Crepes are one of the most adaptable pancakes. You can fill them with meat, vegetables, or sweets. Though the recipe for crepe is simple, success depends on the recipe, the pan, and your technique. I’ve made them for lunch and dinner and, thanks to experience, learned the importance of letting the batter rest.
What is resting and why is it important? Resting means you don’t use the batter immediately, but leave it on the counter for an hour or put it in the refrigerator for several hours. This step is important because it changes the batter.
The Kitchn (word purposely misspelled) website gives some reasons in its article, “Food Science: Why Some Batters Need to Rest.” Resting gives the batter time for the starch molecules to absorb liquid, according to the article. As the molecules swell, the batter becomes thicker and more viscous. “Any gluten formed during the mixing of the batter is also getting time to relax,” the article continues.
An All Recipes website article, “Tips for Better Pancakes,” also tells why resting is necessary for perfect crepes. The main reason is thickening. “After the batter rests, do not stir it or you will deflate the bubbles,” the article cautions.
Food writer Harold McGee addresses the issue in his article, “Harold McGee on Letting Batters Rest,” published in “The New York Times.” He thinks resting gives the dry ingredients time to soak up moisture from the wet ingredients. “Soaking the tiny flour particles means that they will cook through more fully and evenly,” he writes. The result is a product with finer texture.
Years ago, I had a special crepe pan, but it was awkward to use. Today, I make them in a heavy, eight-inch, no-stick skillet. After I’ve made several, the skillet tends to be hotter, so I take it off the burner for a minute and reduce the heat. You may use unbleached flour or half white and half wheat for the pancakes. Crepes freeze well and will last about four months if sealed tightly. Put wax paper between ththem to keep the pancakes from sticking together. This recipe works for savory and sweet crepes.
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 3/4 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
1 cup pre-sifted flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Whisk wet ingredients — eggs, yolks, milk, and olive oil — together in a batter bowl. Gradually add flour, sugar and salt. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and let mixture rest for 1-2 hours. Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat until hot. Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into pan, tilting it until the bottom is covered. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. (The bottom should be light brown and the top should be set.) Using a rubber spatula, gently lift the pancake from the pan and slide onto wax paper to cool. Repeat this process until the batter is gone. Fill crepes as desired. Makes nine, 6-inch crepes.