Saturday, February 2, 2013

Spelt Crepes

I raced to get all the bread baked by a certain time.  Cookie dough made, spelt cupcakes made.  Before hitting the midday gigantic pile of doughy giant bowls, I pulled out the Julia Child Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1, turned to the crepe recipe, grabbed the blender and the freshly milled spelt, some milk, some eggs, some melted butter and water, a pinch of salt.

I figured the batter could rest while I scrubbed pots and pans.

There wasn't time to mill buckwheat to try a side by side experiment.

After the dough bowls were washed and the many dozens of cookies baked, I pulled out the 9 inch stainless steel fry pan, turned on the pretty much defective electric stovetop, waited the several minutes for it to heat up, and then got to making crepes.

We have made crepes before, it really isn't terribly novel, but nevertheless, the kids and I were excited to see how spelt worked.

I swirled the VERY liquidy batter around in the lightly buttered skillet, watched the edges crisp, and then, trying hard to replicate Julia's two handed method, VERY gently grasped the edge of the crepe with my fingertips, flipped, and voila.  Within seconds we had a perfectly executed crepe.

I can't imagine why anyone would want a white flour crepe when the spelt one had such a rich flavor.

Maggie grabbed on, filled it with raw honey, rolled it up and pronounced it good.  The other girls had theirs with jam.  I sold a stack to a customer, and saved the rest for us, because I want to make myself a stack filled with greens I will procure from the farmer's market this morning.  Cooked in a white sauce.  Perhaps we will treat ourselves to some mushrooms.

If inclined, I will mill some buckwheat and try the same recipe with the buckwheat flour, since that is the traditional flour used in savory crepes in Brittany.  I can still remember the lunch we had twenty something years ago in Bretagne, a tiny little shop, twisty street little village, the rustic tables, cider, and hearty crepes with ham and cheese and delectable little mushrooms.

Will let you know how the buckwheat turns out.  I have a sneaking suspicion that a combination of spelt and buckwheat are going to prove my favorite.  I guess that the two flours together will make a great dual purpose crepe for this big family of mine, half of us with sweet tooth, wanting apples and nutella, the other half wanting salty, cheesy, bitter greens.

PS  I used the recipe for savory crepes.  The stainless steel pan worked perfectly.  I did not have to butter it between crepes.  I don't own a nonstick the right size for a crepe.  The omelet pan would probably have worked, but the 9 inch turned out lovely crepes that will serve well as an entree.  I placed the hot crepe on a rack for a few minutes to cool, then stacked them all up.  Swirling the batter properly wasn't as effortless as I imagined.  I did have a few weird shapes when I didn't swirl quickly as I should have.  There is a knack to the execution.  And I did pinch off the edge of the crepe occasionally, if I didn't pull the crepe over with both fingers with precision.  But as Julia suggests in her show, just flip that part onto the bottom, cover it up with something good and no one will know the difference!

I had better end this post, get to the market to procure my veggies and milk.  I am hungry.  Crepes for lunch?

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