Buckwheat galettes every which way


The crêperie concept has been around since the fifteenth century in France, when stalls serving savoury galettes and later sweet crêpes first appeared around marketplaces. There was a choice of filling such as eggs, bacon and cheese for the savoury galettes and afterwards sweet crêpes were offered flavoured with cinnamon and orange water.

When I first arrived in France at the end of the ’80s every town had a least one, and usually several, Breton-style crêperies. They were always fun, bustling and offered an accessible, deliciously light but satisfying meal out for everyone; a galette washed down with bowl of cider was the French answer to fast food. Today, although creperies still exist, there are far fewer than before, many having been replaced by the ubiquitous, stomach-churning, fast food chains selling unidentified deep-fried ground organs between slabs of polystyrene. Despite their culinary heritage, many of the French have become addicted to the ‘fix’ provided by these eateries.

Galettes are made with buckwheat flour, a very healthy gluten-free alternative to wheat flour. Despite its name, buckwheat is not a type of wheat at all, but a plant closely related to rhubarb and is rich in amino acids, B vitamins and minerals, including iron.

There are many different variations on the recipe, sometimes according to which region of France you are in, but after trial and error this is the one I prefer. Galettes are so versatile they can be adapted for breakfast, lunch of dinner. You can fill them with ham, different types of cheese, bacon, sausage, egg, scallops, smoked salmon, mushrooms or make them raclette-style with potato, ham and cheese. The list is endless. We sometimes have them with a different filling after a bowl of soup as an evening meal several days in a row with no complaints from humans or hounds. And that’s saying something.

Ingredients (makes 12 galettes)

250g buckwheat flour

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

a pinch of salt

2 eggs

500ml cold water

Butter for cooking

Put the eggs and dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk well. Add the water gradually, whisking continuously until you obtain a homogenous mixture. Melt a small amount of butter in a frying pan (preferably a ‘crepe’ pan) and then ladle some batter onto the hot surface, tilting the pan to distribute evenly. Cook for until golden brown and turn. If you are adding a filling such as ham and cheese, now is the time to add it onto one side of the galette. Cook until the cheese is melted and then fold the galette in two. Serve immediately.

11 responses to “Buckwheat galettes every which way

  1. Oh how I love buckwheat crêpes, but I’ve never managed to be satisfied with my own home-made ones (I find them too thick, and they really should be the thinnest possible); as a result I only eat them on special occasions in one of those few crêperies that are still open in town. My favorite filling involved an egg with a super runny yolk.

    • I agree that the ‘pâte’ needs to be very runny. Since hitting on this recipe, we only ever eat them at home now because in crêperies they tend to use wheat flour too, which isn’t as good imo. Runny egg makes a GREAT filling! 🙂

  2. When my niece was a teenager staying with me her favorite breakfast was crepes with Nutella. I like your healthier version,

  3. I love all your recipes. I think I’ll move in. :0)

  4. Your buckwheat version of the crepe looks wonderful. So versatile! Just earlier this week I made some for supper for the kids using whole grain spelt. They were wonderful as well.

  5. We love galettes, whether baked and folded around a filling, or thin and as crepes, like these. Buckwheat is such a great ingredient to use at this time of year. It seems heartier somehow. Lovely xx

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