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Galettes, crepes and ble noir

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#1 Druckenbrodt

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 03:32 AM

I just spent the weekend cycling through Brittany, which was wonderful, even though we were blasted with wind and rain... (Never put too much faith in weather forecasters.) Of course the rewards for our stoic efforts were numerous pancake stops to 'refuel' which made me curious about a couple of things.

What is the difference between a galette and a crepe? Apart from the fact that galettes seem to be used for savoury dishes and crepes for sweet ones. Galettes seem a bit 'heavier' or rougher. All the galettes we had were made with 'ble noir' - which translates as 'black wheat'. What is black wheat? Is it like spelt? Or something else? We also had some great beers made with 'ble noir'.

#2 Marco_Polo

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 06:20 AM

I just spent the weekend cycling through Brittany...
What is the difference between a galette and a crepe?  ... All the galettes we had were made with 'ble noir' - which translates as 'black wheat'. 

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Hi Druckenbrodt

Brittany is great for cycling. We sometimes cycle on to the ferry from Plymouth (not far from where we live) to Roscoff on the north Breton coast, then cycle off and tour for a few days, camping or staying in small auberges. In 2003 I cycled across the region for the Paris-Brest-Paris.

I too love stopping for galettes and crêpes. The former are indeed made from blé noir which is buckwheat. Blé noir is also known as farine de sarrasin. Galettes au blé noir in Brittany as you will have discovered are invariably savoury not sweet, filled classically - as in une galette complète - with ham, egg and grated cheese. Other popular fillings are andouille de Guéméné-sur-Scorff (a rather earthy smoked chitterling sausage), or, by the coast, des fruits de mer. Crêpes by contrast in Britanny almost always have sweet fillings.

Incidentally we had a French exchange student staying with us earlier in the month. She brought us over a bag of blé noir and I tried to make some galettes for Shrove Tuesday. Disaster! The batter looked normal, but it was unworkably difficult and sticky - though I have a well seasoned pancake pan, I couldn't get the pancakes to flip cleanly. Apparently blé noir is notoriously difficult to cook with and I should have mixed it 50:50 with normal white flour. Blé noir has a delicious nutty flavour that is quite distinctive.

Though I've enjoyed wheat beers, I've never had beer made from blé noir. What was it like?

MP

#3 culinary bear

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 07:36 AM

Ble noir is indeed buckwheat, which is rather misleading as it has more in common with rhubarb than normal wheat. It has very little gluten content, which is why it's sometimes used in coooking for people with a coeliac condition.

If you try and cook with 100% buckwheat you'll generally find that your goods are tough and have a texture not dissimilar to sliced bathroom sponge; 50:50, or even 30:70 with white flour, will give a better result. Using bread flour is a good idea if you want to compensate for the lack of gluten in the buckwheat flour.

I've never teasted buckwheat beer, but I imagine it would be very nice indeed - what's it like?
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#4 ludja

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 07:44 AM

Didn't get to cycle in Brittany but did eat lots of crepes and galettes there.

I've made this buckwheat crepe recipe from Saveur wih success. (The leek, gruyere cheese & creme fraiche filling is great as well).

I have made some recipes which use 100% buckwheat flour, but can't remember which recipes I've used... I made this recipe above more recently; it uses a combination of wheat and buckwheat flour. (In any case, the first crepe almost never turns out quite right and remember to use a nice hot pan, the butter should sizzle merrily).

Does anyone know a more precise definition of the word "Krampouz" (a Brittany word)? I've heard it used in different ways--to mean sweet and savory crepes, or just savory ble de noir noir crepes, or a buckwheat crepe wrapped around a sausage...
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#5 culinary bear

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 08:03 AM

Does anyone know a more precise definition of the word "Krampouz" (a Brittany word)?  I've heard it used in different ways--to mean sweet and savory crepes, or just savory ble de noir noir crepes, or a buckwheat crepe wrapped around a sausage...


You know, it's funny you should use that word. I know that Brittany is an area rich in Celtic heritage, and in Welsh 'crempog' means 'pancake'.

'crempog geirch' is an oatmeal pancake and 'crempog las' is a more egg-rich pancake, so perhaps 'krampouz' is a more generic term?
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#6 Marco_Polo

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 08:09 AM

(In any case, the first crepe almost never turns out quite right and remember to use a nice hot pan, the butter should sizzle merrily).

