Galettes Bretonnes

GF

This was the first buckwheat recipe that I tasted.  These savoury pancakes are served in Crêperies all over Brittany with a variety of fillings ranging from simple cheese to elaborate fillings of charcuterie and seafood, one of the most traditional being the 'complète' which consists of ham, gruyère and an egg, which is fried on the pancake. My  own favourite filling is grated cheese (Gruyère, Emmental or Cheddar) and mushrooms which have been sautéd in butter with garlic and a splash of cream.  Although galettes are generally served with savoury fillings, my daughter will attest that they are also delicious filled with Nutella as a dessert course!

I have translated the batter recipe from a delightful little illustrated cookbook, "la Bonne Cuisine Bretonne', which I found in the shop at Douarnenez boat museum. This batter contains an egg, but some others omit the egg altogether, making them suitable for vegans.

Galette Bretonne

Ingredients

makes 8 - 12 depending on size

  • 250g buckwheat flour

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 litre water

  • 1 large egg

  • 20g melted butter (you can use oil)

  • Fat for greasing (traditionally lard or butter is used, but vegetable oil works very well)

Preparation: 10 mins + resting

  1. Put the buckwheat flour in a large mixing bowl with the salt

  2. Make a well in the centre and break the egg into it

  3. Mix from the centre with a wooden spoon, incorporating the flour gradually

  4. Add the water a drop at a time, beating between additions, until it is all incorporated and you have a fluid batter. (It should be about the consistency of single cream - if it is a bit thick add a drop more water)

  5. Leave to rest (the recipe stipulates 24 hours, but I find it works fine with no more than an hour's rest)

  6. Mix in the melted butter just before cooking (if you have refrigerated your mixture the butter may form little flecks in the batter, but these will melt when you cook it)

Tips for Cooking

I use a heavy based non stick aluminium crêpe pan in our holiday home in Brittany, but I never seem to have mastered the art of cooking pancakes on my AGA cooker at home, so I invested in an inexpensive electric crêpière which works very well.  If you don't have a pancake pan, any large non stick frying pan will do.

  • Heat the pan and lightly grease it (I usually just rub it over with a pad of oiled kitchen paper)

  • Pour a ladleful of batter into the pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan - you are aiming for a fairly thin pancake (if you are using a crêpière you will need to spread the batter with a spreader tool...which takes a little practice!)

  • Cook for about a minute, until the batter is set and the underside is lightly browned

  • Flip the pancake and cook the other side for another minute

Galettes are delicious eaten straight from the pan, but unless you want to stand over the hot pan whilst your family tuck in, it is best to cook all the pancakes first and stack them on a warm plate with a tea towel or greaseproof paper over the top to prevent them drying out, then fill and serve as required.

The Complète

I have come across various different ways of making the traditional 'complète': sometimes the whole slice of ham is placed under the egg, sometimes on top, and sometimes it is shredded and sprinkled around the edges of the egg with the cheese.  All use the same ingredients.

 

Ingredients (per pancake)

  • 1 slice of ham

  • 1 egg

  • 20g grated Gruyère (you may substitute Emmental, or even Cheddar)

  • Butter

Method

  1. Place a pancake in the pan, add a dab of butter

  2. When butter has melted break the egg into the centre of the pancake and spread the white a little with a spatula

  3. When the egg is almost cooked to your liking, sprinkle the cheese and ham over the white, and when the cheese begins to melt fold in the edges of the pancake into a square shape so that they cover most of the white, but leave the yolk visible

  4. Serve with salad

My Mushroom Galettes

Ingredients (for 4)

  • 80g grated cheese (Cheddar, Emmemtal, or Gruyère)

  • 400g mushrooms, finely sliced

  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed (to taste)

  • 100ml double cream

  • knob of butter

  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the mushrooms with the garlic until soft

  2. Add the double cream and heat gently

  3. Season with salt and pepper then draw the pan off the heat and keep warm

  4. Place a galette in crêpe pan, sprinkle 1/4 of cheese over the centre of the pancake

  5. When the cheese begins to melt spread 1/4 of the mushroom mixture over the cheese

  6. Fold in the edges to make a square

  7. Serve with salad