Entertaining friends for breakfast is always a tricky – it seems no matter what you choose to make, timing it just right so that everyone can eat together is always difficult.
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Things like pancakes or French toast have to be made one or two servings at a time. Eggs are usually similar (have you ever tried to make something like 8 or 12 fried eggs at once?) unless you’re making scrambled. And even if you are making scrambled eggs, you better make sure everything else is done and the table is set and ready because when those eggs are done, they are DONE – it happens quickly and cold eggs are gross.
So what’s an early morning host to do? Answer: make these herby breakfast crepes the next time you have anyone over for brunch. Everyone gets their own little breakfast crepe pocket, and they’re all baked together in the same oven so everyone’s is hot and ready at the same time.
And if you’re reading this and thinking – hey wait a minute, didn’t she just say pancakes were out because you can only produce a single serving at a time? And aren’t crepes basically just flat French pancakes? – well, then my friend you’d be right on both accounts.
BUT unlike pancakes, crepes don’t lose anything when they’re made in advance and reheated. So, make a batch of crepes the days leading up to your brunch and store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator until you’re ready to turn them in to these herbed breakfast crepe squares.
Also, please don’t limit yourself to only brunch with friends when it comes to these savory breakfast crepes. Once the crepes are made, turning these into breakfast is super easy and definitely worth it, even if you’re only cooking for yourself.
Making the Crepes
Crepes are not all the intimidating pancake they are cracked up to be. I wrote up a whole post last year on how to make classic crepes, and I used that batter recipe as the basis for this crepe batter as well.
When making crepes you want to make sure the batter rests before using it. Do this for at least an hour but preferably more if you’re able. Allowing the batter to rest makes the crepes far less likely to tear when you’re cooking them, so it’s worth the extra time.
After the crepe batter had time to rest, I added some minced chives to it so that the crepes were actually infused with some of that sweet/savory onion flavor.
I have a crepe pan, which I love – its low sides make flipping the crepes easier. It’s also very thin, so it’s sensitive to heat changes – it both heats up and cools down quickly. Crepe pans are good for other delicate things you might have to flip (think eggs, omelets, fish, etc.), so it’s worth an investment if you make those things frequently!
If you don’t have a crepe pan, then a small nonstick skillet works great too. Heat whichever pan you choose over medium heat to start. Like regular pancakes, it takes a few batches to get the pan at that exact right temperature, so don’t worry if the first few don’t turn out.
Even if you’re using a nonstick pan, I always add a teaspoon or so of butter to the pan as well. It’s extra insurance against any sticking that might occur and it gives good flavor to the crepes as well.
When the pan is buttered and hot, pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot surface. Tilt and swirl the pan off the heat to spread the batter out thinly and as evenly as possible. You can add little spoonfuls of extra batter if you don’t have enough to completely coat the pan.
Once the batter is spread out over the pan, return it to heat and cook it like you would a regular pancake. Check the underside occasionally for doneness, flip, and then brown the second side.
You can pile the crepes on a plate until you’ve gone through the whole bowl of batter. If you’re making these in advance (which I highly recommend), then cover them and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Easy Breakfast Crepe Squares
Once the crepes are made, turning them into these lovely little breakfast squares is a breeze. The surprising ingredient here is Dijon mustard (Maille brand’s traditional Dijon if we’re being snobby and French about it).
The mustard is spread over the middle of the crepes before the crepes are folded into squares. It gives the dough something to adhere to and adds great, unexpected flavor.
Shredded parmesan cheese gets sprinkled over top of the mustard before an egg is cracked in the middle of each crepe. After that, the sides are folded in to create a little pocket for the eggs. You want still leave most of the egg exposed but fold in the sides to keep the white from running out.
You can pretty rough with the crepes when folding them over. Press down hard to make a firm crease that won’t unfold. Make sure to sprinkle the top with salt & pepper.
I normally pretty exclusively cook with large eggs, but by happy accident, I left the grocery store before testing this recipe with medium eggs.
I’ve always had a hard time cooking unbeaten eggs in the oven – if I let the whites set completely on top then the yolk ends up overcooked and the bottom of the whites borders of rubbery. But the medium eggs were just smaller enough to where they cooked more uniformly.
Ten minutes in a 400-degree oven yielded perfect eggs whose whites were set but not rubbery and whose yolk was just the right amount of runny. Medium eggs it is for cooking in the oven from here on out!
Serving Breakfast Crepes
These herby breakfast crepes were perfect with a small salad. If you’re entertaining for brunch then a cheese board with a lot of good fruit on it would be a great addition.
You can fit around 6 crepe squares per one large baking sheet. So if you had two baking sheets going (I would rotate them halfway through cooking), then you could make 12 individual little breakfast crepes.
Because I was recipe testing these, I had a lot of leftovers (way too many for two of us to eat in one sitting), so I ended up refrigerating the some of the crepes after I baked them and was surprised to find they reheated well in the microwave in the days that followed. Definitely an option if you have leftovers!
And that’s it! Breakfast for a crowd that’s a little bit fun and a little bit French. I definitely encourage you to try making crepes if you’ve never done it before – let me know how it goes if you do 🙂
French Breakfast Crepes
These savory herbed breakfast crepes are perfect for a crowd – with baked runny egg, melted cheese, and lots of fresh herbs!
For the Crepes:
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp minced chives
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter
For the Breakfast Squares:
- 6 Herbed Crepes
- 6 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 6 medium eggs
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the Herbed Crepes
To make the crepe batter, whisk eggs, whole milk, flour, salt, and chives together in a medium sized bowl. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight
To make the crepes, heat a crepe pan or medium non stick skillet over medium heat. Melt 1 tsp butter in the pan and add a thin layer of batter (about 1/4 cup at a time). Swirl the pan to evenly spread the batter.
Cook the crepe on one side for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Flip, then cook on the over side for 1 minute. Set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining crepes. The crepes can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
For the Breakfast Crepe Squares
Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In each crepe spread 1 tsp dijon mustard, ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Add 1 medium egg, to each crepe and season with salt & pepper. Fold the edges over to form a square around the cracked egg.
Bake at 400 for 10-11 minutes or until the whites are set and wiggle slightly
Sprinkle with extra herbs after baking while still hot from the oven – basil, chives, and parsley all work well
Serve immediately with a simple salad if desired
This recipe makes about 15 crepes.