The smell of buckwheat flour is anything but sweet. It’s pungent, it’s herbal, it’s almost medicinal. And it tastes grassy. Even its color is offputting, a cross between volcano ash and moon dust. Yet its assertiveness makes it a fine counterbalance to a good many things.
The French—bretons especially—use buckwheat flour for making galettes, buckwheat crepes essentially, but sans the milk and eggs, so they’re dairy-free, just a mix of flour and water really. I decided to make buckwheat crepes the easy way, because as David described it, making galettes requires a billig, a râteau, coordination, and finesse, all four of which I’m completely lacking.
And so, the other morning, I got up early and raided our fridge for possible toppings to go in my breakfast galette. There were lots of options—we hoard omelette material like no other—but I settled on something sweet for myself and something savory for Chris.
Et voilà! Behold, that’s how my peach, Greek yogurt, honey, and slivered almonds filled crepe came into being. It was très très bon (uh-oh, watch out, I’m starting to pull out my high school French).
I actually made Chris a ham, brie, scallion, and egg crepe, as per these instructions, but didn’t get to take pictures as he gets irritable when he’s hungry. (Are all men like this?)
Next up, for lunch, I filled a galette with peppery turkey, ricotta cheese, and scallions.
Both were exceptional, with the flavor of the buckwheat definitely present, but not loud. Like the non-obnoxious kid in class who makes astute comments but doesn’t jump at every chance to speak, does that make sense? I enjoyed it a lot actually, especially compared to regular old crepes, which inherently don’t have a whole lot of flavor.
I must say though, I preferred the combination of plain yogurt, peaches, almonds, and honey. The richness of the Greek yogurt turned my crepe into a luscious dessert… except it had all the wholesomeness of breakfast, n’est-ce pas?
Recipe from David Lebovitz
Makes about 12
2 cups whole milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
In a blender or with a whisk, combine all the ingredients until smooth. Cover and chill overnight.
The next day, take the batter out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for about half an hour. It should be the consistency of heavy cream—if not, add a Tbsp of milk.
On medium-low heat, wipe a thin layer of neutral oil in a saucepan (or toss in a small pat of butter, let it melt, then wipe it around). After a few minutes, pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the center of the pan and swirl it quickly. When the surface is bubbly, flip it carefully. They’re fragile and break easily, so take it easy and don’t tug too hard. After 30 seconds or so, both sides should be browned, so remove it from the heat. Don’t stress if it comes out oily or just plain ugly—the first one usually is. (And the second and third, in my case.)
Once you get the hang of the right heat setting—for me, I started out with the stove on low, but notched it up to medium after the first crepe—you should be flipping them out pretty quickly.
Serve them warm. I tossed the cold ones into the toaster oven, but you can warm them up in the oven as well. And we don’t have a microwave so I can’t test it out, but you could probably zap them in there for 20 seconds or so and nobody would know the difference.
Toppings: the sky’s the limit. I’ve tried them with tomato, basil, and mozzarella—delicious; egg, gruyere and ham—delicious (and according to Clotilde, this is what they call complète). I also suspect these guys would make for a very satisfying dessert, with a scoop of pistachio ice cream and a nice smear of Nutella maybe?