How To Make Galettes Bretonnes
Normally when you think of crêpes, your mind wanders to the Nutella stuffed confections you devour hot off the street crêperie in Paris. However, the French also eat savory crêpes - one of my favorite meals when visiting. Known by many different monikers - crêpe salée, crêpe de blé noir, galette de sarrasin, and galette bretonne - most people just shorten it to galette. A regional speciality of Brittany, galettes are made from buckwheat flour, lending a wonderful nutty flavor that can be filled with almost anything.
Contrary to popular belief, buckwheat is not a cereal grain, but instead a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. High in fiber and a good source of protein and calcium, the unique, assertive flavor of buckwheat works great in both quick and yeast breads.
I have tried quite a few recipes to recreate the french galette experience at home. I finally settled on one that comes close, adapted from a recipe in Ladurée: The Savory Recipes. Gluten-free, this recipe can be enjoyed by those who may suffer from Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance of some kind.
Galette Bretonne Recipe
Makes around 6 buckwheat crêpes, taking into account that the first one, much like the first pancake, is most likely going to end up in the trash. It's inevitable.
1 cup + 3 Tbsp (120g) buckwheat flour
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup water or enough to make a thin batter that will easily spread
salt to taste
1. Place flour in a bowl, add the melted butter and whisk to combine.
2. Season with salt and add the water little by little until you obtain a smooth liquid batter.
3. Place a non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan over medium heat.
4. If not using a non-stick pan, smear a little butter over the surface.
5. Pour around 1/4 cup batter in the center of the pan. Working quickly, lift, tilt, and swirl in several directions to spread the batter in a thin circle. Traditionally, the crêpier uses a wooden rake or rozell to spread the batter. I bought a couple from E.Dehillerin in Paris but found them a bit tricky to use with a frying pan. For those lucky enough to own a crêpe pan - go for it!
6. Cook until golden brown on the bottom. Little bubbles will form over the surface much like they do on a pancake.
7. Flip briefly to cook the other side and place desired fillings in center of galette.
8. When ready, fold up corners to form a square - serve immediately together with a big green salad, dressed with your freshly made french vinaigrette.
Filling possibilities are endless. My favorite is the mixte - french ham and emmental. Add an egg if you are feeling adventurous for the complète.