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Tips for Crepes?


battlepanda
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You must finish the revolution under 4 seconds or the batter cooks before getting spread out. Apparently, when the crepe maker is used properly it makes the finest, most thinly lacy crepes possible, but it's beyond me.

Once I'm home I'll be experimenting, using my good old frying pan.

That's the part I've never understood about those types of crepe makers. Your batter would have to cook/set up before you could spread it. And spread it out with a utensil........that's not easy.

That's why you lift your crepe pan off the heat and swirl the batter in one quick movement.

How do they make them at the hotel Neil?

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  • 7 months later...

I attempted to make crepes last night.

They came out quite fine actually but I had a couple problems. The recipe (Bittman's HTCE) said to place 1 tablespoon of batter into a pan and swirl it around. This was giving me 3 inch circles... and then when I would add more (about 1/4 cup) and swirl the pan it wouldn't go into a nice circle. Instead I was getting lines all over the place sort of like a tic tac toe board and I ended up using more batter to fill in the open spaces.

They turned out quite thin, so I don't think I was using too much batter.

I was using an 8 inch non-stick pan over medium heat though I turned it down to med-low after the second one.

Was the batter too thick?

the heat too high? too low?

why was I getting those lines?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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When I was in junior high, we used to go to a creperie called, "Garden Creperie." My all-time favourite savoury crepe was filled with some kind of chicken in bechamel sauce mixture. I've had crepes with a similar filling at Czech restaurants, too. They also had a crepe filled with ham, rolled, breaded, and fried. I didn't like that one so much.

My favourite sweet crepe was always fresh strawberries with whipped cream.

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I attempted to make crepes last night.

They came out quite fine actually but I had a couple problems. The recipe (Bittman's HTCE) said to place 1 tablespoon of batter into a pan and swirl it around. This was giving me  3 inch circles... and then when I would add more (about 1/4 cup) and swirl the pan it wouldn't go into a nice circle. Instead I was getting lines all over the place sort of like a tic tac toe board and I ended up using more batter to fill in the open spaces.

They turned out quite thin, so I don't think I was using too much batter.

I was using an 8 inch non-stick pan over medium heat though I turned it down to med-low after the second one.

Was the batter too thick?

the heat too high? too low?

why was I getting those lines?

Kris,

I'm not familiar with Mark Bittman's recipe. This is the one I use:

Crêpes

Serves 6-8

3 eggs

1 cup milk (I use skim milk)

3/4 cup water

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon melted butter

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend 1 minute. Scrape down sides and blend 2 minutes longer. Strain batter into a bowl. Refrigerate 2 hours or longer.

Heat a lightly oiled 10" crêpe pan over medium-high heat. Stir batter once. Pour in a scant 1/4 cup batter and tilt pan quickly to cover the bottom. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until golden on the bottom. Turn and cook the other side. Repeat process, stacking finished crêpes with wax paper in between. (Use immediately, or freeze wrapped in foil or a plastic bag. Defrost before using.)

The first crêpe is usually an oily mess (traditionally in France, it gets thrown to the dog!). The pan should not need re-oiling unless you're doubling the batch. The wrist action is not actually "swirling" the pan (which is why you're getting the lines) but more like tilting it quickly from side to side and front to back to cover as much of the bottom as you can, then setting it back on the burner. You can fill in any holes with a drop of batter. If your pan is 8" rather than 10", try 3 tablespoons of batter per crêpe.

The batter should have the consistency of light pouring cream (at least, that's what my recipe has). It's important to let the batter rest for 2 hours or longer before using to allow the gluten in the flour to expand.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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You've received good advice on making crepes. Personally, what I do is put a small amount of butter in a hot pan. I swirl the butter and then wipe it clean with paper towels.

Then I use 1/4 cup of batter, swirled very very quickly and cooked as others have said.

For savoury filling I love bechamel sauce, chicken, mushrooms and avocado.

For sweet, I recently had some strawberries that I forgot about. They were not good for eating fresh, but I decided to heat them with a little sugar and a splash of sparkling wine.

