Hi guys! Hows you’re end-of-Summer hustle going? Got any big Leo plans before we all get into that autumnal Virgo swing? Personally I’ve got a bananas schedule coming up. I’m just finishing up packing for Burning Man (I got my media pass so I can do the photo project I’m dreaming of, score!). So I’ll be just north of Reno starting this Saturday. And after that I’ll be heading to Sandbridge for some beach time with Logan and my parents. After that it seems my fall is packed with lots of blog projects, upcoming workshops and really fun events. There’s so much creative wonder in the works and I just can’t WAIT to share it all with you! In the meantime, I’m just trying to soak up as much juicy Summer goodness as possible. I think 7 days bopping around in desert followed up with a week of ocean laziness just about covers it, don’t you think?
So today I have a wonderful recipe for you all. Have you ever had ployes? If you live outside of Maine or the Madawaska region in Canada chances are the answer is probably no. Ployes are an acadian buckwheat flatbread typically served like a pancake with maple syrup or as a savory crepe alongside chicken stew. They’re traditionally made with buckwheat flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt and water. I first heard about them a few months ago after stumbling across @rudyjude on instagram who mentioned them briefly when @healthyish featured her.
From there — my curiosity piqued — I googled “ployes” and my face got all giddy with excitement! I learned that ployes are an acadian staple food, something that’s served frequently and with no fanfare. I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it before.
I had already been messing around with my own version of French-style buckwheat crepes with some success. But I wanted to develop an egg-free version using whole buckwheat. I’m on a bit of a buckwheat kick right now. I’ve been doing lots of experiments with whole buckwheat groats.
After a few rounds of testing, I finally got it. A springy, mildly tangy ploye with crisp bottoms. Perfect served plain as a snack or served along side a hearty stew! Of course, they’re great with sweet fillings as well.
Now, all that is to say: if you’re a die-hard traditionalist when it comes to your ployes be forewarned. I have done my usual tinkering and I’ve found a version that I love, made with whole soaked buckwheat and leavened with activated yeast (which incidentally may be closer to the way ployes were made before chemical leavening agents existed). I find using whole soaked buckwheat gives me a flatbread that tastes fresher, sweeter and less grassy than the flatbreads and pancakes I’ve made with buckwheat flour. I stick by my version, but here’s a recipe for truly authentic ployes (made with wheat).
They’re exceedingly simple. All you need is buckwheat groats, water, honey or maple syrup, activated yeast, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper plus some oil for your pan. They taste like tangy crepes, with the flexibility and springiness of white flour tortillas. They bend and roll and stretch! Perfect for filling with fruit, or curry, or really whatever you like.
So far, I’ve had these for breakfast with a side of chocolate ganache, berry whipped coconut cream and peaches. I’ve eaten them for lunch as makeshift tacos. And I’ve had them for dinner as a companion to tomato-based stews and big kale salads like the one pictured above.
They’re the crepe that can’t go wrong!
Using activated yeast in these buckwheat crepes makes for a bubbly batter. As the batter cooks on the skillet the bubbles pop, leaving you with crepes with lots of little indentations and tiny holes. That’s exactly what you want. Steam shoots through the little holes and helps cook the tops of the ployes on the skillet.
Traditionally ployes are only cooked on one side, sort of like Ethiopian injera or Indian dosa. The bottoms get crispy and the tops stay spongey soft. I like to flip mine, for extra crispiness on both sides. But the whole to-flip or not-to-flip thing is up to you in this case.
Of all of the recipes I’ve developed this year, this is one of my favorites so far. I find my favorite recipes are always the ones that either pair with loads of things, or can be easily varied according to taste. These definitely fit the bill!
So here are a few ideas for variations!
Chocolate ployes — add cocoa powder and more sweetener to taste, top cooked ployes with almond butter, smashed dates and a drizzle of melted chocolate.
Vanilla ployes — add vanilla extract and more sweetener to taste, top cooked ployes with cashew butter, maple syrup and fresh berries
Golden Milk ployes — add ground turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger a pinch of black pepper and more sweetener to taste, top cooked ployes with whipped coconut cream and honey
Curry ployes — add madras curry powder to the batter, top cooked ployes with fresh cilantro and coconut chutney
Old Bay ployes — add Old Bay to the batter, top cooked ployes with vegan mayo, smashed chickpeas and avocado
Pesto ployes — add dried basil to the batter, top cooked ployes with fresh vegan pesto and fresh sliced tomatoes
I hope you guys enjoy this delicious crepes! Let me know if you make them, and please tag me @willfrolicforfood and #willfrolicforfood on instagram if you make something from the blog! I love to see what you guys are cooking up.