Buckwheat crepes always seemed too difficult to make at home – I imagined that there was some secret method that brought out the best of that toasted nutty buckwheat flavor. I tried to make them a few times, but they never tasted quite like the ones I’ve had at small French cafes in New York or even at Suzette, the well-known creperie in Bombay (and yes, Paris is on my travel list and has been for too long). With a freshly milled batch of buckwheat flour, I gave it another few shots and perfected these. The good thing about trying several times and not giving up till you develop the perfect recipe is that you figure out all those seemingly idiosyncratic things that’ll help to make your dish exactly the way you want it.
Thankfully, you can throw all the ingredients together in a large bowl – no need to separate, combine, sift, etc. What you do need to do is give it a good whisk, perhaps more than you might normally whisk something. This helps to create a luscious, uniform batter that won’t have a splotch of yolk or pocket of flour when you’re cooking the crepes.
Letting the batter rest
I found that allowing the batter to rest for about an hour drastically improves the flavor. I tested it out without letting the batter rest – it was still very good, but I preferred the flavor of the rested batter. I read somewhere that you might be able to circumvent this by whisking a little extra or blending in a mixer for a couple of minutes.
Since I used no butter or oil at all in the batter, a little swirl of butter on the pan before cooking is necessary. This helps to create that texture and light buttery flavor you’re looking for. Timing is important – add the butter when you know your pan is already hot and you’re just about the pour your batter onto the pan.
This is probably the most important of all these tips! You need an evenly hot pan to cook your crepes on. Test the heat by sprinkling some water on before adding the butter to see if it dances. There is in fact a just right here – the water should dance just lightly, or your crepes might burn. Lower the heat and allow the crepes to cook well once you’ve ladled the batter onto the pan.
It couldn’t be easier to make these classic French buckwheat crepes if you follow these tips. Choose your toppings and fillings depending on what you have in your pantry. Some of my favorite combinations include spinach and cheese, caramelized onions and mushrooms with rosemary, grilled or sautéed mixed vegetables with fresh pesto. Of course, you can go sweet too with cinnamon and sugar, nutella and bananas and more. The beauty of these crepes is that they’re healthy, filling, delicious and quite well-balanced nutritionally – which make them an option for practically every meal of the day. They work for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert. If you make these healthy buckwheat crepes, I’d love to hear what you think – leave a comment below or get in touch on Instagram @theindiaedition.
- 55-60g or ⅓ cup buckwheat flour
- 40g or ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 eggs
- 80ml milk
- 80-90ml water
- ½ tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp butter for cooking
- Whisk all the ingredients together until combined, and then some more - at least three to four minutes. Alternatively, blend in a mixer/blender. Ideally, let the batter sit in the fridge for about an hour after. If you don't have time to allow that, whisk a couple minutes extra.
- Heat a large skillet (non-stick or cast iron) until it is evenly heated - enough that a few drops of water dance on sprinkling onto the pan.
- Spread about ½ tbsp butter onto the pan using a spatula. Pour enough batter onto the pan, swirling it around quickly to get a uniform circular crepe.
- Lower the heat, allow to cook until lightly browned and flip to allow the other side to cook.
- Flip it back and fill with your favorite toppings: spinach and cheese, mushrooms and caramelized onions, mixed veggies with pesto are just a few options.
Recipe adapted from The New York Times’s recipe for buckwheat crepes