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Thanks for the help!

I guess I need to practice my technique... :hmmm:

Suzy,

when you say your recipe serves 6 to 8 is that 1 crepe a piece?

Bittman's recipe said 12 to 16 crepes so I halved it, but just barely got 4 (with an 8 inch pan).

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Thanks for the help!

I guess I need to practice my technique... :hmmm:

Suzy,

when you say your recipe serves 6 to 8 is that 1 crepe a piece?

Bittman's recipe said 12 to 16 crepes so I halved it, but just barely got 4 (with an 8 inch pan).

That's with 2 filled crepes each. (If I were adopting the Breton custom of serving a crepe plain or just buttered before the filled ones, I'd use a buckwheat crepe recipe and double it.)

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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  • 1 year later...

I have seen French Crepe with beautiful lace pattern when i visited France.

The other day at Beijing Restaurant, i was served Chinese thin pancake (or crepe...) with roasted duck...the pancake was with beautiful lace pattern.

I wonder how to make those beautiful pattern?..it was like real lace.

I also have staub cast iron crepe pan, T shape wooden tool and a pointed wooden spatula ( for flipping the crepe), but, to be honest...i do not know how to use it.

Can anyone help with the tips and the techniques on spreading the crepe really thin with this pan & T tool and how to make the lace like pattern?

SOS :huh:

Edited by iii_bake (log)
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I've read practically everything ever written on the Internet regarding lacy crepes. The best tips I found were to make sure your batter is very liquid, and your pan very hot. Grease the pan and don't pour the batter until it's faintly smoking. Then add a ladleful of batter and quickly spread it around with the rozell (the T-shaped wooden thing). Don't be surprised if you find this difficult - it is a skill notoriously hard to master. I don't know any French people who use this tool at home. They all use the swirl-the-pan method. But you have to use the stick to get a really thin, lacy crepe. I hope you really love crepes because you may have to eat a lot of them before you get it right.

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I've read practically everything ever written on the Internet regarding lacy crepes.  The best tips I found were to make sure your batter is very liquid, and your pan very hot.  Grease the pan and don't pour the batter until it's faintly smoking.  Then add a ladleful of batter and quickly spread it around with the rozell (the T-shaped wooden thing).  Don't be surprised if you find this difficult - it is a skill notoriously hard to master.  I don't know any French people who use this tool at home.  They all use the swirl-the-pan method.  But you have to use the stick to get a really thin, lacy crepe.  I hope you really love crepes because you may have to eat a lot of them before you get it right.

Thank you Pennylane! :smile:

I have made a few experiments with the very thin batter but the thinner the batter the faster it sets.

And the faster it sets...the more difficult to spread with the tool.

Is my understanding correct?

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I love making crepes and do it now with very little measuring. I tend to like crepes with a lower ratio of egg than many people, so you can adjust this to taste.

My basic proportion is one egg and one TB butter per half cup of flour. I don't measure the milk ... just add it until the consisency is right (about the same as heavy cream). Salt, sugar, and any liqueur can be added in whatever amount you like. Couldn't be simpler.

I don't bother with a blender, which most recipes seem to suggest. Just mix the flour, eggs, and other dry ingredients with just enough milk to form a paste when you mix it (a wooden spoon or spatula works well). Then thin with milk while whisking. Push through a strainer, let it rest in the fridge, 20 minutes to overnight, and then stir in melted butter before cooking.

Notes from the underbelly

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Seeing this topic pop to the top reminds me of the eG Cook-Off: Crepes, where many of us who had never made crepes stumbled through our first batches of crepes!

I am doing just great with crepe when it comes to the swirling technique in a pan.

The lace pattern was not that bad.

The point is, i wish i could advance my technique a step further by creating beautiful lacy ones and with the T tool.

Again, can anyone give some advice on this?

Thanks :smile:

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The point is, i wish i could advance my technique a step further by creating beautiful lacy ones and with the T tool.

