Basic Crepes

Time30 minutes, plus resting batter
YieldsMakes about 12 (6-inch) crepes
Illustration for "How to boil water" series; crepes
(Caroline Marks / For The Times)

Whisk the milk, eggs, butter and salt in a large bowl until smooth. While whisking, add the flour a little at a time. Continue whisking until very smooth. Alternatively, blend the liquids in a blender until smooth, add the flour, and blend again until smooth. Let the batter sit at room temperature for at least 5 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to overnight. If resting for longer than 15 minutes, keep in the refrigerator.


When ready to cook, whisk or blend the batter again. It should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it’s too thick, thin it with milk, whisking in a tablespoon at a time to get the right consistency.


Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet or well-seasoned cast-iron, carbon-steel or crepe pan over medium-high heat. When the surface is hot (a drop of water will bounce across it), wipe a smear of butter or a small pour of oil evenly over the bottom and sides. Pour in about ¼ cup batter and immediately lift the skillet off the heat and swirl it, continually rotating your wrist until the batter forms a thin, even round. Let the round sit until the bottom speckles golden brown, 45 to 60 seconds, then use a spatula to loosen the edges and flip the crepe over. Let sit again until the other side browns a bit too, 15 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.


Serve the crepes one at a time or all at once, plain or filling each and folding in quarters or rolling.

Sweet Crepes: Whisk 1 tablespoon granulated sugar into the liquid ingredients as well.

Savory Crepes: Use rendered bacon or duck fat in place of the butter.

Rich Crepes: Increase the butter or oil to 3 tablespoons.
Make Ahead:
The crepes can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. To separate them easily after chilling or thawing, place a sheet of wax paper between each crepe. Reheat in a skillet.