recipe

Light & Fluffy Crêpes: the Basic Recipe to Make Them in Minutes With Staple Pantry Ingredients!

Total time: 15 min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4-6
By Cookist
28
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Crêpes… those thin, delicate French pancakes that can be enjoyed any time of day. They’re incredibly versatile. They're a fantastic option for a brunch with fresh fruit and maple syrup, a light lunch option filled with ham and cheese, or a decadent dessert drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with nuts.  Making crêpes is surprisingly simple. It all starts with a batter made from just a handful of ingredients: eggs, milk, flour, and a pinch of sugar and salt. The batter is whisked until smooth, then ladled onto a hot pan or griddle where it cooks up thin and lacy. A quick flip, a minute or two on each side, and voila! You have a delicious base for endless creativity.

What Are Crêpes?

Basic crêpes are popular thin, delicate pancakes in French cuisine.  They can be enjoyed as a sweet or savory dish, making them incredibly versatile. The history of crêpes likely stretches back to 13th-century Brittany, France.  One popular story suggests they were born from a happy accident. A housewife supposedly spilled some thin buckwheat porridge onto a hot cooking stone, resulting in the first crêpe! These early crêpes were likely made with buckwheat flour, a common ingredient in Brittany at the time.  Over time, wheat flour became more common, offering a lighter and smoother texture.  By the 15th century, crêpes were a staple food in France, particularly during celebrations like Candlemas (La Chandeleur) on February 2nd.  Traditionally, families would use up leftover winter ingredients by making crêpes, symbolizing the return of the sun and the coming of spring. These days, they are so popular that crêpe restaurants, known as crêperies, are a common sight in France and many other countries. Beyond France, similar thin pancakes can be found all over the world, with variations in name and ingredients. From Hungarian "palacsinta" to Russian "blini," these delightful flatbreads are a testament to the global love affair with crêpes.

Tips

  • Letting your batter rest for at least 30 minutes allows the flour to fully hydrate and the gluten to relax, resulting in light and tender crêpes.
  • Sift your flour to prevent lumps and ensure a smooth batter.
  • Whole milk adds richness, but low-fat or even non-dairy milk can work too. Adjust the consistency with additional milk if needed – the batter should be pourable but not runny.
  • A non-stick pan is ideal for easy flipping, but a well-seasoned cast iron skillet can also work.
  • Once you pour the batter into the hot pan, immediately tilt and swirl the pan to spread the batter into a thin, even circle.

What Kind Of Flour Should I Use?

All-purpose wheat flour is the most common choice for basic crêpes. Buckwheat flour can be used for a more rustic, nutty flavor.

Do I Need To Let The Batter Rest?

While not essential, letting the batter rest for 30 minutes to an hour helps relax the gluten and results in lighter crêpes.

Can I Make Crêpes Ahead Of Time?

Yes! Cooked crêpes can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen for longer.

What Are Some Filling Ideas?

The possibilities are endless! Sweet options include fruit, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or nut butter. Savory fillings can include cheese, ham, vegetables, or eggs.

What's The Difference Between A Crêpe And A Pancake?

Crêpes are thinner and more delicate than pancakes, and they are usually made with buckwheat flour or a combination of wheat flour and buckwheat flour. Pancakes are thicker and denser, and they are typically made with just wheat flour.

Some Ideas to Fill Your Crêpes

Condensed Milk Crepes

Crepe Rolls

Ham and Cheese Crepes

Zucchini Crepes Rolls

How to Store Crêpes

Store leftover crepes stacked with plastic wrap in between, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat them in a pan or microwave.

Ingredients

3 eggs
Flour
160g (1 1/4 cups)
Milk
360g (1 1/2 cups)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of sugar
Hazelnut cream
Powdered sugar

How To Make Light & Fluffy Basic Crêpes

Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together.

Sift in the flour gradually, folding it in with a spatula until just combined. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking continuously to prevent lumps. Finally, add a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of sugar, whisking until the batter achieves a smooth and creamy consistency.

Place the crepe pan over medium heat. Once hot, add a small pat of butter, swirling it around the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Using a ladle, scoop up some batter and pour it into the hot pan.

Immediately tilt and swirl the pan to spread the batter into a thin, even circle. Let the crepe cook for a minute or so, until the edges begin to turn golden brown and the center looks set.

Gently slide a spatula under the crepe and carefully flip it over. Cook for another 30 seconds or so.

Spread a generous dollop of hazelnut cream onto the center of your crepe.

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