Are galettes gluten-free?

What are galettes?

Galette is a French flat cake made with buckwheat flour. Galettes originate from Brittany, a region in northwest France renowned for its cuisine featuring seafood, dairy, and buckwheat.

Buckwheat flour naturally contains no gluten. Therefore, a classic Breton galette made solely with buckwheat flour is gluten-free. However, many modern galette recipes call for a blend of buckwheat and wheat flours, making them not gluten-free.

So in summary:

  • Galette is a savory French buckwheat flat cake.
  • Classic Breton galettes made with 100% buckwheat flour are gluten-free.
  • Modern galettes made with a blend of flours containing wheat are not gluten-free.

The history and significance of galettes in Brittany

Galette holds a place of historical and cultural importance in the Brittany region. Buckwheat has been cultivated in Brittany since the Middle Ages, and galettes have been a staple food of the region for centuries.

Some key points about the history of galettes in Brittany:

  • Buckwheat suited the poor soil and cool climate of Brittany better than other grains like wheat.
  • Buckwheat cultivation boomed in Brittany in the 17th and 18th centuries as other regions of France dealt with grain shortages.
  • Galettes were traditionally cooked on a bilig, a large flat iron plate set over an open fire.
  • Every Breton household traditionally had a bilig and made galettes daily.
  • Street vendors selling galettes were omnipresent at markets and festivals in Brittany for centuries.
  • Galettes were valued for being easy to produce, transport, and preserve compared to regular bread.

In many ways, the galette came to represent the cultural identity of Brittany – a hardscrabble rural region that managed to feed itself with this humble buckwheat flatbread. Galettes remain ubiquitous in Brittany today, though now they are more commonly cooked on crepe machines or griddles.

Common varieties of Breton galettes

There are many savory fillings and combinations used in Breton galettes. Here are some of the most classic and popular varieties:

Galette Complète: The most traditional version – just a plain galette lightly salted and buttered. Sometimes called a galette “saucisse” when wrapped around a fresh sausage.

Galette-Jambon-Fromage: Filled with grated cheese like Gruyere or Emmental, diced ham, and often an egg.

Galette andouille: Spread with a creamy cheese like Chaource and topped with slices of andouille sausage.

Galette at the egg: Topped with a sunny-side up egg, cheese, and diced ham or bacon.

Galette ratatouille: Spread with ratatouille, a mixture of sautéed summer vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers. Often topped with goat cheese.

Galette forestière: Filled with mushrooms like chanterelles and often topped with an egg.

As you can see, galettes make a versatile and savory meal any time of day. They are traditionally served with cider, the quintessential drink of Brittany.

Are modern galettes gluten-free?

As mentioned earlier, while classic Breton galettes are naturally gluten-free, many modern recipes blend buckwheat flour with wheat flour. This affects the gluten-free status.

Here are some common scenarios regarding gluten and galettes:

  • Galette made with 100% buckwheat flour = gluten-free
  • Galette made with a blend of buckwheat and wheat flours = contains gluten
  • Restaurant galettes could have trace amounts of gluten from shared cooking surfaces
  • Fillings and toppings may add gluten, like breadcrumbs or croutons
  • Be sure to ask about ingredients and preparation when ordering galettes if gluten is a concern

The highest likelihood of getting a gluten-free galette is to make it yourself with verified gluten-free ingredients. Exercise caution when ordering galettes in restaurants.

Benefits of buckwheat in galettes

Beyond being gluten-free, buckwheat offers nutritional advantages. Here are some of the touted benefits of eating buckwheat:

  • High protein content compared to other grains
  • Rich in fiber to promote digestion
  • High antioxidant content that reduces inflammation
  • Contains rutin, which strengthens blood vessels
  • Low glycemic index won’t spike blood sugar

Additionally, buckwheat may be beneficial for:

  • Improving heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Aiding weight loss and preventing diabetes by reducing blood sugar response
  • Boosting immunity due to high vitamin and mineral content

So galettes not only offer a delicious gluten-free option, but provide the nutritional benefits of buckwheat. Those seeking gluten-free, whole grain alternatives are wise to explore buckwheat and galettes.

