Certain authentic French crepe recipes have a slightly more egg-to-flour ratio, which appears to make them fairly crisp when cooked. Other crepe recipes have a slightly higher ratio of flour to egg, which makes the final cakes softer and more like thin pancakes.
This texture difference become obvious when the crepes are folded. That is, the higher-in-egg ones can crack a bit at their folds. Conversely, the higher-in-flour ones will fold easily without apparent change.
In some cafes, the crepes are rolled, which does not give a clue to their texture until one starts eating them. Sometimes, there rolled ones can be leathery because they are commercially pre-made and partially cooked beforehand. The cafe then only needs to brown them up fast for savory or sweet products.
The pate a crepe, two recipes show the recipe difference.
- French Dinner Crepes (authentic; fairly crisp but pliable); personal recipe from Chicago resident who has spent considerable time in France.
Ingredients (ratio: 4 eggs/1.5 cups flour equals 2.7).
4 eggs beaten
1-½ teaspoon salt
1-½ cups buckwheat flour
2 cups milk
8 tablespoons(1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
How to make them.
Beat or whisk the eggs until smooth. Add the salt, buckwheat flour, milk and beat again. Add the melted butter slowly while beating. Let batter rest at room temperature for at least 1-hour; this step allows air to escape from the batter while it homogenizes completely.
Pour the batter from a ladle or measuring cup (1/4 to 1/3 cup) onto pre-heated 8-to-12-inch crepe pan or skillet. Spread quickly over a medium-heated pan with a T-spreader stick, or swirl or tilt the pan to make the batter spread thin. Flip with a non-metal spatula when it appears crusty around the edges. Flip it again until done, and fill as desired. Fold the crepe over the filling by parallel thirds, or by halving it and then halving again while in the pan. Serve hot. Add garnish to taste.
These crepes tend to brown in splotches rather than completely across their surface.
- Real French Crepes (authentically basic; pancake like); Internet recipe from French Canadian in Montreal.
Ingredients (ratio: 2 eggs/2 cups flour equals 1).
2 eggs beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
How to make them.
Mix the combined flour, eggs, and milk in a bowl.
Medium pre-heat an 8″ crepe pan or skillet. Spray it with non-stick oil. Pour 1/3-cup batter into pan, and then lift and swirl it to spread the batter thin. Flip when it starts to bubble. When done, remove and save. Repeat this process with rest of batter. Save the crepes warm until ready to fill or garnish.
These crepes will brown fairly well, possibly with help from the non-stick spray.
The cooking of crepes also plays into their final texture as well as the kind of flour used in making them. For example, if the pan is not hot enough, the crepes will not brown up well at all. Also, some flours are more course than others to start with; thus, their batter will cook out differently from the others.
Additionally, certain fast-food cafes will add filling to the crepe after it has cooked on one side only, rather than on both sides first. This step save times, but it still produces a tasty product of soft texture.