You really need to practice a lot with the T tool before you get it right. One thing I read which really helped me was about dipping the tool in water before you use it. That helps prevent it from sticking to the batter.

If you're having trouble with the crepe setting too fast, you can try taking the pan off the heat as soon as you've poured the batter, then use the T-stick to swirl it.

In my experience, high heat is crucial for the lacy pattern, but you could also try using extra butter in the pan. Many traditional recipes do call for quite liberal amounts of butter. I think increasing the sugar in the recipe might help too. Give it a try.

My experience is mostly with galettes, which are made from just buckwheat flour, water and salt, yet even with such a simple recipe I had to try many, many times before I got it just right. I made really small quantities each time so as not to waste too much!

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I had brunch this morning at the home of a friend whose father is Russian (born in Mongolia) and whose mother is French and Vietnamese.

I happened to mention this thread and she said she had a jar of batter in her fridge and was going to prepare some for dinner, in addition to some blini, as she and her husband are celebrating an anniversary.

She wiped out the wok, in which she had made our omelets, and proceeded to demonstrate her technique of making crepes in the wok. She used a small ladle to add a precise amount of batter to the wok, swirled it and tossed it to flip the crepe over and immediately onto a breadboard. They cooked very rapidly. She had finished a dozen before I even thought of getting photos, then couldn't get my camera phone to work properly - that is, the flash wouldn't work.

I was extremely impressed. I would never have thought of using a wok and it must have taken a lot of practice to keep the batter from puddling in the bottom, even with the wok very hot.

The crepes were uniform in size, about 8 inches in diameter and while none were "lacy" they were the same thickness from edge to edge. She showed me the blini batter, which had a lot of bubbles as it is made with yeast, and said she would make them about 5 inches in diameter, using a smaller wok. Amazing!

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I had brunch this morning at the home of a friend whose father is Russian (born in Mongolia) and whose mother is French and Vietnamese.

I happened to mention this thread and she said she had a jar of batter in her fridge and was going to prepare some for dinner, in addition to some blini, as she and her husband are celebrating an anniversary.

She wiped out the wok, in which she had made our omelets, and proceeded to demonstrate her technique of making crepes in the wok. She used a small ladle to add a precise amount of batter to the wok, swirled it and tossed it to flip the crepe over and immediately onto a breadboard. They cooked very rapidly. She had finished a dozen before I even thought of getting photos, then couldn't get my camera phone to work properly - that is, the flash wouldn't work.

I was extremely impressed. I would never have thought of using a wok and it must have taken a lot of practice to keep the batter from puddling in the bottom, even with the wok very hot.

The crepes were uniform in size, about 8 inches in diameter and while none were "lacy" they were the same thickness from edge to edge. She showed me the blini batter, which had a lot of bubbles as it is made with yeast, and said she would make them about 5 inches in diameter, using a smaller wok. Amazing!

Interesting!

In Thai Cuisine, we have savoury pancake ...swirling the batter in a wok just like you described.

Also, Thai stuffed omelet requires the same swirling technique.

I have never thought of applying that to the French crepe though.

Thanks for sharing the info! :smile:

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The point is, i wish i could advance my technique a step further by creating beautiful lacy ones and with the T tool.

You really need to practice a lot with the T tool before you get it right. One thing I read which really helped me was about dipping the tool in water before you use it. That helps prevent it from sticking to the batter.

If you're having trouble with the crepe setting too fast, you can try taking the pan off the heat as soon as you've poured the batter, then use the T-stick to swirl it.

In my experience, high heat is crucial for the lacy pattern, but you could also try using extra butter in the pan. Many traditional recipes do call for quite liberal amounts of butter. I think increasing the sugar in the recipe might help too. Give it a try.

My experience is mostly with galettes, which are made from just buckwheat flour, water and salt, yet even with such a simple recipe I had to try many, many times before I got it just right. I made really small quantities each time so as not to waste too much!

I will start practicing real soon.

Thanks for the tips!