Tips for preparing classic gluten-free galettes

Looking to whip up gluten-free galettes at home? Here are some tips:


  • Use 100% buckwheat flour, verified gluten-free
  • Alternatively, try other gluten-free flours like rice flour, millet flour, or almond flour
  • Mix in eggs, salt, butter or oil, and water
  • Choose fillings that are naturally gluten-free like cheese, veggies, meat, fish


  • Optimal to use a cast iron bilig or crepe machine, but a nonstick pan works too
  • Use metal spatulas and avoid scratches to prevent sticking

Cooking method

  • Make batter by mixing flour, salt, eggs, melted butter, and water
  • Brush pan lightly with oil and wipe out excess before cooking each galette
  • Pour small amount of batter in pan, then rotate pan to spread into a thin, even layer
  • Cook each side 1-3 minutes until lightly browned
  • Stack galettes between sheets of parchment to prevent sticking

Serving suggestions

  • Roll up galettes around savory fillings, or top half and fold like a crepe
  • Add eggs, cheese, ham, ratatouille, sausage, mushrooms and more!
  • Serve warm with butter, jam, honey, applesauce, maple syrup for a sweet breakfast

Now that you know the ins and outs of gluten and galettes, get cooking! These tips will help you achieve the perfect gluten-free Breton-style galette. Let us know if you have any other galette questions. Bon appétit!

Nutrition facts for buckwheat and buckwheat flour

Many people choose buckwheat and buckwheat flour for the nutritional benefits. Here is a breakdown of the nutrition facts:

Buckwheat (1 cup cooked)

Calories 155
Fat 1 g
Sodium 2 mg
Carbohydrates 33 g
Fiber 4 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 6 g

Buckwheat flour (1 cup)

Calories 548
Fat 3 g
Sodium 6 mg
Carbohydrates 65 g
Fiber 10 g
Sugars 6 g
Protein 23 g

As you can see, buckwheat and buckwheat flour are nutritious options, as they are high in fiber, protein, and various vitamins and minerals. Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free, making it perfect for galettes and those on a gluten-free diet.

Where to find gluten-free buckwheat flour

Gluten-free buckwheat flour may not be as widely available as regular wheat flour, but it is easy to find. Here are some tips for sourcing gluten-free buckwheat flour:

  • Health food stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Trader Joe’s
  • Specialty gluten-free brands like Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur, or Arrowhead Mills
  • Online retailers like Amazon, Thrive Market, Vitacost
  • Natural food co-ops and farmers markets
  • International grocery stores often carry buckwheat flour
  • Order directly from gluten-free websites like, Honeyville, GlutenFreeMall

When purchasing, read labels closely and look for buckwheat flour that is 100% pure, gluten-free, and produced in a gluten-free facility. Reputable brands will state this certification clearly. Buying certified gluten-free buckwheat flour ensures safety for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

With the wide availability of buckwheat flour today, anyone can experience delicious gluten-free galettes at home. The hunt for ingredients is over. Now it’s time to get busy baking!

Popular flavor variations for gluten-free galettes

One of the great qualities of a galette is its versatility to be filled and flavored in endless savory or sweet ways. Here are some popular flavor variations for gluten-free galettes:


  • Ham, egg, and cheese
  • Spinach, feta, and dill
  • Caramelized onions, walnuts, and blue cheese
  • Ratatouille and goat cheese
  • Salmon, cream cheese, and capers


  • Sliced apples with cinnamon and honey
  • Nutella and bananas or strawberries
  • Lemon curd and blueberries
  • Sliced pears with chocolate sauce
  • Berry jam or other fruit preserves

Let your imagination run wild when filling your gluten-free galette. Savory combinations work wonderfully for dinner or brunch. Fruity or chocolate fillings make galettes a decadent dessert. The options are endless!

