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.