Did you really visit France if you didn’t eat crepes?
We think not. But luckily, the two aren’t mutually exclusive: it’s perfectly acceptable (in fact, we’d encourage it) to eat crepes outside of France, too.
This buckwheat crepe recipe is a savory delicacy from the French region of Brittany, and makes the perfect base for any variety of fillings. After all, the beauty of French cooking is its versatility, allowing you plenty of ways to be creative!
Regional cooking in France
France is more regionally diverse than any other European country, with 13 metropolitan regions, 101 counties, and nearly 35,000 municipalities. As a result, even the most standard staples of French cuisine will change depending on where you go.
Crepes are no different. While most people know that they can be sweet or savory, the differences don’t end there. Even the type of flour used can set crepes from different regions apart.
This buckwheat crepe recipe comes from the region of Brittany in northwest France. Its hilly Atlantic climate makes it prone to rain and humidity. Despite the less-than-ideal weather, this beautiful region is the only place in France that has been able to grow buckwheat successfully.
Also known as galettes, buckwheat crepes became more commonplace than bread in Brittany throughout history. Traditionally, they were served laden with butter and used to sop up every last drop of scrumptious sauce. But today, it’s not uncommon for the galettes themselves to be the star of the show: stuffed with ham, cheese, smoked salmon, mushrooms, or any other number of fillings, they make a perfect no-frills meal on their own.
Brittany-style buckwheat crepe recipe
- 2 cups (250 grams) buckwheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 6.5 ounces (⅘ cup or 200 milliliters) beer (light ale—darker beer will result in a maltier taste)
- 6.5 ounces (⅘ cup or 200 milliliters) water
- Mix the flour and salt together. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten egg and half the beer. Whisk to combine.
- Slowly dilute the mixture with the remaining liquids. Keep whisking until the batter is smooth and thin.
- Put the batter in the fridge and let rest for 1–3 hours.
- When ready to make the galettes, heat a pan and grease it with butter.
- Pour a small amount of batter into the pan. You want a thin crepe that will be crispy on the outside. Cook for 2–3 minutes on the first side.
- When you see tons of bubbles rising to the surface of the batter, flip and cook for an additional 2–3 minutes on the second side.
- Repeat until you’ve used up all the batter.
- Serve with lots of salted butter in the traditional Brittany style, or with the fillings of your choice. (Suggestion: as you flip the crepe, add grated cheese and cooked ham. Let melt and fold in half.)