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I had brunch this morning at the home of a friend whose father is Russian (born in Mongolia) and whose mother is French and Vietnamese. 

I happened to mention this thread and she said she had a jar of batter in her fridge and was going to prepare some for dinner, in addition to some blini, as she and her husband are celebrating an anniversary.

She wiped out the wok, in which she had made our omelets, and proceeded to demonstrate her technique of making crepes in the wok.  She used a small ladle to add a precise amount of batter to the wok, swirled it and tossed it to flip the crepe over and immediately onto a breadboard.  They cooked very rapidly.  She had finished a dozen before I even thought of getting photos, then couldn't get my camera phone to work properly - that is, the flash wouldn't work. 

I was extremely impressed.  I would never have thought of using a wok and it must have taken a lot of practice to keep the batter from puddling in the bottom, even with the wok very hot.

The crepes were uniform in size, about 8 inches in diameter and while none were "lacy" they were the same thickness from edge to edge.  She showed me the blini batter, which had a lot of bubbles as it is made with yeast, and said she would make them about 5 inches in diameter, using a smaller wok.  Amazing!

That's what I used during my period of crepe madness.

I didn't want to use a frying pan because I couldn't swirl the batter around quickly enough one handed (plus my wrist would hurt after half a dozen), whereas with a wok, I could use both hands to swirl and got thinner crepes.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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Interesting!

In Thai Cuisine, we have savoury pancake ...swirling the batter in a wok just like you described.

Also, Thai stuffed omelet requires the same swirling technique.

Tami said that she sometimes makes a triangular "pancake" that is thin like a crepe, but a different recipe, that includes a little rice flour, pouring the batter along an arc near the top edge of the wok and by the time the batter reaches the bottom it is evenly thin and cooked on that side, she flips it to the other side of the wok and that side is done in seconds.

She fills and rolls them in the same way as a croissant, starting at the wide end and rolling to the point while they are still warm and as they cool, they become crisp. She promised to give me the recipe but has to translate it from French.

I was also amazed at the puffy omelet she made in the wok, extremely tender and slightly soft, which is the way I like omelets. She had cooked two by the time I had one piece of toast buttered. It was as "instant" as I have ever seen.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'm going to make some dessert crepes this weekend. Never done them before, but I'll read through the threads to get some tips and ideas.

How long can the batter sit around? If I whip up a batch tonight, can I make some crepes tonight, then save the batter for tomorrow? Or should I make a ton of crepes tonight to use it all up, then stick the left over crepes in the fridge? I would prefer to cook them up fresh if the batter will keep for 24 hours or so.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I'm going to make some dessert crepes this weekend.  Never done them before, but I'll read through the threads to get some tips and ideas.

How long can the batter sit around? If I whip up a batch tonight, can I make some crepes tonight, then save the batter for tomorrow? Or should I make a ton of crepes tonight to use it all up, then stick the left over crepes in the fridge?  I would prefer to cook them up fresh if the batter will keep for 24 hours or so.

I keep it over night, but it may need thinning the next day.

I remember reading that people have had success freezing cooked crepes flat, then reheating in a dry skillet, like you would a tortilla.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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How long can the batter sit around? If I whip up a batch tonight, can I make some crepes tonight, then save the batter for tomorrow? Or should I make a ton of crepes tonight to use it all up, then stick the left over crepes in the fridge?  I would prefer to cook them up fresh if the batter will keep for 24 hours or so.

I know someone whose aunt runs a crepe restaurant in Brittany and he swears she leaves the batter in the refrigerator for weeks on end, topping it up whenever needed. Perhaps I shouldn't mention the name of the restaurant (not that I could if I wanted to - I don't remember it)!

Definitely, save the leftover batter for later - I find freshly made crepes so much better than flabby warmed-up ones.

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The second day crepe batter work just fine. I did thin it a bit more. But the crepes that I cooked up were just like yesterday's when using the fresh batter.

I still have some left. Let's see what tomorrow brings. :)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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