Who would have thought that making galettes was so easy? Especially gluten-free, dairy-free ones? A buckwheat crepe recipe from Bron Marshall caught my eye months ago, and I’ve been meaning to do this forever, but I won’t lie: frying these up is a little time consuming, although no more than perhaps pancakes would be. It’s always nice to try out new grains (although apparently buckwheat is not another type of wheat, but I’m not too fussy because it is delicious), and best of all, traditional French galettes are actually made of buckwheat flour anyway. The buckwheat makes them a little nuttier in flavour (not bitter at all, I promise), and though they are meant to be savoury, I think they work well sweet too.
They form much crisper sides (and I can confirm this is indeed true, as I’ve made plain wheat galettes before as well). It is these crispy, lacy sides that make my heart flutter when someone mentions galettes or crepes. The only drawback is the cost of buckwheat flour – I got mine at Piko Wholefoods for about $4 for 500g, which is not a lot but substantially more than wheat flour.
If you’re interested, according to Wikipedia, Breton galettes are simply bigger, made with buckwheat flour and are savoury with some sort of savoury filling, whereas crepes are smaller and sweet and made with wheat flour.
For this recipe I’ve kind of thrown tradition out the window – no fancy crepe maker used here, and endlessly customisable (savoury or sweet fillings are both welcome, or you can stack them and drizzle with syrup). Cold or hot, these are wonderful, although they do lose their crispness once cold. I used a mixture of Bron’s recipe and one from Julie Le Clerc’s Made By Hand, because Bron’s recipe would have made a little too much and I was using quite a thick store bought soy milk, so used half water, half soy milk (as Julie suggests). I’ve suggested a few different substitutions to make this adaptable to whatever you might already have – soy, rice, almond, oat or cow’s milk would all be fine to use.
makes about 10 x 6″ galettes
- 125g buckwheat flour (about 1 1/4c sifted)
- 1 egg
- 400 ml milk + water* (see below for different options)
- pinch salt
- cooking oil, for cooking the galettes in
- 200 ml regular soy or cows milk + 200ml water
- 400ml light soy or cows milk, or rice, oat or almond milk
Beat egg in measuring cup used for the liquid. Pour in the liquid. In a separate bowl (preferably with a lip), mix buckwheat flour with salt and make a well in the centre. Whilst pouring the liquid in, stir with a fork until everything is fully incorporated.
Preheat oven to 80C (175F) if you want to keep cooked galettes hot.
Heat a heavy frypan (cast iron is best) the size of the crepes you want to make, very lightly oil the pan (a few drops should suffice) and spread out (a pastry brush is useful for this but not essential). The temperature should be about medium, but you want the oil to immediately warp when it hits the pan but not smoke too much. I took a few photos to demonstrate the difference heat will make:
You can cook on a higher heat if you want large lacy holes (above), and you want them to cook quickly.
On a lowish heat, the edges won’t be very lacy or have very many holes in the final product (see above), and gives you a bit of time in between cooking to clean/tidy.
Medium heat makes small lacy holes, with crispy but super thin edges.
Once your oil starts shimmering a little, tilt the pan and pour your batter at the top of the pan, immediately changing the angle of your tilt in a circle to spread the batter out to fill the size of your pan. Once the batter is dry on top you won’t be able to spread it any more, so let it sit on the heat until the edges start to come apart from the side of the pan. If using high heat, you want to flip them as soon as this happens. If using medium heat, flip once almost all around it has separated from the pan. If using low heat, flip once all around it has separated from the pan, and the underside is golden to your liking. To flip, easy the corner of your spatula in, as this prevents the edges from breaking as much. Let cook on the other side until golden brown dots appear underneath, then move the galette to a plate and pop in the oven (or let cool). Add a few drops of oil to the pan again, and repeat the above step until all your batter is gone. Getting the temperature perfect will require a little practice, so don’t worry if you don’t get it spot on the first time.
I topped my brunch galette with tomatoes, avocado, olives and finely cut spring onion. Thinking back a little fine sea salt wouldn’t have gone amiss with the black pepper.
Of course I also snuck a few plain before this one! Then for dessert, I just sliced up some banana and drizzled with maple syrup. A few baby lemon balm leaves for decoration.
If I was really going hard out some chocolate ganache and freshly roasted hazelnuts would have been pretty amazing. Or maple syrup and walnuts (or pecans). Or berries and honey. Or oranges and icing sugar…