of Universal Stake Greedy is feature of Central Corner , to Compute Game you should be very Bad Curious Cosmos Love or not

  • Nay Walton

    I was brought up in Belgium and buckwheat galettes was a favourite meal of mine, Im currently developing them in my Food class for GCSE and the best thing is I can eat them after, next week I will use this recipe, thanks!

  • jsp

    no need to add wheat flour! traditionally in Bretagne these are made exclusively with buckwheat. also this makes them gluten free and therefore healthier for everybody, not just wheat sensitive people.

  • Ras

    I lived in Rennes too and these were omnipresent. For the life of me though I can’t make these at home. They stick in my stainless steel pans every time unlike dessert crepes. Does anyone have any ideas??

    • http://www.robychart.com Cheryl

      Have your tried using a cast iron pan?

      • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

        I haven’t, but I’m sure it would work really well.

  • Art

    Ohio has lots of buckeyes but try to find ground buckwheat. (I don’t grind coffee beans and I am not starting to grind buckwheat.) Finally found a brand called Vanns out of Baltimore. Galettes turned out very good but I would like to try other buckwheats. Does anyone know of other US mail-order sources?
    Thank you, Clotilde, for you sharing your recipes and your unfolding life story with the world!

  • Lucy

    For Buckwheat flour in the US – Bob’s Red Mill range of flours etc do an organic wholegrain buckwheat which we used, it may not be totally authentic but it was pretty good – I used it for my galettes on pancake day this year!
    (I think the wholegrain makes them a little darker and more tasty than usual)
    I think we got our pack in Whole Foods…. But lots of Natural Food stores stock Bob’s Red Mill – maybe not the whole line tho’.
    Also – anyone reading in London should check out one of my favourite restaurants, La Galette on Paddington St (?) just off Marylebone High St at the top end on the left before you get to the Conran Shop. Sigh! that place used to make me miss France. Now thinking of it makes me miss London…
    I’m here in the Midwest making zucchini breads & cakes – Clotilde your chocolate cake is great! I have made it twice already.

  • http://rourkem.com Rourke McNamara

    I’m going to be in France for a couple of weeks. Can you recommend a good place for this style of crepe in Paris?

    What about in Brittany?

  • Sarita

    I just want to say MERCI BIEN! for the recipe!!! I have just returned stateside after living in Brittany for the last year and I wasn’t sure what type of flour to use. Thanks so so much. I love this blog!!!

  • Murasaki Shikibu

    I finally procured some buckwheat flour yesterday and made them. I’ve been wanting to do this for months and the results weren’t disappointing.

    Thank you for this recipe – it was fabulous. :D

  • http://sunnypetropoullakis.blogspot.com Sunny

    that sounds good..better than buckwheat pancakes.I think I will try it.

  • http://firefliesofhope.com Gwendolyn

    I sometimes search through your archives, and today I ran across this recipe. I am excited to try this, as last summer we were in Brittany and ate our first galettes (eggs mirroir, no less!)

    Your blog continues to inspire and, more often than not, make me chuckle! You have a rapier wit.

  • Viggi

    As mentioned above, you can keep these gluten free by excluding the wheat flour. However, to ensure they don’t fall apart, i use a tablespoon of tapioca flour/starch for every cup of flour i use.

    Galettes = YUM!

    Loving the blog

  • Gina

    I made galettes at home (in Dakar, using French ble noir) not long ago, using also a different recipe. They were good. Yesterday I tried your recipe, using flour from US, and it was not successful (and that’s an understatement). The batter kept separating, the galettes were gloppy and impossible to turn and stuck to the pan, which was a good quality non-stick. I referred to the recipe used previously and the proportion of all-purpose flour to buckwheat flour was much higher. I would like to know your secret for successfully using your recipe, especially as there is no oil or butter, and the higher amount of buckwheat flour. Thanks for any insight you can give me about what might have gone wrong. Thanks.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I’m sorry your galettes didn’t turn out right. This is my go-to recipe and I have made it countless times as written, but I’ve always used French flour, so it is possible that the American buckwheat flour is the culprit here.

      • Gael N

        There’s actually a huge difference between French buckwheat and American buckwheat flour. The French buckwheat flour is light and it equivalent to white or all purpose wheat flour. American buckwheat flour is equal to whole wheat flour where the husk is ground up as well. This extra roughage is hard to make a delicate galette with so you usually need to add an egg or add more wheat flour.

        For a very long time I would regularly bring back flour from France to make galettes until I went to a Japanese market. I found buckwheat flour made for soba noodle. Soba noodles are way more delicate then a galette so if it’s good enough for noodles then it’s good enough for galettes. It worked great.

        My recipe is a little less forgiving then yours. I use 90% buckwheat and 10% white flour with some salt. I add enough water to get it into a dough ball and knead it for a while until it very elastic. Then just add enough to get the right consistency.

        • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

          Thanks for sharing your comments, Gael!

  • http://www.chowgypsy.com Meggan

    Thanks so much for this recipe–it took me FOREVER to find a well-written authentic one like yours! I just traveled around Brittany, France and have a video and pics in my post about it, but no good recipe, so I linked to yours–thanks again!

  • Edouard Lavertu

    The buckwheat Gael is describing is really only suitable for making bread. In the Saint John River Valley on the US/Canadian border they have been growing and milling buckwheat flour expressly for galettes for ages, only we call our galettes ‘ployes’ Bouchard’s of Maine sell their buckwheat flour online and it is available in groceries in New England.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Thanks for the info, Edouard! How is “ployes” pronounced? Rhyming with “pois” or with “aïe” ?

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