Hi Ludja
Thanks for this. You know when the first pancake turned out pants, I thought, oh well, the first one always does. But when the second, then the third, then the fourth were equally troublesome (French exchange student giggling nervously by my side), I knew that something wasn't right. My ineptitude was quite embarrasing, to tell the ruth. But Bear's comments on the gluten or lack thereof reassure me that I wasn't completely to blame in that day's pancake-flipping stakes.
Oh well, I think I'll leave the galettes until our next trip across the Channel...

#7 Bux

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 07:29 PM

Druckenbrodt, it appears that you experienced authentic Breton weather. We've made galettes using half buckwheat and half wheat flour. They were quite good, but I'm told that in Brittany they often use a mix that favors the white flour, rather half and half. I had a bottle of buckwheat beer in Brittany. I only remember that it was quite dark and earthy. An experience and perhaps an acquired taste. It is not particularly a traditional product, but a relatively new one. With the exception of the area around Nantes, Brittany make no wine. They are best known for their hard cider which I think competes successfully with that of Normandy, but the brewing of beer seems to have picked in more recent times and there are a number of local labels.

The Breton language is a Celtic tongue. It far more widely spoken that it is now, but there are programs to teach it to the young these days and there's an active interest in pan-Celtic culture. Bagpipes are one of the local traditional musical instruments. Our Breton son-in-law chose to have his bride come down the aisle to the tune of a piper. It scared the hell out of the flower girl. One of the guests from the UK wondered why anyone was surprised at that. He noted that the damn things were developed to scare the enemy before battle. Brittany is home to Celtic festivals that bring musicians from Ireland to Galicia to participate.
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#8 ludja

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 11:07 PM

Does anyone know a more precise definition of the word "Krampouz" (a Brittany word)?  I've heard it used in different ways--to mean sweet and savory crepes, or just savory ble de noir noir crepes, or a buckwheat crepe wrapped around a sausage...


You know, it's funny you should use that word. I know that Brittany is an area rich in Celtic heritage, and in Welsh 'crempog' means 'pancake'.

'crempog geirch' is an oatmeal pancake and 'crempog las' is a more egg-rich pancake, so perhaps 'krampouz' is a more generic term?

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Pretty neat. I was fascinated with the (little) exposure I got to the Breton lanquage when we were there, mainly in the form of signs for villages in the countryside.
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#9 artisanbaker

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 11:19 PM

i think the terms are interchangeable. i would say that high ratios of buckwheat in anything is an aquired taste.

sometimes it is added to bread dough in minute quantities to give some added dimension.

#10 Pan

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 12:33 AM

[...]
I've never teasted buckwheat beer, but I imagine it would be very nice indeed - what's it like?

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I had some once. It was actually a mixture of regular and buckwheat beer. It was very dark and rich, and I liked it.

#11 Druckenbrodt

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 06:40 AM

Thanks for all the great responses everyone! I'm looking forward to trying out your crepe recipe Ludja! Also excited about the idea of using buckwheat flour in bread. Thank you for sharing your disaster with us Marco Polo - you've saved many other egulletters from a similar mishap! I didn't know you could get buckwheat in flour form - any ideas about places in Paris where I might be able to buy it? I don't think it's Monoprix standard fare... Perhaps I need to find a specialist Polish or Breton shop. Or perhaps there's a Jewish store in the Marais? I've eaten delicious buckwheat in Poland and my boyfriend likes cooking it up every now and then with caraway seeds. I think it's great with peasanty food like red cabbage...

The beer we had certainly looked like trendy, non trad 'microbrewery' stuff - like those heather beers you get in Scotland or Wales. It was dark, a bit sweet but also pleasantly bitter (I'm not too keen on really sweet dark beers) and had an intriguing, rooty sort of taste. It seemed appropriately 'Breton' in the sense of somehow reflecting the knotty landscape, which has a 'come hither' beauty but doesn't give anything away (not if you're cycling across it, anyway.)

