Guys and gals! I’m not even gonna tell you how many attempts it took me to get to the land of pliable, paper-thin rye flour/beer crepes. I may have lost count.
Rye flour is a sturdy one. That’s why it works so well in breads–tough, dependable, brawny. Not the easiest to work with, and definitely lacking a certain finesse.
So why would I try to put it in crepes, the ultimate in delicate frou-frou food? That’s a good question. Because anything with dark rye is delicious? Because I like to torture myself? Because failed crepe attempts every night for dinner is actually a pretty fantastic way to live?
It’s probably some combination of those, but my love of all things rye probably takes up most of the pie chart. Or crepe chart. Except these things are square… Bad for illustrating relative values, but excellent for eating! Let’s do that now, hungry friends, before I start discussing triangles and trapezoids.
Milk might be the traditional way to go, but beer makes excellent crepes, you guys. So light. So thin. So lacy. So “I’m just gonna have the rest of this bottle with my breakfast, no big deal, nothing to see here.”
See? I don’t lie. This crepe looks like it’s about to rise up and float away.
I don’t have a laser pointer on me, but you want to cook crepes until most of the surface (imagine an annoying red dot darting about) looks like the edges here: covered with bubbles and no longer wet. Flipping might take a try or two, and we all know the first crepe won’t turn out the way you want. It’s how the Universe works–I’m pretty sure I saw it on an episode of Cosmos.
This recipe makes about six big ones, so plan accordingly depending on how much you need these to be perfect, how many you’re feeding, and how confident you are in your crepe skills. Double everything for the batter if you need a little wiggle room–these will keep in the fridge or freezer (stacked between wax paper sheets and sealed tightly in a plastic zip bag) for a while, anyhow.
Don’t be shy about pressing these edges down like you mean it, and use sticky egg white to your advantage. If these don’t gape open while you’re working with them now, chances are they’ll behave in the oven too.
Look! We made ART. Geometric art. And now we’re going to eat it.
I know you’re dying to see that yolk. I was dying to eat that yolk. Let me do us both a favor, then…
Yolks are so much like Forrest Gump. They just feel like running!
Meanwhile, I just feel like brunching. You feel me? Who would you have at your brunch table, if you could mimosa it up with anyone? I call dibs on Neil deGrasse Tyson. You should come too, though.
P.S. I’m still debating whether I’m sorry about the Forrest Gump joke… Oy.
- 1/3 cup dark rye flour
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional but excellent addition)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup beer (I used Anchor Steam but suspect a rye ale would be amazing)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, or vegetable oil
- 6-8 ounces smoked salmon
- 4 eggs
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Chopped fresh dill
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together the rye flour, all purpose flour, salt, and caraway seeds. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and beer, then slowly whisk in the butter or oil. Whisk in the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until combined.
- Chill the crepe batter in the fridge for an hour.
- Preheat a large (12-inch or so) skillet over medium heat and add butter or oil to coat. Pour 1/3 cup of the crepe batter into the center and swirl to cover the entire bottom of the skillet. Cook until bubbles appear and the surface is not shiny, then flip and cook for another 10 seconds or so. Keep crepes stacked between layers of wax paper as you work, and continue until batter is gone.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Lay out four crepes on parchment-lined baking sheets and divide salmon between them, sort of arranging it so it would contain your cracked egg. It doesn't have to be airtight or anything, but do make a little egg fort of sorts.
- Carefully crack an egg into each crepe, then use your fingers to spread some of the white around the edges of the crepe to act as glue. Fold edges over and press down firmy to form squares.
- Bake until egg whites are nearly done but the yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes. Top with onion and dill, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.