Rick Stein's Buckwheat Crepes with Eggs and Mushrooms

Rick Stein's savoury buckwheat crepes, as seen on his BBC2 series, Rick Stein's Secret France, are a French classic packed with mushrooms, cheese and an oozing egg.

Rick Stein’s Secret France
A culinary journey across France with Rick Stein
All of your favourite recipes from the BBC series
Secret French recipes alongside authentic classics

Introduction

You might think that buckwheat galettes are native to Brittany and Normandy, but the inhabitants of the Auvergne would also claim ownership. This recipe comes from the town of Salers, famous for its cheese which is similar to Cantal but made only from the milk of cows grazing on mountain pastures in the summer. The town itself is extraordinary. As I’ve said elsewhere, no part of France is really that secret, but when I arrived in Salers on a sunny morning last June it felt like I’d just landed somewhere in Ruritania. There didn’t seem to be a house in the central square that hadn’t been transformed into some sort of castle by the addition of round towers or turrets. For lunch, we all ordered these hearty, yeasted pancakes. Exceptionally good though they were, none of us could finish them, so I’ve slightly reduced the amount of the delicious cheese that’s part of any savoury dish in the area.

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the batter:
90g buckwheat flour
90g plain flour
½ tsp salt
6g fast-action dried yeast
1 large egg
325ml whole milk
225ml warm water
rapeseed oil, for greasing
For the filling:
4 large flat mushrooms, wiped and sliced
2-3 tsp butter or olive oil
150-200g Cantal, Comté or Gruyère cheese, finely grated
4 eggs
a few flatleaf parsley sprigs, roughly chopped
black pepper

Instructions

Begin by making the batter. Pour the buckwheat and plain flours into a bowl and add the salt and dried yeast. Make a well in the centre, break in the egg and whisk it into the flour. Then whisk in the milk and warm water to make a smooth batter. Cover and leave in a warm place to allow the batter to rise for an hour or so – it should be frothy and sweet-smelling.

Fry the mushrooms in the butter or olive oil until tender, then set aside. Heat a 26–28cm non-stick frying pan and wipe it with a little oil. Stir the batter to make sure it is well combined.

Pour in enough of the batter to coat the base of the pan and cook the pancake over a medium-high heat for 2–3 minutes until it’s golden brown and easily releases from the pan. Flip the pancake over – be careful, as these can be fragile. Break an egg into the centre of the pancake, then surround it with a quarter of the cheese. Cook until the white has set and then create a square by folding in the edges of the circle, leaving the centre open. Scatter some of the mushrooms over the egg and cheese.

Slide the pancake on to a large baking sheet and keep it warm in a low oven while you make the rest in the same way. Season the pancakes with plenty of black pepper and sprinkle with parsley, then serve with a soft green salad or wilted spinach.

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