love crêpes, and not just because they taste great plain sprinkled
with granulated sugar, but they are simple in preparation, can be made
ahead, and can be stuffed with just about anything, sweet or savory.
types of flour used in crêpes really depends on what types of
crêpes you'll be making. When making plain crêpes, all purpose
flour is generally used. You can find recipes for buckwheat crêpes
or whole wheat crêpes, and those recipes use buckwheat flour or
whole wheat flour respectively. Some recipes use a combination of specialty
flours and all purpose flour, or pastry flour and all purpose flour.
is no added leavening in crêpes; no baking powder or soda is added
to the batter like regular pancake batters to help them fluff up. Also,
crêpe batter is relatively thin compared to pancake and waffle
batter. This is the key to the crêpes themselves. They are thin
and can easily be formed and be folded in any number of ways after cooking
for holding fillings. Crêpe batter is generally rested to relax
the gluten, and allows for the flour to expand in the batter. This resting
time also gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquids the batter
is mixed with and can intensify flavors a touch. In Paul Bocuse's French
Cooking, he writes:
is important to prepare [the] batter at least 2 hours before using
it; keep it in a warm place to produce an almost imperceptible fermentation.
to resting the batter is that it just plain saves time and makes for
great mise en place for cooking—one more thing to prepare in advance
for you in the kitchen. And while the school of thought is to always
rest the batter, I have made crêpes
successfully without resting the batter when pressed for time, and Jacques
Pepin says on his website that
crêpes do not have to be rested.
mixing, if you notice lumps don't fret: simply strain. I usually strain
my crêpe batter in any case because it seems to help get rid
of any air bubbles that may have formed in the batter. But it isn't
necessary and most recipes do not call for straining.
- If, after resting,
the batter changes consistency and thickens, simply add a touch more
liquid. The optimal consistency is have the batter run like cream.
- When pouring
the batter into the pan, make sure the pan is hot (or you may have
to scrape the bottom to get the crêpe
out). The first one or two made will probably soak up any excess fats
used for greasing the pan, so they will generally be discarded.
not pour too much batter into the pan you're using. The key is thinness
for crêpes, and if too much is added you risk the chance of
having a very heavy, flat pancake. The simple way to know how much
to use is to just do a sample run: place desired amount of batter
onto prepared pan's surface and quickly swirl the pan to get the batter
even. If it's too thick, use less and if doesn't coat the surface,
use a little more. The amount will obviously change with different
sizes of crêpe pans.
finishing a crêpe, place on a towel-covered plate. When making
crêpes for sweet applications, you can sprinkle very lightly
each crêpe with granulated sugar before stacking another fresh
one on top. Any crêpe when being made, should be stacked one
on top of the other as they are being made. You really shouldn't have
any problems with them sticking to one another and it helps keep them
soft and fresh and prevents them from drying for use in your filling
and rolling applications.
can easily be refrigerated or frozen for advanced prep.
making them, you will have an obvious 'presentation' side: the side
that was cooked first. If folding or rolling use that side for the
outside as it is the most attractive.
last thing to know about crêpes is that they are not something
left only for professionals to cook. You should have fun making them.
While the name or cooking technique may be intimidating to those who
have never made them, do not be tempted to purchase frozen crêpes
for use in your cooking. If you want to save time, make your own and
chill/freeze. You and your guests will definitely give thanks for the
extra time cooking them for fresh made crêpes will always taste
better than manufactured, whether or not they are perfect in shape.
are some great online tips and guides for crêpes that I've found.
Maybe one or two will help you. Recipes from various sources are at
- From Jacques
Pepin: Here is Jacques
Pepin's technique and recipe for making crêpes. Also info
on various thin pancakes from other cultures.
Egg Producers, here is how-to's on using the regular and upside-down
versions of crêpe pans, with recipe and tips.
you're just looking for recipes: from RecipeSource, here are many
different recipes to try out, including recipes with curry powder,
aramanth and garbanzo flour, regular and blue cornmeal, liqueurs,
whole wheat and buckwheat flour, cocoa powder, chopped hazelnuts,
Cream of Wheat, beer, herbs, and the list goes on.
Ménagères (Crêpes home style)
from Paul Bocuse's French Cooking (my husband's signed copy, thanks
Mr. Bocuse!). A basic dessert recipe.
