Pancakes are one of those fundamental foods which combine simplicity with extreme versatility. This tutorial deals specifically with the thin, light pancakes known as ‘crêpes’ in France.
For the crêpes:
100g plain flour
1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
For the galettes:
330g buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon of salt
- Start with the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Pour the eggs into the well one at a time
- Whisk by hand or with an electric whisk, slowly widening the circle, so flour is introduced in a controlled manner.
- As it thickens, add the rest of the wet ingredients, one at a time, and continue.
- The second egg, the oil and finally the milk (or water).
- Again, it’s worth adding this in stages, thoroughly whisking in more flour each time.
- The next step is to rest the batter before frying. Just leave it undisturbed for about 30 minutes, in the fridge or on the worktop.
- Resting allows the starch granules in the flour to absorb moisture and swell up, increasing the viscosity (i.e. thickness) of the mixture.
- Once heat is applied, these granules will swell up even more and burst, releasing one of their components; the polysaccharide amylose.
- Amylose is an excellent thickener and water binder, so it increases viscosity even further and locks moisture into the pancake even as it cooks.
- The ideal crêpe-style pancake should be thin, lightly cooked and golden in colour.
- If you find that, after resting, the batter pours too thickly, feel free to loosen it with a little more milk or water.
- They should be cooked on a medium heat and quite briefly – that’s why they need to be thin.
- Cook them on a crêpe make or in a pan – just spread the batter evenly by tilting the pan.
- Cook for one to two minutes, looking for a crispy edge and a rich golden colour on the underside, then flip it.
- The second side will cook in about half the time and will look quite different, because bubbles have formed on its surface, which blister when the pancake is turned over.