Ployes are a traditional French-Acadian staple recipe; it's one of the first things I learned how to cook & still one of my favorites today.
I wanted to put this recipe together for everyone in response to my recent Instagram story about Ben & I making ployes last weekend! ENJOY this little, delicious piece of my French-Acadian heritage! 🙂
What are these ployes you speak of, Meagan?
I grew up in a small town called Madawaska, Maine and ployes are served everywhere there. Often times when you go to a restaurant, instead of getting rolls or bread you're served a stack of delicious ployes with butter. Yum.
• Ployes are a perfectly delicious cross between a pancake and a crumpet.
• They are thinner than a pancake, though and don't have sugar in them.
• They're only cooked on one side in a heated-just-right, dry cast iron pan.
• They have tons of little holes on top (my Dad always called them eyes) giving them a light, spongy and tender texture.
• They're SUPER versatile (savory or sweet) and you can't argue with the simplicity of the ingredients.
Quick tip on Buckwheat flour selection...
I recommend using this particular light buckwheat flour, if you can! It's right from northern Maine. Other course grain (dark) buckwheat flours are not the same and won't give you the right end result. Look for light buckwheat.
You COULD take the easy route (Hey, I've done it!) and buy the ploye mix here too.
Ideas for how to serve them?
Breakfast, lunch & dinner. They're ALWAYS good.
The simplest, most classic way to enjoy a ploye is to simply butter it (immediately after you remove it from the pan, no exceptions!), roll it up and eat it. This is still my favorite way to this day, although a sprinkle of brown sugar is fun too.
Growing up, my family often ate their ployes with cretons, a fatty pork spread with spices and onion. I've actually never tried it (gasp!).
My Dad and I used to go to Dolly's restaurant in Frenchville at least twice a month for chicken stew and ployes. You can dip ployes into ANY soup or stew and just drift right off to food heaven, seriously. If you're EVER in that area of Aroostook county, you HAVE to go try this. It's one of my strongest food memories to this day. If you don't eat meat, then just go order big piece of graham pie. You're welcome.
There's an adorable inn in Madawaska that serves breakfast ployes a bit larger/thinner, more crepe-style, filled with yummy fruit, cottage cheese (optional if you're vegan!) and Maine maple syrup. I think that's just brilliant.
Ben and I made a few dozen for his family last weekend. We served them with whipped coconut cream (vegan!), blueberries, raspberries and maple syrup. It was their first ploye experience and it was a total HIT! 🙂
What are ployes made of?
Ployes are made with a 1:1 (I've found greater success with 1.25:1 ratio) of buckwheat flour to regular flour (I use Organic, Unbleached White Flour), baking powder, salt and water. -- Cheap, quick and easy-peasy delicious!
Tell me about buckwheat. What if I'm gluten-free?!
Did you know that buckwheat flour is gluten-free?! Buckwheat is not a grain/wheat, it's a fruit seed related to rhubarb that's made into a flour. It's often called the "honey grain" because of it's yellow color AND it has twice the amount of B vitamins than regular wheat flour does. Pretty neat.
Ployes CAN be made gluten-free, just swap out the regular flour with your favorite GF baking mix.
Also, these CAN be thoroughly enjoyed vegan with fruit and maple syrup. Yum!
The Classic Ploye Recipe
This is one of the first recipes I ever learned to cook. If you were in our tiny bus kitchen right now I would teach you how my dad taught me, no strict measurements, just follow the rough ratio and watch the thickness of your batter; let that guide you.
The thing to remember is, consistency is KEY, not so much sticking to strict measurements. Maybe that's why I like this recipe so much, it's forgiving!
Ployes = Buckwheat flour + regular flour + baking powder + salt + water
That's about it! Enjoy this VERY special recipe to me as often as your heart desires.
Comment below or reach out on Instagram @wilddrivelife with any questions!
Ployes are this perfectly delicious cross between a pancake and a crumpet. They are thinner than a pancake, only cooked on one side in a heated-just-right, dry cast iron pan. They have tons of little holes on top (my Dad always called them eyes) giving them a light, spongy and tender texture. They're SUPER versatile (savory or sweet) and you can't argue with the simplicity of the recipe.
- 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup light buckwheat flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder (make sure it's not super old!)
- 1 tsp salt
- water (amount varies, see instructions...)
- Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Stir in about 1 cup of cold water, enough to make it into a wet paste. Amount may vary. Mix just until combined.
- Start adding hot water (not boiling) ½ cup at a time. Use a whisk to mix. The goal is a smooth, thin batter, with no lumps. Think thinner than pancake batter but thicker than heavy cream. Mix mix away!
- Let the batter sit for 30 - 45 minutes. You should see some bubbles form.
- Heat up your cast-iron skillet to medium-high.
You CAN use a non-stick but the whole thing about cast-iron is being able to hold a consistent heat for long periods of time, so just watch your heat.
- Once pan is heated, whisk up your batter for a few seconds to prepare it for cooking.
- Drop a small scoop of ploye batter into the center of the pan. This is the very important "test ploye"!
It should be able to cook through without burning on the bottom.
Bubbles will form & pop. The top will start to dry as it cooks. Do NOT flip it, only cook on one side until the entire thing is dry on top. Adjust your heat if needed.
- Use a thin metal spatula flipped over to carefully ease the edges up as it gets close to being done. They should NOT stick to the dry cast iron pan. If they do, your heat is too low.
You'll get better as you go, trust me.
- Each one should only take a couple of minutes to cook through. Stack them on a plate and cover with a clean towel until you serve them. Ployes are always best served right away! 🙂