Galettes vs crepes, the French flat cake cousins

Galette and crepe are two similar French specialty flat cakes, but they have some distinctions. Here’s a comparison:

Basic ingredients:

  • Crepes: Wheat flour, eggs, milk, butter
  • Galettes: Buckwheat flour, eggs, butter, water


  • Crepes: Extremely thin, lacy, delicate texture
  • Galettes: Slightly thicker, heartier texture


  • Crepes: Perfectly round, plate-sized pancakes
  • Galettes: Oblong, freeform shaped

Filling method:

  • Crepes: Filling rolled up inside the crepe
  • Galettes: Filling placed on top half, which is folded over

Typical fillings and toppings:

  • Crepes: Hazelnut chocolate spread, jams, lemon juice and sugar
  • Galettes: Meat, cheese, ratatouille, mushrooms, eggs


  • Crepes: Originated from Brittany and Normandy
  • Galettes: Originated from Brittany

So in summary, crepes are sweet and delicate wheat-flour pancakes while galettes are hearty, savory buckwheat flat cakes. Both are icons of French cuisine but each have their distinct characteristics.

Should you eat buckwheat if sensitive to other grains?

Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free, making it a good option for those avoiding gluten. But what about people with sensitivities to other grains like wheat, rice, oats, etc.? Should they eat buckwheat?

The answer depends on the individual, as grain sensitivities vary greatly. Here are some considerations:

  • Buckwheat is not technically a grain at all – it is the seed from a fruit related to rhubarb.
  • However, buckwheat can trigger reactions in some people sensitive to wheat or other grains.
  • Reactions may be due to proteins similar to those in grains, or due to contamination.
  • Those with severe allergies like celiac disease should exercise caution with buckwheat.
  • Starting with a small serving is recommended to check for any reaction.
  • Choose certified gluten-free buckwheat products processed in allergen-free facilities.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider if unsure about trying buckwheat.

In general, buckwheat may be tolerated better than grains for some people with sensitivities. But everyone is different. Take precautions and monitor your personal reaction when trying buckwheat for the first time.

Best practices for avoiding cross-contamination of gluten-free galettes

For people with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance, being vigilant about avoiding cross-contamination is critical. Here are some best practices for keeping gluten-free galettes safe:

  • Use dedicated gluten-free baking tools and cookware rather than shared surfaces.
  • Thoroughly wash any shared tools/surfaces before gluten-free preparation.
  • Avoid cracking eggs directly into batter, as eggshells may contain traces of gluten.
  • In restaurants, ensure the kitchen takes steps to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Request fresh oil/butter and a thoroughly cleaned cooking surface.
  • Clarify that ingredients are certified gluten-free, including fillings.
  • Make sure utensils come from gluten-free-only containers.
  • Check that the server’s hands are clean of crumbs before serving.
  • Only order dishes that are naturally gluten-free, not just made gluten-free.

Following basic safety practices at home and asking the right questions when dining out will help limit the risk of gluten exposure from galettes.


To summarize key learnings:

  • Classic Breton galettes made solely with buckwheat flour are gluten-free.
  • Many modern galette recipes blend flours and contain gluten.
  • Buckwheat offers nutritional benefits beyond being gluten-free.
  • Gluten-free buckwheat flour is widely available at well-stocked grocers.
  • Galettes can be filled both savory like crepes or sweet like dessert crepes.
  • Those sensitive to grains should exercise some caution when introducing buckwheat.
  • Proper precautions are required to avoid any cross-contamination of gluten.

In the end, genuine Breton-style galettes made with 100% buckwheat flour provide a tasty gluten-free treat full of nutrients and French cultural tradition. With the right ingredients and safety measures, anyone can whip up delicious gluten-free galettes at home – whether sweet or savory!

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