Top | Crêpes
Whole Wheat Crêpes
(recipe, Martha Holmberg)
Using whole-wheat pastry flour (instead of regular whole-wheat flour) for these crêpes, which were developed for me by Portland baker and cookbook author Kir Jensen, gives them a nutty, earthy flavor and tender texture. You can find whole-wheat pastry flour in most grocery stores nowadays; look for King Arthur, Bob’s Red Mill, or Arrowhead Mills brands.
I like to use these crêpes in savory recipes with big flavors, like the Spicy Beef Picadillo Crêpes with Chipotle Crema, but they’re delicate enough to taste wonderful in many of the dessert recipes, too. Try them in the Strawberry Crêpes with Brown Sugar–Pecan Streusel and Sour Cream.
- 1½ to 1¾ cups whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup (130 grams) whole-wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
- Freshly ground black pepper (don’t use if you’re making dessert crêpes)
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted (preferably brown butter), plus regular unsalted butter for the pan
- Put 1½ cups of the milk, the eggs, and the salt into a blender. Whiz for a few seconds to blend everything together, then carefully remove the lid and add the pastry and all-purpose flours and two to three grinds of pepper (if using). Cover and blend until very smooth, about 20 seconds. Remove the lid, pour in the melted butter, cover, and whiz until combined, 10 seconds more.
- Transfer the batter to a large glass measuring cup with a spout (or a bowl that’s large enough to easily dip a ¼-cup measuring cup into). Let the batter rest in the refrigerator for at least 5 minutes and up to 24 hours. (If resting for more than 30 minutes, store in the fridge.) When you’re ready to make the crêpes, test the batter’s consistency; it should be as thick as heavy cream but not as thick as pancake batter. If it feels too thick, whisk in up to ¼ cup of the remaining milk.
- Heat an 8-inch crêpe pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle upon contact. Using a folded paper towel, spread about ½ tsp. butter around the interior of the pan. The butter should sizzle upon contact but not instantly turn brown. You don’t want the pan to be so hot that the butter burns.
- Pour about ¼ cup of the batter into the center of the pan, and at the same time lift the pan from the heat, tilting and turning it in all directions so the batter spreads evenly across the bottom of the pan in a thin circle. If the crêpe has any holes in it, quickly add a few drops of batter to fill them in. Or, if you have too much batter and the crêpe looks too thick, immediately pour the excess back into the measuring cup or bowl of batter. You can always trim off the “tail” that’s left behind later.
- Cook the crêpe until the edges begin to dry and lift from the sides of the pan and the bottom is nicely browned, about 1 minute. To check for color, use a table knife, slim offset spatula, or your fingers to lift up an edge of the crêpe and look underneath. When the first side is ready, use the knife, spatula, or your fingers to lift the crêpe and quickly flip it over. Smooth out any folded edges or pleats, then cook until the center is firm and the second side is browned, too, about 30 seconds more. The first side is almost always prettier and more evenly browned (in these recipes, we’ll call that the presentation side), while the second side tends to be more spotty.
- Slide the crêpe from the pan onto a large plate or cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting the heat and wiping the pan with more butter as you cook. You can stack the crêpes on the plate as they’re done.
- If you’re going to store them in the freezer, lay pieces of waxed or parchment paper between them so they don’t stick together. To keep in the fridge, just stack them neatly; no need for the paper separators. (Keep the stacks small if you usually cook for a few people, or make the stack larger if you find yourself cooking for a crowd most nights.) The crêpes will soften as they cool.
To store, wrap the stack in plastic wrap, and then slide it into a large zip-top freezer bag. The crêpes will keep in the fridge like this for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
To thaw, let the stack sit at room temperature until the crêpes are pliable, about an hour, and then peel them apart and proceed with your recipe.