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Friday, February 14, 2014

Buckwheat Sweet Crepes (Gluten-Free)

When we first went gluten free, I thought I would have to leave some things behind forever. One of my favorite family traditions is to make crepes with a variety of fun toppings for a special occasion breakfast or just a saturday morning. But it seemed impossible to recreate that thin, silky, slightly crisp texture of a crepe in a gluten free form...until I discovered buckwheat.

Buckwheat can have a slightly sour and robust flavor on its own, and so is typically in savory crepes that you might fill with chicken salad, cheesy asparagus and more.

But I wanted to recreate a sweet breakfast crepe, and I'm pleased to say after a lot of experimentation, this recipe definitely does the trick! Cooking with the batter to produce the ideal crepe texture does take a little experimentation and finesse, but I've provided explanation below to help guide you on the way. The keys will be getting the batter the right thinness and the pan the right heat. Once you get that balance you should be able to reliably crank out fantastic crepes!

Just in time for Valentine's Day, here are three of our favorite flavor combos to get you started: 1) Spread with lemon preserve, top with fresh sliced strawberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar. 2) Fill with a medley of fresh fruits and whipped cream, drizzle with honey. 3) Spread with nutella, top with fresh sliced bananas.

1 cup milk (may sub up to 1/4 c for kefir)
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose Gluten-free flour
dash of salt
3 tablespoons melted butter
2.5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Melted butter for the pan (approx 2 tablespoons)

Let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes, up to an hour. May save for up to 48 hours in the fridge. You want the batter considerably thinner than pancake batter. Consider the first few crepes tester crepes until you figure out the right thickness to work with your pan technique to produce the kind of crepes you want. Even the mistakes that rip or are too thick are delicious to eat!

Because they lack gluten, they are more prone to breaking when trying to flip. But if you cook them thinly there is no need to flip, you can cook on one side and they will cook through.

Heat pan on high, then gradually reduce to medium-high. Dip a paper towel into the melted butter and spread some on your pan. Pour a slight half-ladle (approx 1/4 cup) into a small non-stick pan. Holding the pre-heated pan up off the heat, gradually rotate the pan in a gentle circle so the excess batter slowly moves around the pan settling into a well-distributed circle. When no more excess moves as you tilt, place the pan back on the heat.

You'll know the crepe is done when it loses its glossy sheen on top, and the edges brown. Slip a silicone spatula around the edges to loosen (you will also be able to peek for doneness that way). Then invert the pan over a plate to remove (tip: you'll want to invert at a slight angle so it slips off, rather than holding the pan perfectly upside down).

Using your paper towel, spread a little more butter and pour your next crepe. Repeat steps above.

Tip: For a lacier looking crepe, use slightly less batter. That will allow air to bubble through to the top and a slight crisp to form. If you cannot achieve this texture (and you want it) even with using a very small amount of batter, you may need to thin out your batter slightly with a tablespoon of extra water.

Tip: As the pan continues to warm up while you are making crepes, the edges will start to brown more and more in advance of losing the sheen, which is how you will know it is time to turn the heat down a bit more, edging toward medium-high.


Deborah Singer said...

I have SUCH a hard time with crepes, and have been making them using an old blinna recipe that has been passed down for generations, but it's no less easy to work with in the pan. Does the buckwheat hold together well? Are there any secrets to getting the perfect roll to the crepe if you're prone to having them rip early?

Roger Pace said...

I'm trying to work out more and eat healthier but it's way hard to do. One of my main problems is that I don't know what to make or what kinds of recipes that will help me loose weight. This helped a ton though and I hope that I can get started on this right away.

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