For J’s birthday we decided a crêpe night was in order. Every once in a while we like the have the sort of dinner where we pull stools and a kitchen cart up to the stove, have all the fixings on hand and just eat crêpes as they come out of the pan, nice, hot and buttery.
J was introduced to buckwheat crêpes when he went to Brittany during high school, but I didn’t get to know them until we went to Paris a few years ago on an anniversary trip. The galette du jour at La Crêperie Beaubourg converted me to buckwheat in one delicious ham-and-cheese swoop! Now we make all of our crêpes with buckwheat flour, unless they’re for dessert.
As usual when we make buckwheat crêpes, I couldn’t remember which recipe we usually use. This time we did the one from Susan Loomis’ French Farmhouse Cookbook, which is just buckwheat flour, water, salt and eggs; other recipes might use milk or a little all-purpose flour. These crêpes were tasty, but I’m planning to try a different recipe next time. If I can remember which one I used this time (maybe this blog will help).
from the French Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis
- 1 3/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp buckwheat flour (240 grams)
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Measure the flour into a medium mixing bowl (we weighed it, it seemed easier than the rather odd volume measure). Add the water in a stream while whisking, and continue to whisk furiously until the batter is smooth.
Add the salt and eggs and whisk some more. The batter is supposed to fall off the whisk in ropes, like so:
If it seems too thick, whisk in a bit more water. You can adjust as you cook, as well. Let the batter sit for an hour, if possible (you can make it ahead of time and refrigerate it, just let it come back up to temperature before using).
Heat a crêpe pan or medium nonstick skillet with a bit of unsalted butter. When the pan is hot, ladle in just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan – you don’t want them too thick. Let the crêpe cook until it slides easily in the pan, then flip it.
J is really good at flipping crêpes – so far, I haven’t dared to try – I use a spatula. Let the crêpe cook a few more moments and slide onto a plate. Top with whatever sounds good, roll up and eat!
For this batch, we had sliced gruyere, sauteed hedgehog mushrooms (don’t remember ever seeing these before – they were a lot like chanterelles), sliced prosciutto and some sliced artichoke heart – I actually did not like the artichokes in the crêpes, they might have been better with a little herbed cream sauce or something.
For our beverage, we considered being authentic and getting some cider, but ended up opening up our bottle of Bonny Doon’s Le Cigare Volant. Silly label, great wine.