Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Crêpes and their relatives (Eastern European blintzes and palaschinki), thin unleavened pancakes that are cooked on a shallow pan and folded over a filling of some kind, have been made for a thousand years from a simple batter of flour, milk and/or water, and eggs. Their delicacy comes from their thinness. The batter is carefully mixed to minimize gluten formation, allowed to stand for an hour or more to allow the proteins and damaged starch to absorb water and air bubbles to rise and escape, and then cooked for just a couple of minutes per side. In France, the milk in crêpe batter is sometimes partly replaced with beer, and wheat flour with buckwheat, especially in Brittany.