Part 1 : HISTORY
Crêpe is derived from the Latin crispus meaning “curled”. Crêpes originated from Brittany, West region of France. Crêpes were originally called Galettes, meaning flat cakes.
Around the 12th century, buckwheat ; Sarrasin was introduced in Brittany and came from Asia via the Crusaders during the 12th century. Buckwheat thrived on the desolate and rocky Breton moors and is called “sarrasin” or “blé noir” (black wheat) due to the dark specs that are often found in it. It is high in fiber and is an excellent plant source of easily digestive protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. Another benefit is that it is gluten free.
Breton galettes were invented by a particular “Chef Cook”, in the person of The Duchess Anne de Bretagne since early 16th century. As she knew of the fast and natural growth about this Cereal called Sarrasin ; also known as “ the Plant of 100 days growth” , she decided to sow the precious seeds across the Duchy of Brittany. That is the reason why, from that time, the “galette au blé noir” was born and became a Breton speciality.
White flour « sweet » crêpes appeared early 20th century when white wheat flour which formerly had been as expensive as sugar, honey or meat, became affordable. White flour crêpes are more thin than buckwheat crêpes, these are made of flour, eggs, sugar, milk, and salted butter.
Crêpes making were cooked on large cast-iron hot plates heated over a wood fire in a fireplace to hot plates.
The batter is spread with a tool known as a rozel and flipped with a spatula. In Brittany, crêpes and galettes are traditionally served with Cider.
In the feast of the Candlemas, not only do the French eat a lot of crêpes throughout the year:) and especially on that particular day called Fête de la Chandeleur. On February 2, anyone in France celebrate the Candlemas, Fête de la Chandeleur, Fête de la Lumière, or “jour des crêpes”. On that day, while making galettes or crêpes, The Breton tradition is that you hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other, and flip the crêpe into the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year. Great news!
Place most of the cold water and the salt in a large bowl and stir to blend well. Add buckwheat flour and whisk until the texture of the batter is like a ribbon when you lift the whisk. If necessary, add a little extra water ( please note Salted butter is essential ingredient for delicious flavor).
Mix in salted butter until well incorporated. Cover batter and rest in the fridge for about 4 hours.
Spread enough of the batter in a hot frying pan to cover the base very thinly. When the base is dry, lower heat and rub the top with a piece of extra butter.
Add an egg in the centre and spread the white all over the pancake, keeping the yolk intact. Sprinkle the crêpe with grated cheese and top with a slice or two of ham.
Using a spatula, carefully fold the sides of the crêpe towards the yolk to form a square. Cook for an extra 1–2 minutes and serve.
Et Voilà, Bon Appétit!