Monday, January 21, 2013

Galettes de Bretagne

After graduating high school, I spent a month as a foreign exchange student in Brittany, France.  One of the first nights, we went out for galettes.  I didn't realize that they were a specialty of the region; they were just crepes to me.  After having a very difficult time finding a decent crepe in the South of France years later, I realized how special they are.  The buckwheat lends a savory earthiness to the filling that you don't get in all-white flour crepes.

Another misconception that Americans have about crepes is that they must be drenched in sauce.  A number of crepe restaurants have sprung up in recent years, and many of them offer variations with very little or no sauce, or sauce on the side.  It gives the ingredients a chance to shine.  And a lot of the fillings are more like salads than the casseroles-in-a-pancake that used to be served in French restaurants in the 1980's.

This recipe is from the L.A. Times a few years back.  It uses half white and half buckwheat flour, which means there is some gluten in it and you don't have to use as many eggs to keep them from falling apart.  The galette recipe used all buckwheat flour and sounded rather heavy.  I'm scaling down the recipe for four servings of two crepes each.  I know that most recipes allow you enough batter to ruin a couple.  I solved the problem by cooking bacon in the pan first.  That takes about ten minutes, leaving the pan hot and ready, plus already somewhat lubricated.

1/2 C buckwheat flour
1/2 C All-Purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 C milk
water as needed
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tb butter, melted (if margarine, omit salt)
more butter for pan

1.  Place flours, eggs, milk, salt, melted butter, and 1/2 C water in blender and run for 1 minute.  Scrape down sides and run for another minute.  Transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate for at least an hour, or even overnight.

2.  Before using, stir batter.  It will be too thick.  Add water one tablespoon at a time until the consistency is like heavy cream.  Preheat an 8" round skillet or crepe pan over medium-high heat.  Non-stick is a plus.

3.  Place a glob of butter on a paper towel and wipe over surface of hot pan, making sure not to leave any clumps of butter.  Save the towel to use between crepes.

4.  With one hand, hold the skillet by the handle.  With the other, pour about 1/4 C batter out of the pitcher.  Immediately start to swirl the pan, lifting it off the heat so you can tilt better.  (It's ok to put down the pitcher.)  Once the batter sets, replace pan on burner and let crepe cook until edges are lacy, browned, and curl up slightly from the surface of the pan.  The first one will take about two minutes, subsequent galettes a little less.

5.  To flip the first crepe, you will probably need the help of a spatula.  Once you get the hang of it, you can use your fingers.  Cook the other side for about a minute.  If you like, you can place the fillings on the galette now, or make a stack of them between pieces of waxed paper to fill later.  Remember to wipe pan surface with the buttered paper towel between crepes.

6.  To close crepes:  I have seen many ways of folding them.  You can fold it in half like a soft taco, roll it like the photo on top, fold in quarters if the filling is something flat like cheese, roll up like a sushi hand-roll, or fold in the four sides to make a kind of box, which you then turn over to serve.  It all depends on your filling and folding skills.

Difficulty rating :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

I got tired of having to moderate all the spam comments and put back the verification. Sorry if it causes hassles.