Breton buckwheat pancakes with ham and cheese

Low G.I breakfast recipe

Despite its name, buckwheat, or sarrasin, is a member of the rhubarb family and has absolutely nothing to do with wheat. It is naturally gluten-free and has a deliciously sweet, nutty flavor. It is traditionally used in Brittany in "galettes au sarrasin", or buckwheat pancakes. Breton galettes can be filled with any number of fillings.

 

Breton buckwheat pancakes with ham and cheese

You could try this recipe with traditional savory fillings — slices of brie, goats' cheese, smoked salmon, caramelized onions or eggs, but I think they are also delicious with sweet fillings — bananas and syrup

is one of my favorites.

The Bretons not only tend to make their galettes with dry Breton cider rather than milk and water, but they also wash them down with a few glasses of the delicious nectar. By all means try this, but not if you are about to go to the gym or run a half-marathon. This is my non-alcoholic breakfast version.

Buckwheat is a very good source of manganese, magnesium and dietary fiber. It contains flavenoids and good quality protein and is said to control blood sugar levels. It certainly keeps you full of energy for hours. As with traditional pancakes, the batter is lighter if you leave it to rest for a while.

Method

1. Mix the two flours together (the addition of plain wheat flour improves the texture of the galettes. If you want to make the pancakes gluten-free, just use 150g buckwheat flour instead), add a pinch of salt and make a small well in the center for the egg.

2. Break the egg into the mixture and then add the milk and ½ the water.

3. Beat together with an electric hand whisk until the mixture is nice and smooth. Mix in the rest of the water and the melted butter. The mixture should be the consistency of thin cream.

4. If possible, leave the mixture to rest for a few hours or overnight.

5. Heat a pancake pan or large non-stick frying pan. Add a knob of butter and move the pan around so that the butter melts to cover the base of the pan. Add a small ladleful of the batter and quickly swirl it around so that you have a very thin layer of batter covering the whole of the pan. You can use a palette knife or an egg slice if you have one to spread out the mixture. Let this cook for two minutes over a medium heat, or until it comes away easily from the pan when you shake it. Then toss the pancake over and cook for a minute or two on the other side.

6. Flip the pancake back over and then pop a very small knob of butter, a thin slice of ham and a tablespoon of grated cheese onto one half of the pancake.

7. Fold the plain half of the pancake over the filling and then fold in half again and cook on a very gentle heat for a minute or two to melt the cheese.

Ingredients

For the batter:

  • 100g buckwheat flour
  • 50g flour, wholemeal or plain
  • 30g melted, salted butter
  • 1 fresh, free-range egg
  • 200ml water
  • 100ml semi-skimmed milk
  • Scant pinch of salt
  • Butter to cook

For the filling:

  • 6-7 thin slices of cooked ham
  • 200g grated cheeseemmental, gruyere or cheddar

Vital Statistics

Serves: 6-7 galettes
Preparation: 5 minutes, plus a few hours to let the batter rest (optional)
Cooking: A few minutes per pancake
Difficulty: Easy
Good for: A low-G.I. nutritious breakfast or Sunday morning brunch, will keep you sustained for hours. Also nice as a light evening meal with a green salad

Calories (kcal): 295.5
Protein (g): 14.5
Carbs (g): 21.3
Fat (g): 17.4
Fiber (g): 0.5

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