Marco Polo - you should join my other favourite forum - Cycling plus! (You'll find my postings there under I.B.) That's quite an epic feat completing Paris Brest Paris! I'm quite tempted to try it in a sort of hypothetical semi-suicidal flirting with danger way. We cycled from Chateaulin to Moncontour (which I believe Paris Brest passes through. It has a lovely 16th c/18th c B&B in it's tiny main square, opposite which was the best creperie we experienced that weekend - where they also served the buckwheat beer) and then via St Malo along the coast road to Le Mont St Michel. We covered just over 200 miles which would have been fine had it not been for the literally breathtaking wind from the North. When we cycled into it we were reduced to grinding away at 9km an hour - or even less! Just keeping the bike on the road and not ending in the ditch was a challenge. But then on the very few occasions where it was behind us, we experienced some exhilarating 40km/hr free wheeling. The whole weekend I kept thinking about the early fixed gear cyclists training in similar conditions up and down those rolling hills and not even being able to free wheel on occasion. No wonder Brittany has produced such cycling champs!

#12 Ptipois

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 12:48 PM

I didn't know you could get buckwheat in flour form - any ideas about places in Paris where I might be able to buy it?  I don't think it's Monoprix standard fare...  Perhaps I need to find a specialist Polish or Breton shop.  Or perhaps there's a Jewish store in the Marais?

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You don't need to go that far, you'll find farine de sarrasin at every supermarket, big or small. Look for the Treblec brand. And yes, it's standard Monoprix fare. Monoprix actually has a lot of stuff. Some places will even offer more than one brand. You'll get the best quality in health food stores though.

#13 Druckenbrodt

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 03:11 AM

Thank you Ptipois - will be rushing out today for some farine de sarrasin. I sense a glut of galette experiments coming on.

#14 Ptipois

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 04:10 AM

Thank you Ptipois - will be rushing out today for some farine de sarrasin.  I sense a glut of galette experiments coming on.

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I make decent galettes de sarrasin using a ratio of 70 % buckwheat flour-30 % wheat flour. Eggs help the consistency, but don't put in too many. The more you let the batter sit at room temperature, the better it will be. The addition of a little beer (why not buckwheat beer?) works wonders.
I recommended health food stores for buckwheat flour because you'll often find that their flour is darker and more flavorful than the more common commercial brands.
Another secret for galettes de blé noir (or de sarrasin) is butter : lots of it at cooking, lots of it at reheating (if that should happen). The final result should be what Bretons call kraz, i.e. very crisp. This seems to bring out the natural taste of buckwheat beautifully. Of course, in Brittany, it is always lightly salted butter (beurre demi-sel). A properly kraz galette served with some slow-roasted country sausage is indeed food for the gods.
While you're at it with your one-kilo bag of buckwheat flour, you might want to try another Breton buckwheat specialty, the farz sac'h. It is a batter very much like the one you use for galettes, sometimes with raisins added and poured into a special cloth bag that you tie at the opening before plunging the whole thing into a simmering stock of slab bacon, sausages and whole vegetables. The resulting pudding is taken out of the bag and crumbled or sliced, then eaten with the meats and vegetables plus a sauce of minced shallots stewed in butter. This is called kig ha farz and it is the national dish of Léon (the Northwestern part of Brittany).

#15 pennylane

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 03:22 PM

I have been obsessed with galettes lately (in fact, this is the main reason I joined eGullet - because every now and then I get totally obsessed with a certain recipe and can't stop thinking about it and trying it until I get it right, and I figured that this is the only place anyone might have the expertise to help me get it right, or failing that, the patience to put up with the obsessive quest to get it right).

The problem began with me scouring the Internet for recipes and information, and witnessing the scorn heaped on anyone straying from the traditional recipe which contains just three ingredients: buckwheat flour, water and salt. For some reason, this traditional recipe is also supposed to be notoriously unforgiving, but for me there was no going back. It became my mission in life to produce authentic galettes using the traditional recipe.

The next hitch was that I did not really have anything with which to compare my galettes. I suspect that most restaurants add eggs, milk and/or white flour to their galettes to make them easier to spread and give them a better colour. But then I discovered that the pre-packaged galettes sold at Monoprix have only three listed ingredients: buckwheat flour, water and salt. So why don't my galettes look anything like those?

Basically, the supermarket galettes have a kind of textured surface, pitted with many small holes and covered with a lacy pattern of darkened raised ridges. They look like this. There are some similar-looking ones here and here. Then there's this one, which is kind of taking the holiness to an extreme, but you get the picture. How do those holes appear without the use of any leavening agent? I've tried whipping the batter, both by hand and with an electric whisk, to no avail. My galettes invariably turn out looking like this: pale, and with a smooth, unappetising surface.

