The Blinis Recipe These buckwheat-based pancakes originated in Russia. Try serving them as canapés, or larger topped with smoked fish and crème fraîche for lunch.
½ tsp dried yeast
3⁄4 cup warm milk
1⁄2 cup sour cream
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup bread flour
½ tsp fine salt
2 large eggs, separated
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled,
plus extra for cooking
1 Mix the yeast with the warm milk and whisk until the yeast dissolves. Whisk in the sour cream and set aside.
2 In a large bowl, mix together the 2 types of flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and gradually whisk in the milk and sour cream. Add the egg yolks and continue to whisk. Finally add the butter and whisk until smooth.
3 Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for at least 1 hour, until bubbles appear all over the surface.
4 In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Add the egg whites to the batter and gently fold them in using a metal spoon or spatula, until they are well combined and there are no lumps of egg white. Transfer the batter to a large measuring cup or pitcher.
5 Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large, non-stick frying pan. Pour 1 tablespoon of the batter at a time into the pan to form small blinis approximately 21.2in (6cm) in diameter. Cook the blinis for a minute or 2 over medium heat until bubbles start to appear on the surface. When the bubbles begin to pop, turn and cook for a minute
on the second side. Remove the blinis to a warm plate, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and continue to cook until all the batter is used up.
6 Serve the blinis still warm, with sour cream and smoked salmon for a delicious canapé. They can also be wrapped in foil and gently reheated in a warm oven for 10 minutes before serving.
The blinis will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them (from fresh or frozen) as in step 6.
Blinis are simple to make, but can be difficult to get perfectly circular, and small enough to serve as a canapé. Remember to pour the batter directly into the center of the blini, and use a spoon to catch any drips from the pitcher as you finish pouring.