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Create a simple, savory galette

Gretchen McKay
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS)

Crepes are an easy, elegant breakfast for long, lazy weekends, but this winter, why not try a galette? Not the free-form, rustic French pastry that’s typically served for dessert, but a savory pancake made with buckwheat flour and filled with meat and dairy.

This classic galette from French chef/restaurateur Bertrand Larcher’s new book, “Crepes and Galettes from the Breizh Cafe,” is one for your recipe files. Consider it the Parisian version of America’s ham, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. It uses the same ingredients but somehow feels (and looks) so much more sophisticated. It’s very simple, and very delicious.

I used gluten-free buckwheat flour (available in the organic section at large grocery stores), and substituted Gruyere. If you like, you can add an egg to the batter to make it smoother.

Galette Complete

For batter

51/2 cups stone-ground buckwheat flour

6 cups water, divided

21/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

For filling

2 tablespoons butter

1 egg

1/2 cup grated Comte or other semi-firm cow’s milk cheese

2 ounces ham

Make batter: Combine buckwheat flour, salt and 4 cups water, and mix until smooth. Work batter by hand, beating in as much air as possible. Bubbles should appear on the surface. Chill overnight, or at least 3 hours.

Add remaining 2 cups water, then bring the batter to room temperature for at least 1 hour before making the galette. But if you must rush, that’s OK. If it seems thick, add a little more water.

Make galettes: Heat a flat, round, cast-iron griddle (known as a billig) or shallow frying pan. When pan is sizzling hot, wipe with a little lard or butter. Pour 2/3 cup batter onto pan and swirl with a wooden spreader, then spread with half the butter.

Break egg in the middle of the galette, spreading the white around to separate it from the yolk. Add grated cheese and top with ham.

Fold galette into a rectangle and let cook for 3 more minutes. Spread with remaining butter and serve.

Each pan makes 1 galette.

— Adapted from “Crepes and Galettes from the Breizh Cafe” by Bertrand Larcher (Jacqui Small, September 2015, $29.99)