Just in case you can’t make it to a Paris crêperie this weekend, why not practice your crepe twirling and flipping skills in your own kitchen? They’re surprisingly easy to make, and they taste decadent wrapped around fresh sweet strawberries and creamy Greek yogurt. This recipe comes from the Hodgson Mill Whole Grain Baking Book. This classic baking book has over 400 recipes, 100 of which are gluten free. I’m having a lot of fun exploring it!
These crepes are made almost completely with Hodgson Mill Buckwheat Flour, which imparts a fragrant, earthy, flowery flavor and smooth delicate texture to these versatile crepes. It’s also a naturally gluten-free flour. I made two batches of crepes side by side, one using Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour as the complement, and one using Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Baking Mix, and both were equally great successes. So you can choose your own crepe-making adventure.
Buckwheat is a naturally gluten-free grain, however, Hodgson Mill Buckwheat flour is not certified gluten-free right now because it may have gluten residue from the milling and packaging equipment it shares with our other wheat products. Therefore, it may not be suitable for anyone with celiac disease. But if you don’t have an out-and-out allergy, it’s a low-gluten alternative grain that tastes great. (Gluten-free eaters needn’t worry; any of Hodgson Mill’s products certified gluten free have been milled and packaged solely in dedicated gluten-free facilities.)
Start out by mixing the flours and salt in a large bowl. Below, you can see the batch made with gluten-free baking flour on the left, and the batch made with wheat flour on the right. Add the wet ingredients (eggs, butter and milk) and whisk together, then cover the batter and let it sit for two hours or overnight in the fridge.
Don’t skimp on this resting step, because resting the batter allows the flour’s starch molecules to absorb more liquid and helps make the batter smooth and cohesive; it’s what gives crepes their delicate paper-thin texture instead of being chewy and thick and fluffy like buckwheat pancakes. Besides, while you wait, you can prepare the balsamic strawberries.
You have to make hay when the sun shines, and when strawberries are ripe, they must be eaten quickly. Once you’ve had enough of eating them straight from the bowl, macerating them with balsamic vinegar and honey deepens their sweetness and rich berry taste, and is a great way to eke out an extra day or two of freshness for delicate ripe berries.
Wash them, hull them, and cut them into bite-sized pieces—I like to quarter them, and then cut the quarters in half. Stir the berries together with balsamic vinegar and honey and let sit one hour at room temperature or several hours in the fridge.
Back to the crepes: when the batter has rested, give it a stir, since some of the flour might have settled. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add a tiny amount of oil or butter, then ladle ¼ cup of batter into the center, lifting and twirling the pan to spread it to a thin, 8-inch circle.
When the edges are opaque and dry-looking, after about 30 seconds, it’s time to flip it over for an extra 20 seconds to finish the other side. That’s it!
You can see the gluten-free crepe on the left, and the wheat-flour crepe on the right. I believe they worked equally well – though clearly I need to work on my crepe-twirling skills . . . oh well, it’s still delicious.
Fill each crepe with Greek yogurt and a scoop of macerated strawberries, roll it up, top with a drizzle of honey, and dig in.
French Country Buckwheat Crepes with Balsamic Strawberry Filling
From the Hodgson Mill Whole Grain Baking Book, page 410
¾ cup Hodgson Mill Buckwheat Flour
¼ cup Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour, or Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Baking Mix
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
¼ cup butter (1/2 stick), melted
1 ¼ cup whole milk
Vegetable oil or butter for the pan
1 pound strawberries, washed, hulled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar (preferably aged)
1 Tablespoon honey
1-2 cups plain Greek yogurt
⅛-¼ cup honey for topping (optional)
Combine flours and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, butter and milk until it forms a smooth batter. Cover and let rest 2 hours or overnight in fridge.
Wash, hull and cut strawberries into bite-sized pieces. Toss with 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 Tablespoon honey and let sit for at least one hour, up to overnight in refrigerator.
Oil a large skillet or crepe pan and place over medium high heat. Ladle ¼ cup of batter at a time into skillet. Lift and tilt skillet to swirl batter to 8-inch diameter. Cook until edges turn opaque and dry, about 1 minute, then turn and cook other side for 20 seconds. Transfer to platter. Cover each crepe with waxed or parchment paper until ready to serve.
To fill crepes, place about 1/4 cup of strawberry filling and about 3 Tablespoons of Greek yogurt down center of each crepe. Fold sides over and serve seam-side down. Top with a drizzle of honey and more strawberry filling if desired.
Yield: 8-10 crepes, or 4-5 servings
Note: Keeps in fridge 1-2 days if each crepe is separated by waxed or parchment paper and sealed tightly with plastic wrap. Reheat on low skillet or in microwave.