Gallette Brettones au Sarrasin

“Galettes Brettones”  is a true find for anyone ambling through France trying to find something suitable for someone on a Gluten Free diet; and why? Well because the French neither cater for, nor like people with food intolerances, it’s so bourgeois.

Yet the mighty “Sarrasin”, or Buckwheat as you and I know it, is nonetheless sat at the table of the country’s many gastronomic traditions.

A little further investigation, via the internet will provide you with the knowledge that Buckwheat (part of the Rhubarb family, don’t you know) was planted in the Britanny area, many years ago  by poor farmers because of its hardiness and ability to grow where other crops couldn’t.

And thus was born the Britanny Galette; to be found in Creperies across France as the savoury alternative to the ubiquitous Nutella and Banana Crepe, be warned though – some creperies add wheat flour, so please make sure you check.

The complet (complete, if you cant speak French) is the king of all Galettes and is traditionally washed down with a jug of local dry cider. It is usually a simple mixture of cheese, ham, egg and some cooked spinach.

A true Galette is a masterpiece, it should be crispy, light, unctuous and oozing with  cheese. A posher version of a cheese toastie, with the added health of Buckwheat and its natural GF properties.

Now, if you were to further research and even if you were to scour the french language forums, you would probably find many a frenchman arguing between them at the exact quantities and constitution of the perfect Britanny savoury Crepe. For my part, having cooked many of them over the years, this is the most delicious.

Happy Cooking

Galette Brettones . “Complet”

No 1 RULE – Buy a Crepe Pan. Mine is English made and a Tefal – it does the job perfectly.

The Recipe (this one adapted from a recipe by Anne Willan)

Firstly to the batter: (should do 6)

  • 1-3/4 cups/225 g buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cups/250 ml milk, more if needed
  • 1 cups/250 ml water
  • 1/2/50 g butter, clarified (see note below)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 slices of Ham
  • 6 Eggs
  • a big bag of Spinach
  • At least 250- 500 grams of Cheese
  • Start by beating your egg and then mixing into the milk mixture, then add salt to the buckwheat flour (try and get as fresh a flour as possible) . Make a well in the flour and vigorously mix together as you pour the mixture in.

    Add half the clarified butter to the mixture (to be honest,I just melt mine in a microwave and add – purists will go with clarified) and then leave to rest in the fridge for an hour.

    After the hour, add the water until you get a consistency close to cream – it should look like this

    Then heat up your Crepe pan (or if you are really struggling for one, a cast iron pan) and make sure its searing hot, use a tissue to cover the pan in butter and then pour the mixture onto the pan, by rotating it as you pour until the whole pan is covered -the mixture should bubble straight away

    Like this

    Once the mixture is covered in bubbles, check if the bottom is brown and if it is, flip it. I use a spatula and a quick movement of the hand – you can try tossing if you want, but with  a crepe this large – its dicey.

    Once you have done the flip, you have to move quickly. Add an egg to the middle, add some torn slices of Ham around the egg and slightly scramble the whites of the egg with a fork to help it cook

    Once the egg is looking cooked, add spinach and grated Gruyere (or whichever cheese you prefer)

    Finally, once the egg is fully cooked and the cheese is on, fold the four sides using a spatula and push down for 30 seconds or so, to really help melt the cheese and finish the egg. Alternatively, a quick blast under the grill will do.

    And then – EAT. And Eat fast, it needs to be served piping hot.

    Bon Apetit

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    February 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . breakfast, food, Gluten Free, Recipe.

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