In the eastern part of Brittany, France, they use the word “Galette” to mean savoury crêpes (pancakes) with buckwheat flour.
These buckwheat pancakes are made with just three ingredients only: buckwheat flour, water and salt as ingredients (though in some parts of Brittany, such as Cotes d’Armor, up to 10% wheat flour is also snuck in.) They usually have just one side thoroughly cooked; the other side may or may not have a few seconds on the griddle. In any event, the pancake is not meant to be completely browned, as it is returned to the griddle with toppings or fillings.
They are usually used as a savoury, rather than a dessert dish, with savoury fillings such as apple, bacon, cheese, eggs, ham, mushrooms, etc.
The topping or filling is made first, then a stack of pancakes, then the pancakes are wrapped around the fillings and are returned to the griddle for a few moments.
- One with ham, egg and cheese is called a “galette complète.” The edges of the pancake are folded up around the ham and cheese, leaving an open square in the middle. It’s then placed onto the griddle, and the egg is cracked into the opening, being allowed to cook as one would a “sunny side up” fried egg.
- Galette au beurre means just garnished with melted butter
- Galette soubise is garnished with browned onions
- Galette saucisse is wrapped around a sausage. It is meant to be held and eaten out of hand.
In the eastern part of Brittany, the word “crêpe” indicates a pancake made with white flour, meant to be used as a dessert. Some people though now are starting to make buckwheat galettes for dessert dishes, blurring the distinction.
In the western, Breton-speaking part of Brittany, the word “krampouezhenn” is used, for sweet or savoury crepes, made either with buckwheat or wheat flour.
In southern Brittany, people prefer their Galettes crispy; in the northern part, the preference is for softer (“moelleuse”.)
Pros recommend to make a buckwheat flour, salt and water paste, let it stand overnight, then the next day to thin it out with more water to pouring consistency. The griddle is called a “billig.”
Liebowitz, David. Pimping My Crêpes. Living the Sweet Life in Paris. February 2009. Retrieved August 2010 from http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2009/02/pimping_my_crepes.html