I’m still dreaming of my French holiday. My body is back home for sure but my mind is still soaring somewhere over de French countryside. Maybe that’s why I decided to make these galettes sarrasin for breakfast last week. Like every day last week. And I’m planning on making them again this week. So yes, I’m hooked on these French buckwheat pancakes with summerfruit!
A couple of years ago I discovered the French brand of bakery products Francine. Isn’t this amazing? I have my very own brand of French bakery products! As a matter of fact in France I am a brand. A brand that actually sells buckwheat flour. Wow that’s right up my alley for real! So I just had to take some packages home with me. Every package of Francine bakery products has one or two recipes on it. This is therefore a genuine French pancake recipe. The only Dutch thing I added is the sweet toppings instead of the French savoury ones. And instead of folding them like an envelope as the French do, I rolled them like a wrap as we Dutch people like to do (and then we like to eat them with our hands but let’s not go into uncivilized, childish Dutch eating habits right now…)
In French they call buckwheat flour ‘farine de sarrasin’: Saracen flour. This current name is connected with the early buckwheat trade routes. Buckwheat originally comes from Asia, from the Chinese region of Manchuria, and at the end of the 14th century buckwheat found its way to Western Europe through three different roads. The first road was through the northern Arctic Ocean on merchant ships owned by the Hanse. The second, eastern road, led the buckwheat through present-day Germany and Poland where it was called ‘Heidenkorn’ or ‘Pohanka’. The third road, the southern one, travelled through the Indian and Atlantic Ocean and provided buckwheat as ‘Saracen flour’ or ‘Moresque flour’.
Many people think buckwheat is a grain but the little pyramid-shaped groats are actually a seed. Traditionally buckwheat is used for baking pancakes – so I’m definitely on the right track with this one! In Eastern Europe as well as in Russia ‘kasja’ is the collective noun for all the dishes with buckwheat. Asian recipes, especially Japanese, use buckwheat to make noodles. Furthermore you have buckwheat beer: a variation of wheat beer. So the versatility of buckwheat is never-ending!
Until the Second World War buckwheat was intensively cultivated in Europe. Buckwheat was a godsend for poor farmers for the seed was cheap and the produce was relatively well. But buckwheat has one great disadvantage: it’s hypersensitivity to cold. One mild night frost can be enough to totally destroy one year’s harvest. Because of this disadvantage the cultivation of buckwheat has almost completely disappeared in Western Europe after 1945. These days only farmers in France and Poland dare to sow buckwheat.
Earlier this year during Pentecost I wrote about the Perfect Pentecost Pancakes. Consider this recipe to be the Perfect Pentecost Pancakes Part 2. Because of their acquired taste the Pentecost pancakes never really became a beloved part of our household. Believe me, I tried for months but every time I announced I would be making the Pentecost Pancakes in spite of their great nutritious values I received the stare of death. But it’s no use crying over sour milk so I decided to alter the recipe and make some new friends at home.
As I said I had these pancakes for breakfast last week and I must say after such a delightful breakfast as this you really need to try hard to have a bad day. So make these and have a great day. And again. And again. And…. Again! You can choose any summer fruit you love for toppings and you can garnish them with honey, maple syrup, or ginger syrup. And for a seriously great day you can decorate them with edible flowers and pomegranate seeds.
Recipe Galettes Sarrasin d’Été / Buckwheat Pancakes with Summer Fruit
Makes 10-12 pancakes
330 gr farine de sarrasin / buckwheat flour
750 ml water
Summer fruit toppings
Choose the ripest summer fruit you can find or use whatever’s coming out of your kitchen garden. If you want you can also use some fresh herbs. Here are some inspirational combinations:
Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries with fresh mint
Wild peaches, nectarines, and blackberries with fresh basil
Garnish and decoration
A couple of tablespoons of honey, maple syrup, or ginger syrup
Edible flowers (for instance: violets, marigolds, cornflowers, lavender, roses, or daisies)
1. In a large bowl mix flour and water, stir well. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
2. Take the batter out of the fridge, stir well. In a very hot skillet over medium heat bake the pancakes in a little bit of oil until they’re golden on each side.
3. Fold the pancakes like an envelope or roll them up and decorate them. Let’s celebrate the summer!