First of all, the real name of buckwheat crepes is buckwheat galettes. In France, and especially in Britany (the region they are from), the word crepe is used for sweet crepes whereas the word galette is used for savory ones.
Crepes are traditionally made with wheat flour, milk and eggs. Whereas galettes are traditionally made with buckwheat flour.
What are crepes/galettes?
Galettes, like crepes, are kind of a little bit like pancakes but much larger and way thinner than pancakes. Compared to pancakes, the batter is thinner and runnier, with no leavening agent to give them any lift.
Galettes are typically served for lunch or dinner. They can be filled with all kinds of fillings like ham, cheese, bacon, eggs, vegetables (mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach…), meat or fish. But the most traditional filling is the “complète”: a slice of ham, emmental cheese and an egg.
But you can also use them as wraps by spreading your favorite spread on them and adding some lettuce or anything you want, roll them and then cut them into 4 or 5 pieces. You can then stick a toothpick to secure on each piece and serve them as an appetizer or at a party buffet. You can also put them in your lunch box, along with some salad (like my endive salad you can see on the picture bellow), it will make a delicious lunch.
How to cook perfect French galettes?
You will need a 12 inch/30 cm non stick skillet / pan. But if you are new to making galettes (or crepes) you might want to use a smaller pan in the beginning.
For a 12 inch/30 cm pan you will need between 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup (about 100 ml) of batter for each galette. This is enough to create a thin layer of galette batter on the bottom of the pan. Always mix the batter first, before you make each galette to make sure the batter is uniformly mixed.
When the pan is hot, brush a layer of oil on the heated pan. You can use an oil soaked paper towel or cloth or a brush to do that. Make sure that the pan is greased well so that the galettes don’t stick.
Add the measured batter into the pan. Swirl the pan as you add the batter. Work quickly, to spread the batter evenly around the pan all way to the edges, so that you have a smooth edge. Continue to swirl the pan (and occasionally shake it gently), to move the batter around and fill the middle of the pan as evenly as possible.
Once the bottom of the pan is evenly coated with the batter, place it back on the heat and cook.
Cook the galettes until the edges are starting to brown lightly, and they look a little crispy. Gently lift the crepe off of the pan, and flip it over on the second side.
Don’t worry, the first crepe you cook is often an ugly one.
Can I make them ahead of time?
It is better to make the galette batter the night before, and keep it covered in the fridge for the next day.
You can also make the galettes ahead of time as well and freeze them.
To store these galettes, layer each galette on a plate, then cover the whole stack with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
If galettes are exposed to air, they will dry out. So it’s important to keep them covered with plastic wrap to prevent this.
Keep these galettes in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Can I freeze galettes?
If you want to keep the galettes for longer than 2 days, then you can freeze them for later. When the galettes have cooled to room temperature, layer them with parchment paper in between each of them to make sure say don’t stick together and place them in an air-tight container that is freezer-friendly. This way, the galettes can be stored for up to 4 weeks in the freezer.
Warm them in the same pan you used to make them and fill them as you wish.
Best thing ever : a crepe party maker!!
Let’s stay real, making galettes (or crepes) is time consuming. So the thing that I love to do, especially with friends or family is a crepe party. The thing is, for this, you need a crepe party maker that apparently is not sold in every country (so sorry for that). For those who are able to get their hands on one, really this is the best thing ever!!
You prepare the galette batter (which takes less than 5 minutes) and all types of fillings (see below for ideas) and then you set the table with the crepe party maker in the center of the table and all the family members (young or not) or guests sit around and prepare their own mini galettes with the fillings they want. It is a very exciting time for everyone, it is a fun dinner party and cherry on top of the (gluten-free) cake nobody slaves in the kitchen!!
To fill your galettes you can use:
- Grilled vegetables, dried or fresh tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach, olives…
- smoked salmon, ham, minced meat, eggs (use quail eggs on the crepe party maker), bacon…
- all kinds of cheese, cream…