The only theory I can come up with is that the difference is due to my equipment. I am using a crepe pan on an electric induction hob. A Breton told me once that he refuses to make galettes or crepes on anything but gas, because otherwise the pan just doesn't get hot enough. I did notice that the closest I came to success was on an extremely hot, smoking pan, with a very liquid batter. The splatter of the batter on the pan produced some holes and the characteristic ridged pattern I am looking for. But that can't be the usual way to do it. Also, the highly liquid batter led to a rather mushy galette.

The holes are really the biggest mystery to me. How can I get those holes?

Please, eGulleters, save me from a lifetime of making galettes for dinner every night!

#16 SuzySushi

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 06:59 PM

the traditional recipe which contains just three ingredients: buckwheat flour, water and salt.  For some reason, this traditional recipe is also supposed to be notoriously unforgiving, but for me there was no going back.  It became my mission in life to produce authentic galettes using the traditional recipe.

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I make my crepes sarrasin with regular flour as well as buckwheat flour because I've found the batter to be very workable. But a while back, Chufi posted her recipe for crepes that use only buckwheat flour in the eGullet Crepes Cook-Off thread. (I keep promising myself to try that one day...)
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#17 Ptipois

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 11:45 PM

I have been obsessed with galettes lately (in fact, this is the main reason I joined eGullet - because every now and then I get totally obsessed with a certain recipe and can't stop thinking about it and trying it until I get it right, and I figured that this is the only place anyone might have the expertise to help me get it right, or failing that, the patience to put up with the obsessive quest to get it right).

The problem began with me scouring the Internet for recipes and information, and witnessing the scorn heaped on anyone straying from the traditional recipe which contains just three ingredients: buckwheat flour, water and salt.  For some reason, this traditional recipe is also supposed to be notoriously unforgiving, but for me there was no going back.  It became my mission in life to produce authentic galettes using the traditional recipe.

The next hitch was that I did not really have anything with which to compare my galettes.  I suspect that most restaurants add eggs, milk and/or white flour to their galettes to make them easier to spread and give them a better colour.  But then I discovered that the pre-packaged galettes sold at Monoprix have only three listed ingredients: buckwheat flour, water and salt.  So why don't my galettes look anything like those?

Basically, the supermarket galettes have a kind of textured surface, pitted with many small holes and covered with a lacy pattern of darkened raised ridges.  They look like this.  There are some similar-looking ones here and here.  Then there's this one, which is kind of taking the holiness to an extreme, but you get the picture.  How do those holes appear without the use of any leavening agent?  I've tried whipping the batter, both by hand and with an electric whisk, to no avail.  My galettes invariably turn out looking like this: pale, and with a smooth, unappetising surface.

The only theory I can come up with is that the difference is due to my equipment.  I am using a crepe pan on an electric induction hob.  A Breton told me once that he refuses to make galettes or crepes on anything but gas, because otherwise the pan just doesn't get hot enough.  I did notice that the closest I came to success was on an extremely hot, smoking pan, with a very liquid batter.  The splatter of the batter on the pan produced some holes and the characteristic ridged pattern I am looking for.  But that can't be the usual way to do it.  Also, the highly liquid batter led to a rather mushy galette.

The holes are really the biggest mystery to me.  How can I get those holes?

Please, eGulleters, save me from a lifetime of making galettes for dinner every night!

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Pennylane

Failing the proper galetière or bilig, the large round iron griddle placed on a strong gas flame, seasoned with years of galette-making; or at any rate a comal, which reproduces the same cooking conditions; but above all the know-how and tour de main of a Breton granny or even of a younger trained person, it is already difficult to produce good galettes.

Don't be obsessed with the "true traditional recipe" because, supposing that it really exists (I doubt it, as usual everyone has different tricks and recipes) you would never be able to duplicate it in different conditions than the ones above, not to mention the quality of the flour, water, butter and even air (important for fermentation).

One of the secrets, which is not one, is the raclette, the small wooden item used for spreading the batter onto the bilig. Do you use this? it has to be drawn in a circular gesture all over the bilig until you get a very thin, regular pancake. You do not let the batter spread itself, that would produce thick pancakes.

