I have been playing around with a gluten-free crepe recipe for the past few weeks. And this is what I have finally come up with. I prefer to soak and ferment grains and grain-based foods wherever possible. It is a process that makes digestion a whole lot more fun for this dodgy tummy of mine.
Soaking and fermenting grains is a traditional practice that is done throughout many different cultures around the world. This process not only makes these foods more easily digested and absorbed, but also far more nutritious (and delicious!).
Grains (and seeds and nuts) contain enzyme inhibitors, such as phytic acid. These acids keep the grains from sprouting until given the right environment. Hence why you don’t have a cupboard full of sprouting seeds and nuts and grains (unless you are in my kitchen, in which case my cupboards and benches are full of all things sprouting, because I like to pretend I am a scientist).
These enzyme inhibitors bind to minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc. Phytic acid is like a magnet for these minerals. When this acid is present in our foods it sticks to these minerals and prevents our bodies from absorbing them. Over time this can cause our systems to be deficient in these essential nutrients.
When we soak and ferment the grains, naturally present yeasts and bacteria break down the phytic acid and other enzyme inhibitors over several hours or days (a minimum of about 7 hours is needed). This process makes the minerals and vitamins in the foods available for the body to absorb. It can also help to cause less digestive discomfort.
These crepes are very easy to make. And with a well-seasoned skillet or non-stick frying pan they hold together just like a normal crepe when cooking. They are soft and delicious and no one will ever know they are gluten-free. I served these with a lemon-blueberry sauce and probiotic-rich Kefir Sour Cream from Sarah’s blog Cultured.kiwi. But whipping cream also does the trick when you need something quick!
Prepare the first part of the batter at least 8 hours before you want to cook them to allow for a decent fermentation. I usually use a gluten-free sourdough starter or milk kefir to ferment with, but raw kombucha, water kefir and probiotic yogurt also work well as a starter culture. If you haven’t got any of these fermented goodies, just use warm water in place of them as the naturally present yeasts and bacteria in the flours will go to work all on their own.
Sourdough Buckwheat Crepes - Gluten Free
The night before:
3/4 cup buckwheat flour * (see note below)
1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch
2 TBLS bubbly gluten-free sourdough starter** (see note below)
1/2 cup warm water (not hot)
In the morning:
3 large free range eggs
2 TBLS melted coconut oil, butter or ghee – cooled
3/4 to 1 cup milk (or coconut milk or other nut milk)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional – omit for savoury crepes)
pinch of sea salt
Butter, Ghee or Coconut Oil for frying
- The night before, place buckwheat flour, tapioca flour, active sourdough starter and warm water into a glass bowl or jar and stir vigorously for 30 seconds to mix and incorporate air. Cover with a tea towel and leave to ferment overnight.
- In the morning, in a separate bowl or large measuring cup whisk together eggs, melted coconut oil or butter, milk, vanilla extract and sea salt. Whisk well until combined thoroughly.
- Stir sourdough batter, which may be bubbly and have risen significantly or just a little. Pour in the wet egg/milk mixture and whisk well to combine. You may need to add a small amount of milk a TBLS at a time to get a slightly thinner consistency. But this mixture will be a thin, pourable pancake consistency rather than a standard very thin crepe batter consistency.
- Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Lightly grease the skillet/pan with butter/ghee or coconut oil before pouring in each crepe.
- Pour about a 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and gently swirl/tilt the pan around to evenly distribute the batter around the entire surface of the pan (I’m assuming you are using a medium-sized pan and not some gargantuan pan – otherwise, use your judgement on size). Cook until the edges and bottom start to go golden (about 60-90 seconds) and then flip to cook the other side (using an average to wide spatula). I also find I have to use my fingers along with the spatula (carefully) sometimes to help lift the edge for the first flip. Once both sides are cooked and lightly golden, remove crepe from pan and place on a parchment-lined plate in a warm oven. Repeat with the remaining crepe batter and stack crepes on top of one another as they come out of the pan.
*You can use 1/2 cup +1 TBLS fine brown rice flour (or fine rice flour) + 3TBLS potato starch/flour in place of the 3/4 cup of buckwheat.
**If you don’t have a gluten-free sourdough starter, use one of the following in its place: milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, or yogurt. If you haven’t got any of these, use 1 TBLS warm water + 1 TBLS Apple Cider Vinegar or just 2 TBLS warm water.
Simple Lemon Blueberry Sauce
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 TBLS lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
coconut sugar or honey to taste (or other sweetener of your choice)
- Place all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until liquid reduces and thickens slightly.