The buckwheat galette (in French galette sarrasin), or simply called galette, is a French gastronomic specialty from Brittany.
It consists of a thin layer of round dough, made from buckwheat flour, eggs and water. In some preparations, milk or beer is also added. The galette is cooked on both sides on a cracker (galetière or crêpière) or a pan and filled to your taste.
Be careful though. A mistake that foreigners often make, considered very serious by the French, is to confuse the buckwheat galette with the crêpe.
Galette vs crêpe
In France, and in particular in Brittany, there are two types of similar preparations:
- The crêpe, based on wheat flour, eggs and water that is generally eaten sweet. To be clear, those of light yellow color that we eat with Nutella or jam;
- The galette, where the wheat flour is replaced with buckwheat flour. The dough has a stronger flavor and is slightly thicker and crisper. It is generally eaten salty and salt is often added to the dough.
The Breton galette
The buckwheat galette was created in the Middle Ages, during the period in which the culture of this black wheat spread. It was eaten naturally instead of bread or soaked in soups.
The first sources that attest this dish date back to the 19th century. It was the forerunner of the wheat-based sweet crêpe, which appeared only at the end of the 19th century because of the high price of wheat.
It is a dish that can be eaten sitting at the table but can also be eaten standing up as street food. You can prepare it at home or eat it at the restaurant, but also buy it in the many kiosks spread throughout the city and enjoy it while walking.
For the filling of this savoury crêpe, everyone can enjoy the flavours they prefer: cheese, cold cuts, eggs, mushrooms, vegetables… But the queen of the galette is only one: “the complete“. Certainly, the most popular in France, it is enriched with grated Emmental, egg, cooked ham, salt and pepper.
If you eat it while sipping a glass of cider, a drink produced abundantly in Brittany, you will feel truly French.
The recipe for the perfect galette
The galette has a quick and easy preparation, but you must take some precautions. For the dough you just need to mix the ingredients with a whisk, being careful not to let lumps form.
To cook the galette in the traditional way you should use a cracker and a small toothless rake, the tool specially designed to distribute the dough. If you do not have them, do not worry. You can use a pan with low edges and roll out the dough by moving the pan and helping with the bottom of a ladle or spatula.
Warning: the French galette is prepared without yeast, leaving it fine and easy to fold. If you wish, you can add a little beer to perfume the dough and make it thicker.
Recipe for 5 people
- Preparation 10 min
- Rest 2 hours
- Cooking time 10 min
For the dough
- 330 g buckwheat flour
- 8 g of salt
- 1 whole egg
- 75 cl cold water
- Cooked ham
- Grated Emmental cheese
Prepare the batter
- In a bowl, pour the flour and salt.
- Make a fountain and break the whole egg in the center.
- Pour 1/3 of water and stir from the center to the edges.
- Add another 1/3 of water and stir again.
- Finish by pouring the rest of the water and stir one last time.
- Store 2 hours in the refrigerator to let the dough rest.
Cook the galettes
- Put the butter in the pan or melt it over medium-low heat.
- If you are preparing the galette in the pan, once the butter has melted, pour in a ladle of batter, then quickly move the pan to spread the batter all over the surface.
- Cook both sides for about 1 or 2 minutes each. To turn the galette upside down, use a spatula to carefully peel off each edge and flip it over quickly enough.
Filling the galettes
- Place the galette on the previously buttered pan, over medium heat.
- Start by adding a handful of Emmenthal.
- Break the egg in the center
- Add a slice of ham
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Fold each edge of the galette to obtain a square.
- Finish cooking by letting it cook for one or two minutes, possibly even covering the pan with a lid. And your galette is ready!
N.B. To cook the egg, place the cheese in a circle and break your egg in the center so that it remains in the middle during cooking.
As with crepes, the first galette is often unsuccessful because it takes some time for the pan to heat evenly and grease well. So don’t get discouraged at the first attempt ?
If you liked this article we are waiting for you on our blog for other incredible recipes and curiosities! And if you pass in one of the cities where we are present, book one of our Food Tour and you will have the opportunity to taste the best typical French recipes.