Do not concentrate too much on the pictures you find on the Internet. The holes are due to a slight fermentation of the batter, and this is achieved by letting it rest for a while. You can help the process by replacing some of the water by beer. But your photo 4 is likely to mislead you because it is not a Breton galette. It is a Belgian pancake and it is clearly highly fermented. That's far too many holes as Breton galettes go.

Secondly, the holes are a result of adding the batter to a very very hot griddle; but there's really some fermentation involved.

Also, given the unreliability of commercial buckwheat flours nowadays, do use the trick of mixing a little wheat flour into the buckwheat flour. This is often done in a traditional context. Your galettes have to be thin, lacy and, especially, crispy kraz. The crispness is only achieved through reheating the galette on the bilig with a lot of butter or adding more butter once you add the garnish to the galette. The holes help the crispness because they let the butter seep through and permeate the batter. Re-read my instructions in my previous post while I'll try and dig out a good recipe from a book.

#18 michael_g

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 06:29 AM

Basically, the supermarket galettes have a kind of textured surface, pitted with many small holes and covered with a lacy pattern of darkened raised ridges.  They look like this.  There are some similar-looking ones here and here.  Then there's this one, which is kind of taking the holiness to an extreme, but you get the picture.  How do those holes appear without the use of any leavening agent?  I've tried whipping the batter, both by hand and with an electric whisk, to no avail.  My galettes invariably turn out looking like this: pale, and with a smooth, unappetising surface.

The only theory I can come up with is that the difference is due to my equipment.  I am using a crepe pan on an electric induction hob.  A Breton told me once that he refuses to make galettes or crepes on anything but gas, because otherwise the pan just doesn't get hot enough.  I did notice that the closest I came to success was on an extremely hot, smoking pan, with a very liquid batter.  The splatter of the batter on the pan produced some holes and the characteristic ridged pattern I am looking for.  But that can't be the usual way to do it.  Also, the highly liquid batter led to a rather mushy galette.

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I've made quite a few buckwheat crepes (and drank quite a bit of cidre bouche) since reading the Saveur article. My crepes look rather like yours, and I wasn't worried for a moment.

If you are going for the truly authentic look, I think that thinness can't be overesteemed. I use a carbon steel crepe pan over medium-high gas heat, but lack the wooden dowel thingy (that's the Breton name for it). Spreading them out a little with the back of a spatula, they're acceptably thin and quite tasty with a sprinkling of butter and sea salt, but they don't have the paper thin texture of the buckwheat crepes I ate in Paris and see in those pictures. The reason I think they'd have the holes if they were thinner is that when I first spread the batter and it starts to cook, I can see the little holes form around the edge, but then extra batter from the center spills outward and fills them in. If that extra batter were spread out earlier on, the holes might stay.

Good luck figuring out how to do it! The road to success is paved with delicious pancakes.

#19 pennylane

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 11:32 AM

Oh my God! Thank you, guys, for so much great advice!

I make my crepes sarrasin with regular flour as well as buckwheat flour because I've found the batter to be very workable. But a while back, Chufi posted her recipe  for crepes that use only buckwheat flour in the eGullet Crepes Cook-Off thread. (I keep promising myself to try that one day...)

Funny you should mention this, because I did come across Chufi's attempt (having naturally analysed the aforementioned thread in great detail several weeks ago!!) and was intrigued by the big holes in her pictures, only in her case these holes are evidently the result of the beer she used in the recipe.


One of the secrets, which is not one, is the raclette, the small wooden item used for spreading the batter onto the bilig. Do you use this?

Wait, isn't it called a rozell, or something like that? Anyway, yeah, I've tried both with and without this implement (swirling the batter around by tilting the pan instead).


Do not concentrate too much on the pictures you find on the Internet. The holes are due to a slight fermentation of the batter, and this is achieved by letting it rest for a while.

Believe me, I have tried this! One time I even let the batter rest for 3 days! I did get my holes that time. In fact, the texture was the closest to what I would consider ideal, but the batter tasted sour because it had fermented so much (it looked almost moussy, like Indian dosa batter). Perhaps I should aim for something in between? However, my earlier 24 hour periods of fermentation didn't seem to make any difference at all (hence the marathon 3-day experiment).


Also, given the unreliability of commercial buckwheat flours nowadays, do use the trick of mixing a little wheat flour into the buckwheat flour.

Okay, if you insist! I was afraid this would mute the buckwheat flavour. But I will give it a try!


