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Black Wheat Patties

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I give here a recipe for buckwheat cakes. This recipe is especially for those who have a bilig or who are going to buy one. I really recommend this purchase. There are cheaper models but the result on a professional bilig is really incomparable! I don’t claim to know how to handle the rozell either, because only training can teach.

So I bought myself a professional bilig. But after throwing the pancakes against the fridge (yes I got mad!!) I thought the best solution was to learn how to handle the rozell in a pancake house! The chance makes well the things and I found myself in the crêperie in Paris “Ty Bernic” (54, rue d’Argout 75002 Paris tél : 01 42 74 40 15 M° Sentier) where Bertrand and Nathalie had the extreme kindness to accept me as trainee during 2 days to teach me everything about the crêpes. I had to pour out literally ten liters of dough to finally get just one out of two… Two days later, direction Brittany at my parents’ where my bilig was waiting for me (I leave it there, in Paris I don’t have any more space!). And there, a new catastrophe was waiting for me. The first day I made 7 kg of pancakes (wheat and buckwheat) to be always at the same level as at Ty Bernic (that is to say one successful pancake out of two, or even three!). The next day 4 kg of pancakes to absolutely miss them all! What a stress, especially since I get in a bad mood when I don’t succeed in something that seems simple. The worst part was that all the kids on the beach (not very big) came and lined up to get their free pancakes… But they didn’t look like anything. Then on the sixth day of the week, miracle! Not a single one missed! It’s like learning to ride a bike or rollerblade. The click comes at a moment, then the gesture is finally assimilated.

The gesture is simple but there are so many components in it, from the way to hold the rozell, to hold the ladle with the left hand, to not press on the batter, to make this comma movement, to obtain a round pancake, that this gesture takes time to be automatic. We think too much at the beginning to have a good result but finally as long as everything is not thoughtless and natural, the pancakes do not succeed.
So it takes patience and tenacity, but once you’ve digested all this, it’s really easy and fun to make your own pancakes.
There is a multitude of pancake recipes, almost one recipe per Breton town. I have at home the recipes of the pancakes of Quimper, Pleyben, Pontivy, Sablé, of the Bigouden Country, of Carhaix, the old recipes of Basse-Bretagne. But also the crepes of the Pardon, of Jeanne-Marie, the recipes of Léon, of Tregor of the South Finistère…. In short, a whole range of recipes.

Recipe for “buckwheat patties” for 18 patties:
-500g buckwheat flour
-1 egg
-500ml of water for the dough + 500ml to finalize
-a handful of coarse salt

Here is the flour I use for buckwheat pancakes.


Put flour, egg and coarse meal in a bowl. Pour in the 500ml of cold water at once. The dough mixes very well, it is impossible to have lumps with buckwheat flour.

A dough piece is then obtained. It is usually advisable to leave this dough (which is liquid!) in the fridge for 24 hours. It will then ferment and the patties will have a better flavor and texture. Also, there will be a lot of shrinkage (those little bubbles that appear during cooking!).

The next day, add the rest of the water, between 500ml and 700ml depending on the brand of flour used and also the comfort provided on the bilg. I prefer a fairly fluid paste.
It is however possible if one is in a hurry to make the dough in one go (by putting 1l instead of the 500ml of the beginning) without the time of rest, but the quality of the cake will be lower…


At this time it can be cooked on a pancake pan, greasing it with butter. Just move the pan to start it again. This is the layout I have set up to work the pancakes. On the right, the bilig, and on the left, the pancake batter, the metal spatula (or wooden one, the spannel!), the pad to clean and grease the griddle with lard and especially the rozell in a small tub of water.
So here I am in Brittany, its sea and its sun! I even had to protect myself from the sun in April (2010)!


Three reasons for leave the rozell in the water between each pancake:
1-the wood will swell and the joint between the rake and the handle will be perfect.
2. The paste that may be stuck to the rake will have time to dissolve, so the rake remains clean.
3-the rake cools in the water, because if the rake heats up a lot on the bilig, the pancake batter will stick to the rozell!



I work the pancakes (on the advice of Ty Bernic!) on a bilig at 240°C. This way, the pancakes are seared and keep their softness! They cook very quickly. They can of course be cooked on two sides, but to prepare plain pancakes they can be cooked on one side only. When the bilig is at the desired temperature, grease it with the pad lightly soaked in lard. You must not grease the bilig too much otherwise the dough will slip and stick to the rozell.
I let the bilig heat up for at least 15 more minutes from the time the indicator light goes off, because I’ve noticed that the pancakes look better when the griddle is really hot.


With the left hand (if you are right-handed) you pour a full ladle of dough while the right hand is ready with the rozell. This ladle should be poured at 10 am on the bilig.


The rozell is held between the thumb on one side and the index, middle and little fingers on the other. The dough should not be scraped, but pushed in a gentle comma-like movement that brings it back towards the center of the bilig. Continue the movement by taking the excess dough from the edge, to make it go around the plate always making a comma movement that brings the dough back to the center.


This movement is done in the direction of the clock, and in this direction only, it is not necessary to bring back the rozell otherwise the pancake is not more uniform and especially one risks to tear the paste.

 


The crepe batter should be rolled in 4 or 5 quick, smooth motions. It looks so simple when you see it, but once the rozell in hand I guarantee that it is not the same story. But after a week of non-stop pancakes, this movement has finally become automatic!



On the picture you can’t see it but the wrist arrives at a moment in supination around 20:00 (on the bilig!!), you have to stay at this place and turn the wrist quickly in its normal position, ready to continue in the same direction. We can continue the gesture. If there is still some dough left after one full turn, continue clockwise.



For my part, if I prepare pancakes in advance, I cook them only on one side. It’s up to you, but even so, the pancakes are well cooked and fluffy!



When the cake is ready as shown on the picture, it is time to garnish it if you want to eat it right away. If there is an egg, you must put it first, spreading the white to cook it well.
Then the cheese, followed by the other toppings.

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