buckwheat crêpes

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There is something about gluten-free baking that just seems like so much work.  I realize this may sound a little weird coming from me, as I typically tend to gravitate toward things that require more work.  However, the long lists of various flours, the weird-sounding ingredients (what is xanthan gum?) and the fear that whatever I bake won’t taste anything like what I used to bake has prevented me from baking much at all since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

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But, as with most things, the challenge of gluten-free baking has become a motivation of its own.  When I was first diagnosed, I simply avoided baking altogether.  Then, when a friend offered to bake something together, we made lemon bars.  And when my brother came to visit, I made brownies.  At some point (and we’re still in the beginning stages of this), I decided that instead of avoided flour all together, I should start learning about all the other options out there.   Reading Shauna’s Guide to Gluten Free Baking was inspiring and I felt like she had written it just for me.

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Don’t be fooled.  I didn’t run off and buy teff flour and guar gum and millet flour and arrowroot to make a three tiered celebration cake.  I bought some buckwheat flour and made some crêpes.  And they were great, really.  The texture was spot-on.  The flavor, different, but good different.  They were a little nutty and so delicious slathered in peanut butter or nutella or covered in syrupy berries.  It might be awhile before I plunge into gluten-free cakes, but I’m happy for now, with these crepes and a few other gluten-free goodies tucked in my back pocket for when the itch to bake creeps up.

buckwheat crêpes
yield: about 8 crêpes

recipe notes:  A note that Shauna made, and that I would second, is to weigh the flour.  8 oz of milk is 1 cup of milk and most liquid measuring cups will have the 8 oz level marked.  Also, as Shauna notes, the only really important thing here is the 2:1:1 ratio of liquid:egg:flour.  I have not tried any other options besides the one listed below, but in theory you could use any liquid (almond milk, soy milk, heavy cream).

These keep well, on a plate in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap for a few days.  I ate one cold for breakfast for the three days after I made them (I’m sure you could toss them in a heated pan or zap in them in the microwave for a short time to heat them up, if you wish).  Some of the fillings I liked were cream cheese + jam (mix them together first, then spread) & peanut butter + sliced bananas.  I have yet to use them in savory way for lunch or dinner, but I’ve got a few ideas I’d like to try (see links below).

Finally, the cooking can be tricky.  Don’t be discouraged.  It takes awhile to get the hang of it and get the temperature of the pan just right.  The video on gluten-free girl and the chef may help.

8 ounces milk
4 large eggs
4 ounces buckwheat flour
good pinch kosher salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil (I used butter, you could also use olive oil)

1.  make the crêpes:  Whisk together milk & eggs.  Add the buckwheat flour, pinch in the salt.  Whisk everything together fully.  Make immediately, if you wish, or let it sit in the fridge a few hours (or overnight).  Make sure to whisk again before cooking as the starches in the buckwheat flour tend to sink to the bottom.

2.  cook the crêpes:  Set a large cast-iron skillet (I used a non-stick) over low heat and slowly bring it up to medium-high heat.  Put some of the butter (or oil) in the hot skillet.  When the oil has melted, swirl in some of the batter (I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure it out).  Tilt the skillet back and forth until the batter covers the entire surface.  When the edges are set and starting to curl up from the pan, about 30 – 60 seconds, run a spatula (use rubber if it’s a non-stick pan!) under all the edges of the crêpe.  Flip and cook for another 30 seconds then turn onto a cutting board or plate.

source: gluten-free girl and the chef

crêpes, elsewhere:
– sweet crepes recipe (not gf) with lots of ideas for fillings by 101cookbooks
– sugar plum crepes with ricotta and honey by smitten kitchen
– 11 Best Sweet & Savory Crepe Recipes at Foodista

 

 

 

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