The reason I think they'd have the holes if they were thinner is that when I first spread the batter and it starts to cook, I can see the little holes form around the edge, but then extra batter from the center spills outward and fills them in.  If that extra batter were spread out earlier on, the holes might stay.

Come to think of it, I have noticed that same problem myself! The holes do seem to appear at the moment that the batter hits the pan, but as I start to spread it around with the stick, the excess batter fills them up. You may be on to something here, especially as most recipes do seem to stress the thinness.


Good luck figuring out how to do it!  The road to success is paved with delicious pancakes.

Yeah! Only I never thought I'd say this, but I think I'm actually beginning to get sick of pancakes...!

Okay, so on my next attempt (tonight?), I'm going to add white flour and maybe a little beer to aid in fermentation, let the batter rest, pour it onto a really, really hot pan and spread it as thinly as possible with the wooden stick thingy. Can't wait to see how it goes!

#20 pennylane

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 07:09 PM

Well, it turns out I'm even worse with a camera than I am in the kitchen. I actually did go on to make my first truly successful galettes after that last post, but just managed to transfer my pictures to the computer tonight, only to find out that I had accidentally taken a VIDEO of the galette instead (no wonder the memory card was inexplicably full!). But I finally managed to extract a screenshot of the damn galette, just to show off the beautiful lacy pattern which I finally managed to achieve!

Posted Image

Here's what I consider to be the crucial factors involved:

1) Regular flour - I followed the suggestions given here and did use a little (about one part regular to three parts buckwheat).
2) Liquid - I used a LOT of water, for a very thin batter.
3) Rest - I let the batter sit overnight. This step I think is crucial, not really because of the fermentation (there really isn't much, in the refrigerator) but because it seems to help the batter hold together better. Otherwise all that water can make for a rather mushy galette, and we don't want that.
4) Heat - I made sure the pan was really smoking before I poured on the batter for the first galette.
5) Rozell - I was once again unable to use this implement correctly, and had to resort to swirling the pan, but still managed to obtain paper-thin galettes, probably because of the thin batter. The thinness really does seem to be crucial, once again in keeping with the advice I received on this thread.

I have repeated my experiment a couple of times since then, with the same excellent results! My husband, who doesn't even like galettes, was flabbergasted and said that they looked and tasted really professional, just like the ones in the best restaurants! Yay!

Thank you all for your help! Now I can finally stop making those damn galettes!

#21 Felice

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 12:18 AM

They look wonderful Penny Lane! Thank you for letting us know how they turned out.
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#22 Felice

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 04:27 AM

I can't say that I am usually a crepe fan, but had written down Breizh café in my little book of places to try since it has gotten a lot of good press. Yesterday I was in the Marais shopping and decided to try it for lunch. I am glad I did, as these were not ordinary crepes! I started with the Montagnarde, made with Reblouchon, egg, smoked pork and creme fraiche; it was heavenly. In fact, it was so good that I couldn't even think about not getting dessert and opted for the crepe with salted butter caramel and whipped cream, again, amazing.

This is a place which exemplifies what high quality ingredients can do. Good ingredients transformed what is to me normally a banal food into something extraordinary.

Breizh Café
109 rue Vielle du Temple,
Paris 03

They also have restaurants in Japan and Cancale

www.breizhcafe.com
www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

#23 fresh_a

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 09:56 AM

Breizh Café is a great place. Funny story, too, about him starting out in Brittany, marrying a Japanese gal , then opening a bunch of creperies in Japan , before eventually coming to Paris. The ciders are worth mentionning as well, as they have a fine selection, by bowl or bottle...It's funny how some of the best crepes in Paris are made by Japanese staff...

Edited by fresh_a, 22 December 2007 - 09:57 AM.

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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#24 Poppy Quince

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 12:38 PM

I started with the Montagnarde, made with Reblouchon, egg, smoked pork and creme fraiche; it was heavenly.  In fact, it was so good that I couldn't even think about not getting dessert and opted for the crepe with salted butter caramel and whipped cream, again, amazing. 

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Exactly what I ordered on my first visit...wonderful! I've never been able to just walk in and get a table however; always quite a long wait and nowhere to wait comfortably, although you can get a coffee at the café across the street, or sit in the park on warm days.

#25 fresh_a

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 01:01 PM

I've always been able to get a table at the last minute- luckily it's never been insanely busy when I go.
Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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