Brittany Pancakes

Brittany is famous for it pancakes, these lacy galettes are a delicacy both sweet and savoury. These pancakes originally weren't the fine and delicate ones we know today. The buckwheat grew well in the granite soil in Brittany and was simply kneaded with salt and water to form a dough and baked on stones, these were the original galettes which were part of the staple diet of the Bretons. Breton savoury pancakes as mentioned are prepared from buckwheat flour, eggs and milk or water (dependent on the area).

The galettes are served with a savoury filling such as cheese or seafood, meat or vegetables. The most popular filling for savoury crepes is egg and ham. The eggs are either prepared 'brouille' scrambled on the crepe or 'miroir' cooked untouched on the crepe. The pancake is ready when the egg is just cooked, simply fold in the sides to envelope it and the egg yolk should just show out.These pancakes are very difficult to recreate in the home as you need to spread them out to a wafer thin layer on a hot girdle. Many chefs try to recreate them in their kitchens with little success

Sweet crepes are lighter and prepared form wheat flour and are often served with a little sugar sprinkled over or a little honey or jam.

Here is an adaptation of the Brittany pancake.

Preparation: 10 minutes plus 30 minutes standing

Cooking: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients

Crepes

  • 100g buckwheat flour (savoury) or plain flour (sweet) or use a mixture of half buckwheat flour and half plain flour for savoury crepes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 30g caster sugar (for sweet)
  • 250ml milk
  • butter for cooking

To Serve

  • sugar, honey or jam (optional for sweet)

Method

  1. Batter: Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Beat the eggs and milk together and pour it into the centre of the flour. Gradually mix in the flour and whisk them together until you have a smooth batter. Whisk the melted butter into the batter and sugar if you are preparing a savoury pancake. Leave the batter to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. To Cook: Melt a little butter in a 20cm crepe pan or similar size crepe of frying pan over a moderate heat. Place a generous tablespoon of the batter in the pan and twist the pan or spread it out with a scraper, so that the batter thinly covers the base of the pan. Cook the pancake for a couple of minutes until it is just set, turn the pancake over (the pancake should be golden brown), cook for a further minute then turn it out onto a plate and cook the rest of the batter in the same manner. Cover the pancakes with a cloth while you prepare the remaining pancakes adding more butter to the pan as needed. You may wish to cover them in cling film and refrigerate until needed or freeze them.
  3. To Serve: Serve the sweet pancakes with a little sugar, jam or honey, or serve the savoury pancakes with a savoury filling (try one of the recipes from the March recipes or you may wish to prepare a ham and egg one as described above).