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…

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

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Crêpe anyone? The authentic sweet French thin pancake.

The genuine, tried and tasted crêpes recipe!

This is a recipe for the Chandeleur!  But what it is? it is basically on of our crêpe day in France, like Fat Tuesday in March, but this one is always on February 2nd. It falls 40 days after Christmas, and it celebrates light. Chandeleur comes from the word chandelle: candle. There are several origins dating as far as the middle age : one being that lighting the candles is a mean of purifying life; another celebrates the lengthening of the daylight; another one is also celebrating the coming of the new growing season as some cereals get planted in february, and the leftover grains are milled in flour – the basic ingredient for the crêpe. I personally like the last one as it makes sense.


Pieter Aertsen, 1560, Les Crêpes.
Musée Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam

Back to 2014 – when I post this recipe: how funny it is that the SuperBowl is on crêpe day… Which make it a great opportunity to do a kitchen workshop for the kids while watching the SuperBowl! Or simply baking a pile in advance and enjoying them during the game. We usually drink cider with it, but beer should work just as well, today!

So I have this very easy and delicious recipe that I want to share with you:

The Crêpes recipe:

  • Easy
  • For 15 crêpes
  • Preparation: 10 minutes
  • Rest : 45 minutes minimum
  • Cooking: 30 to 45 minutes (3 minutes / crêpe)
  • 1 or 2 frying pan
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 ladle
  • 1 spatula

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