smoked ham and emmental galette
Galette, or more
properly Breton galette (Galette Bretonne), is a type of large, thin pancake
mostly associated with the region of Brittany, where it replaced at times bread
as basic food, but which today is eaten across the whole of France. Buckwheat
was introduced as a crop suitable to impoverished soils and buckwheat pancakes
were known in other regions where this crop was cultivated, such as Limousin or
It is a most
versatile dish, frequently garnished with egg, meat, fish, cheese, cut
vegetables, mushrooms, apple slices, berries, or similar ingredients. One of
the most popular varieties is that given here, a galette covered with Emmental
cheese, a slice of ham, and, optionally, an egg cooked on the galette. In
France, this is known as a galette complète (a complete galette). Another
variety is a hot sausage wrapped in a galette (called galette saucisse, a
tradition of Rennes, France) and eaten like a hot dog. Of course, being
traditionally Breton, you need to eat it served with cider.
Galettes can be made
quickly and simply, and are a great dish to have in your repertoire for
unexpected guests. You could prepare a stack of galettes in advance ready to
fill, but they don't take long to cook anyway, and one of my most memorable
galette moments was when I took my family to Carnac in Morbihan, where we found
the most stupendous little café serving only galettes...we were really spoiled
250g buckwheat flour
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
2 slices of ham
grated Emmental or other hard cheese
Separate the egg yolk from the white.
In a large mixing bowl add the egg yolk to the
buckwheat flour, oil and salt.
Start adding enough water to mix to a firm
batter, when the batter is smooth with no lumps incorporate the rest of the
In a small bowl whisk the egg white until it is
Gently fold into the batter and leave to rest
for at least an hour.
When you are ready to cook your galettes,
pre-heat a large non-stick frying pan (preferably a crepe pan) until it is very
hot but not smoking, and pour a120ml-ladle full of mixture into your pan. Tip
the mixture around until it covers the pan evenly.
When the edges are starting to lift up from the
pan, flip the galette over. Lay a wide strip of smoked ham (about 7cm wide)
down the middle and then sprinkle with Emmental cheese. When the sides are just
browning fold the two edges over the ham and cheese and continue to cook for
another minute or two. Turn over and cook for another minute or so until the
cheese is all melted.
Transfer to a pre-warmed oven dish and keep in
the oven on a low temperature (around 120°C/250°F) while you cook the other