Whole grain breakfast crêpes
Mmmmm....crêpes! I had a love-hate relationship with crêpes. I have very fond memories of ordering crêpes in Paris at a street side crêpe stand on the wonderful and famous Rue Cler. Using my best French, I would order a banana and Nutella crêpe. I would then watch intently as the older gentleman who ran the crêpe stand effortlessly pour and spread the batter, flip the crêpe and then spread the Nutella and slice the bananas and fold and wrap the crêpe and present it to my open hands. All these steps seemed like one fluid motion. In the two weeks that we were in Paris, I visited the crêpe stand on Rue Cler as often as I could.
It was such an incredible experience and I wanted to be able to take this experience home with me. On my trip to the famous Parisian E. Dehillerin cookware shop, I was delighted to find a Staub cast iron crêpe pan (~14" flat round cast iron). Upon returning home, I was so excited to start creating my own crêpe experience, but unfortunately, my new crêpe pan was a bit of a challenge and exercise in frustration. The delicate batter would form a nice thin crepe, but then the crêpe pan didn't want to let go, and resulted in many tattered and torn crêpes. The mere thought of making crêpes made me cringe. The crêpe pan did, however, make great pancakes (a little less delicate).
I'm happy to share that my love of crêpes returned (both eating and making) thanks to some Norwegian influence. I took some lessons in making Norwegian lefse (which is similar to a tortilla), and ended up purchasing a 16” Bethany Heritage lefse grill with a Silverstone coating (from Bed Bath & Beyond). As I don't make lefse very often, I started to look at the lefse grill and wondered about making crêpes (as my wife and kids were always asking for crepes). I bit the bullet, mixed up the crêpe batter (adapted from Ricardo Cuisine), warmed up the lefse grill, and ladled some batter onto the grill and spread it around with the special crêpe batter spreading tool (two dowels that form a T). So far so good...it spread nicely and was steaming perfectly. Now for the moment of truth...flipping the crêpe. Borrowing again from the Norwegian lefse experience, I used the long thin lefse turning stick to pick up the edge of the crêpe and in one fluid motion, flipped it onto the other side...it was perfect...no sticking! This was a huge turning point for me that once again instilled my love of not just eating crêpes, but making them as well. With this success, my next curiosity was to see about making crêpes with the various heritage and ancient grains whole wheat flours. Initially I found that the whole wheat flours made the batter a little more delicate and prone to tear, but I found that replacing some of the milk with sourdough starter, gave the batter a little extra strength (but still made for a soft tender crepe).
I hope that this recipe helps you discover the wonderful experience of crêpes, and in turn, experience the incredible flavours of our phenomenally fresh-milled flours. Crêpes are an excellent (and quick) way to discover the beautiful flavours (and nutrition) of all of our whole grain flours.
Black Fox Flour Super Yummy Whole Grain Breakfast Crêpes
(makes 7 large 16” crêpes)
3 TBSP sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup sour dough starter (doesn't have to be fed first as it's not being used for leaven)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/2 TBSP of melted coconut oil (or melted butter)
Heat the grill to 420 F.
Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium size bowl.
In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, add the milk, sourdough starter, and vanilla extract, and whisk together.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk together until smooth.
Add the melted coconut oil (or butter) and whisk just to blend.
For large crêpes, you can use a soup ladle to place the batter in the centre of the grill. You can use a crêpe batter spreading tool to spread out the batter in a circular motion, until it's no longer wet. Alternatively, you can tilt your pan or grill to spread the batter. After a minute or two, the edge peels off easily from the grill, and you can see the browning underneath. It's now time to flip the crêpe. A long flat stick, or a long spatula can be used to loosen on side and then lift and flip the crêpe. Continue cooking the other side of the crêpe for 10 seconds and then fold the crêpe and remove from pan (to a warming plate in the oven).
Continue to place the rest of the cooked crêpes on the warming plate as you go (which can be covered with aluminum foil to prevent the crêpes from drying out)
Enjoy the crêpes with Nutella, bananas, fresh berries, and maple syrup.
I hope this recipes serves you well and that you try blending the different flours and coming up with your own masterpieces. Please let me know how things work out, and particularly stories of your adventures in making these your own.
Founder, Black Fox Flour