Friday, 23 January 2015

Buckwheat Crepes

It's crepes again! The recipe is essentially the same as for wheat flour crepes, the only difference being that less flour is required. Buckwheat gives them a robust and distinctive flavour that is really delicious. They are very appropriate for savoury fillings, or you could match them with buckwheat honey and butter for a sweet treat.

8 to 12 crepes - 4 to 6 servings
45 minutes prep time

I find the crepes much easier to turn if I leave a little space along one side to allow me to get the lifter in under it. It's not as elegant as a perfectly round crepe, but since I serve them folded or rolled, it is not that noticeable.

4 large eggs
2 cups low-fat milk (skim to 2%)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
about 2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil

Whisk the eggs and milk together thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the salt and buckwheat flour, to make a smooth, thin batter.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Pour about 2 tablespoons of oil into a saucer or other small dish, and dip one corner of a piece of folded up paper towel into it. Use this to smear a film of oil over the bottom of the skillet. If you want to finish the crepes faster, you can heat 2 skillets and keep them going - a crepe will cook on the first side in about the time it takes to prep a pan, so you can switch between them. You may want to use just one pan the first time though, so you can really get a feel for them.

Pour about 1/3 of a cup of the batter into the skillet, and AT ONCE swirl the batter to cover MOST of the bottom of the pan. I find if I leave a stretch of naked pan about 1" wide and 6" long along one side of the crepe, it becomes far easier to get the lifter under it and loosen it. You will need a good wide but thin metal lifter for this. About a minute after the crepe has been formed, start running the lifter under the edges, all around the crepe, then working it in to the centre, particularly from the bare spot in the pan. Once it is completely loosened - and you will not be able to loosen it completely until the bottom is firmly cooked, so be patient - flip it over. It will then need only about 30 seconds to finish cooking on the second side.

Remove it to a plate set in a cool oven (200°F is the lowest mine goes, but it could be 175°F if yours will do it) and keep the finished crepes warm while you make the rest of them. Whisk up the batter before ladling out each crepe; it's so thin the flour tends to settle to the bottom of the bowl.

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