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Breton Recipes

buckwheat galletes | crêpes | far (flan with raisins) | salt-meadow lamb | kouign amann


Fleur de Sel"fleur de sel" (best quality unrefined salt)

Due to the eastern winds, salt crystals form in the salt pans on the surface of the water: this is what is called Fleur de sel.

At first pink when it is collected, it becomes white as it dries naturally in the Sun.

The salt is collected using what is called a "lousse".

A fine replacement for ordinary table salt. (About 60FF a kilo)

"gros sel" (cooking salt)

The crystals lay at the bottom of the salt pan. Using a tool called a "las" (big rake), the "paludier" (salter) pushes the water to detach the crystals. Then he gathers together a pile of salt and hauls it up on to the "ladure".

Around 50 Kg of "gros sel" is gathered in each salt pan each day. (About 20FF a kilo)


Crêpes or galettes: what's the difference?

This point is moot both in Normandy and in the Massif Central where only the thick, buckwheat galettes are made. But people from Brittany can tell you loud and clear that

Galette = buckwheat= salty flavor

Crêpe = wheat flour= sweet flavor

Buckwheat Galette

Preparation time: 10 minutes. + 2 hours of resting time

8 ounces of buckwheat flour, Pinch of salt, 2 eggs, 1 pint of cold water, 1.5 ounces of melted butter.

Mix together the buckwheat flour, salt, eggs, cold water and the melted butter.

Let the batter rest for two hours.

Cook the galettes in a nonstick pan (for beginners) making the galettes as thin as possible. For purists: one should use a cast iron skillet... remember to grease the pan using a paper towel dipped in butter..

Don't give up if at first you don't succeed. As they say, "The first one is for the dog".


This is the BRETON recipe. You can have your crêpes savory (with eggs, ham, crème fraiche, cheese) or sweet (with apples, walnuts, chocolate, jam).

For 24 crêpes: 8 ounces of wheat flour, pinch of fine salt, a tablespoon of sugar, 3 eggs,1 pint of milk, 1 tablespoon of orange flower water (optional), 2 ounces of butter, oil.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flower, salt and sugar. Make a well in the flour, break the eggs into the well and pour in the milk.
Stir gently with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth, and without lumps.
Now stir in the orange flower water and the melted butter. Let the batter rest for 1 to 2 hours.

Grease your crêpe pan. Pour in a small ladle full of batter, and spread the batter quickly by turning the pan in all directions so that it spreads evenly.

Let the crêpe cook for about 30 seconds on one side and then turn it over as soon as the edges begin to brown.
Cook on the other side another 30 seconds or until you see little bubbles appear on the surface.

Serve the crêpes warm, plain or with sugar or jam. Serve with sweet cider.

Le far (flan with raisins)

2 eggs, 8 tablespoons flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup of milk, 4 ounces of raisins, 1 shot of rum other local liquor, butter.

Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a well-buttered pan. Cook on low heat. Let cool and then take the flan out of the pan. The amounts mentioned above can vary according to the desired texture.
You can replace the raisins with prunes soaked in rum.

Salty meadow lamb

Because of the sheer length of the coastline in Brittany, salt meadow lambs are widely available in the "pays d'Armor". Those from the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel and from the Breton Islands (Belle-Île, Ouessant) are particularly sought after.

For 8 people: 1 leg of salty meadow lamb (4 to 6 lb.), 2 cloves of garlic, 2 ounces of butter.

Peel the garlic and slip it in next to the bone. Smear the leg of lamb with butter and put it in a buttered roasting pan. Add salt and Pepper.
Put the leg of lamb into a preheated oven (220° C) and cook it 10 to 12 minutes per pound, according to taste.

Don't forget to turn it over half way through cooking and baste it with the cooking juices.

As soon as it is done, take the leg of lamb out of the pan and deglaze it with 2 or 3 tablespoons of water (or muscadet wine).

Traditionally, the slices of lamb are served on top of a serving plate full of beans and the sauce is poured on top. Warm the plates before serving.

Le kouign amann

For about 6 people:
8 ounces of flour, 2 packages of yeast, a cup of water, 8 ounces of sugar, 8 ounces of butter, 1 egg yolk

Put the yeast in with the water and a teaspoon of sugar. Let it rest for five minutes.
Put the flour in a bowl and stir in the yeast and water a little at a time. Stir the dough until it's just sticky to the touch.
Let it rest for a half an hour.

Roll out the dough into a big circle, add flower if it sticks to the rolling pin. Cover the dough with butter cut into little pieces, sprinkle on the sugar and fold the four sides over the dough.

Roll out the dough again, and fold the four sides over the dough again. (Same idea as for puff pastry dough).

Flatten the dough to give it the shape of whatever pan you plan to use (rectangular or round with 2 inch sides).
The dough should be touching the sides of the pan.

Brush the top with the egg yolk and bake in a hot oven for 25 minutes. Serve warm. 


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