Buckwheat Pancake – in the purest Brittany tradition

As fat Tuesday (Mardi gras) is just around the corner, I share today this so authentic buckwheat pancake recipe (see the ingredients list, I mede a suggestion to make it gluten free!). I chose the purest version of the recipe, probably originating from Brittany several centuries ago. This is also called the Galette de blé noir. The galettes are traditionally served with apple cider, as a savory and filling dish. This recipe requires very cheap ingredients and was a party meal in very poor families a century ago. If you have ever been in a crêperie you know this comforting buttery tasting delicious meal…

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But do you know what is fat Tuesday? It seems this tradition is very alive in Louisiana, and other part of the american continent. When I was a child, living in France, I was told that we have a fat and rich meal by tradition to “finish off the last perishable rich food” in the house before entering the carême (Lent) period. By symbolism, the carême is also the period when the nature is just starting to wake up, and there is yet to wait for food to grow. So we eat drink and are merry on mardi gras, and we are being foolish by wearing costumes and dancing all night long for carnaval…

Now, if you have the costume and the friends to party with, let ‘s complement the fun with a crêperie diner !

Ingredients for 12 galettes (2 to 3 per person):

  • 1 and 1/3 cups of buckwheat
  • 1 tablespoon of flour (you can substitute the flour with corn or tapioca starch to go Gluten Free)
  • 3 cups of cold water
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg
  • Butter for the pans
  • Large flat nonstick pan

Steps:

  1. In a mixer, mix the buckwheat, the flour, and add the water slowly. Add the salt and the egg. Mix well until you get a creamy and smooth texture. Cover and reserve in the fridge for about two hour.IMG_1484
  2. 2 hours later: Prepare 1 or 2 frying pans, on high heat. Butter your pans and when hot, pour the equivalent of 1/2 cup of the galette mix, turning your pan as tout spread the mix evenly. I use a ladle and pour slowly with one hand while turning the pan with the other hand. Practice and you’ll succeed. The first galette is always ugly!
  3. Let the galette cook 1 to 2 minutes and with a wooden spatula, turn it upside down for another 1 to 2 minutes. It should turn into a lightly dry texture, with a gold color on the surface.IMG_1485
  4. Your galette is ready, you can reserve it on a side plate, and start again, adding a little butter on  your hot frying pan first.
  5. The next step is to do when you are ready to eat. You can either do your galette on the spot, or prepare a pile ahead of time and do this final step at diner time. (BTW, they can definitely be warmed up in the microwave, one at a time, for one minutes at full heat.)IMG_1487
  6. The traditional is to fry an egg, add ham, grated cheese and serve it inside the galette layering the egg, ham and cheese and folding the galette to show only the yolk. But you can create so many variations, for example I made sliced Italian sausages, fried mushroom and onions and few roasted tomato slices, served with a spoon of crumbly goat cheese…

And for dessert on this mardis gras? Well keep going with the sweet crêpes! Recipe here.

Happy Mardi gras, and bon appétit !

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