Whole milk in crepes
Why do most crepe recipes specify whole milk? Taste? Texture? Interaction with flour? I'm mostly interested in the science. Thanks!
When I was little my mother made them with whole milk and melted butter and they were fabulous. When I started making them in my own kitchen I made them with 1 percent milk and cooking oil instead of butter for healthier eating and they have always come out good and nicely colored. My mother's were obviously richer and hence tastier, but my lower fat version is still good.
It isn't critical, so a recipe calling for whole milk merely reflects the author's preference. My crêpe cookbook (Pasley and Green) calls for "milk" throughout, without specifying type. The authors write that the liquid need not be milk, but may be broth (unspecified), tomato juice, cream, or part water (I assume watered-down milk or whatever). If sour cream is used, liquid must be added to get the proper consistency. All water or broth will make the crêpe "harder to handle than those made with milk." Recipes with added cream can use a little less flour to make "a delicate crêpe that is easy to handle."
I always use nonfat milk, since that is the only kind I keep on hand, but may add a little half-and-half if I have it (as I usually do). I adjust the proportions to get the consistency of the batter that I prefer.