2 1/2 c sifted
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c boiled milk (and allowed to cool)
Flavoring, such as dash of orange-blossom water, rum, kirsch or other
Mix the dry ingredients
in a bowl. Add the eggs, mixing each well into the batter before adding
another. Add in the milk in small quantities while beating. Let the
batter rest at least 2 hours. Finish by adding a flavoring just before
is adapted from Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cook Book, and can
be used in a variety of savory applications. His recipe calls for straining
the batter, and doesn't call for letting the batter rest before using
1/2 c flour
1/2 c plus 2 T milk
2 T butter, separated
egg, flour and salt in bowl and beat with whisk, adding in the milk.
Melt 1 T of the butter in a non-stick pan (or your desired crêpe
pan) and pour the melted butter into the mixed crêpe batter. Mix
well. Pour the finished batter into a sieve over a mixing bowl, and
press on any solids with a rubber spatula. Melt the remaking butter
separately and use to brush the surface of the pan as necessary when
recipe uses bread and cake flour, and is an industry recipe. This will
make a little over 4 lbs. of batter: enough for about 50 crêpes.
This is adapted from Professional Baking.
oz bread flour
8 oz cake flour
2 oz sugar
.5 oz salt
12 oz eggs
2 lbs milk
5 oz clarified butter
Sift flours, sugar
and salt into bowl. Add eggs and just enough of the milk to make a soft
paste with the flour; mix well until smooth and lump free. Gradually
stream in the rest of the milk and the clarified butter. If there's
lumps, strain it. It it's too thick add a little water. Let rest 2 hours
recipe comes from The Roux Brothers on Patisserie, and uses cream in
the batter. The suggested flavorings include vanilla, orange blossom
water, lemon zest or Grand Marnier, or they can just be mixed up and
2 1/4 c flour
2 T sugar
2 1/4 c milk, boiled and cooled
7/8 c heavy cream
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, and add the eggs, 2 at a time, mixing
well. Stir in 1/3 of the milk until you have a smooth, homogenous batter,
then add in the cream and the rest of the milk. Leave to rest in a cool
place at least 1 hour before using the batter. When ready to use, stir
in the chosen flavoring, and use clarified butter for the oiling of
Here are two
recipes from old clippings of a newspaper, the food section "FoodDay"
of The Oregonian. Both recipes come from Madeleine Kamman,
Dessert Crêpe Batter
c flour, sifted
c milk, less 2 T
T powdered sugar
T melted butter
T liqueur of choice
Put the dry ingredients
in bowl. Make a well in center, and add eggs and yolks and mix until
the mixture is shiny; do not whip the batter too much. Add the milk
gradually, then the butter and liqueur. The result should be a texture
lighter than heavy cream, and should be strained to remove any lumps.
Let the batter stand for about 15 minutes before using. Stir batter
before making each crêpe. Leftover batter can be stored in refrigerator
for a day.
Savory Crêpe Batter
c flour, sifted
T melted butter
Put the dry ingredients
in bowl. Make a well in center, and add eggs and mix until the mixture
is shiny; do not whip the batter too much. Add the milk gradually, then
the butter. The result should be a texture lighter than heavy cream,
and should be strained to remove any lumps. Let the batter stand for
about 15 minutes before using. Stir batter before making each crêpe.
Leftover batter can be stored in refrigerator for a day.
Paul. Paul Bocuse's French Cooking. New York: Pantheon, 1977.
Craig. The New York Times Cook Book. Revised Ed. New York: Harper,
Wayne. Professional Baking. New York: John Wiley, 1985.
Michel and Albert. The Roux Brothers on Patisserie: Pastries and
Desserts from 3-Star Master Chefs. New York: Prentice, 1986.
"Crêpes." Alberta Egg Producers. Recipe and instructions for crêpes.
Site accessed 31 May, 2006.
from Everyday Cooking." JacquesPepin.net. Info and recipe
for crêpes. Site accessed 31 May, 2006.
Online search results for crepes. Site accessed 31 May, 2006.
Recipes from Madeleine Kamman
clipped and adapted from The Oregonian "FoodDay," no
date, recipe noted from The Making of a Cook by Madeleine Kamman.