Ever since my 3-week elimination diet, I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with various flours. Gluten-free cooking can seem intimidating to many, especially considering the abundance of overly-complicated gluten-free recipes floating around on the interweb. Tapioca starch? Xanthan gum? Gelatin? Sure, all these ingredient can have their place, but is it really necessary in recipes that never require gluten in the first place?
One of these grain-based dishes that requires no gluten is crepes.
Basically they’re really thin pancakes with a greater ratio of liquid to dry ingredients. Ever recall being told not to over-stir your pancakes? That’s because you don’t want to activate the gluten. For pancakes (and crepes), gluten=bad.
Which makes gluten-free crepe-making a cinch.
Did you know most baking recipes can be broken down into ratios? I’ve been experimenting with Michael Rulhman’s ratios for baking, substituting different flours and liquids in my recipes. And every recipe I’ve developed based on these ratios has turned out far better than the original, individual recipes I’ve found! The basic ratio for a crepe is 2 parts liquid, 2 parts egg, and 1 part flour (ALL BY WEIGHT. DO NOT NEGLECT THIS OR YOUR RECIPES WILL SUFFER A HORRIFIC AND GROTESQUE DEATH). Additional stuff (vanilla, salt, etc.) added at whim over and above the initial ratio.
I decided to experiment with buckwheat crepes.
I started off by grinding (in a coffee grinder) 2 ounces of raw buckwheat groats into flour. Do not use pre-ground buckwheat flour. Usually that stuff is pre-toasted and has this really intense earthy (read: dirt) taste that overwhelms the palette. I usually find recipes that include it cut the total flour with regular wheat flour. We aren’t using wheat because we don’t need it. Right? RIGHT!?
I then mixed in two eggs (eggs are about two ounces each), 4 ounces of rice milk, and a sprinkle of kosher salt.
Mix until smooth. You don’t have to worry about over-mixing since it’s gluten free!
Now here’s the trick for crepes. You need to allow the flours to soak. Let the batter sit for a good 30 minutes. Your patience will be rewarded with a silky batter.
Rub a non-stick skillet with oil and heat to about medium-heat.
Ladle about 3-4 oz of batter into the middle of the pan and QUICKLY tilt the pan all around so the batter spreads to the edges of the pan. It will set quickly, so this must be done with haste.
When the bottom is set (you should be able to lift the crepe off the bottom of the pan with a spatula), carefully flip with a spatula, taking care not to tear the crepe. Let it cook on the other side for about a minute.
I filled my crepe with Nutella, sprinkled it with powdered sugar, and called it good. But I imagine these would taste pretty awesome filled with herbed goat cheese and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.
Ooh la la…
Have you ever eaten a crepe? I had a banana-Nutella crepe in Prague. OMG.