Buckwheat blinis

8 September 2011 § 2 Comments

What with the hurricane and earthquake the north-east feels a bit apocalyptic. If Doomsday is on its way then why not crack into the good stuff? Particularly when my dear husband, King Marv (or Korol Marv as they would say in the USSR) brought back some caviar and vodka from his recent trip to Moscow.

This is not something I normally eat. This stuff was good though – slightly crunchy and tangy, almost nutty, a little salty. And no nasty fish aftertaste.

And is particularly good when washed down with ice-cold crisp vodka with a squirt of lemon.

So to soak up some of the vodka I made buckwheat blinis.

They make a delicious appetizer with smoked salmon and sour cream. They are not heavy at all. One of the Ladies™, the pancake fiend, even ate these when she had previously turned down my buckwheat pancakes.

As they are a bit of work I would suggest making in bulk and freezing. They can then be reheated in aluminum foil.

Adapted from a Delia Smith recipe.


  • 4½ oz plain white flour
  • 1½ oz buckwheat flour
  • ¾ level teaspoon salt
  • 5 g dried yeast
  • 5 fl oz crème fraîche
  • 6 fl oz whole milk
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 1 oz butter

Begin by sifting the buckwheat flour, plain flour and salt together into a large bowl and then sprinkle in the yeast. Place the crème fraîche and milk in a small saucepan and warm it gently – it must only be slightly warm, as too much heat will kill the yeast. Next add the egg yolks to the milk, and mix them in with a whisk and after that pour the lot into the flour mixture.

Whisk everything until you have a thick batter, then cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave it in a warm place for about 1 hour. After 1 hour the batter will be spongy and bubbly, now you whisk up the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and gently fold them into the batter. Cover with the cloth again and leave as before for another hour.

When you’re ready to make the blinis, melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan, then tip the melted butter out into a cup and use it to grease the frying pan. Take a tightly rolled piece of kitchen paper to brush the pan all over as you make each blini. Keep the pan on a medium heat and add 1½ tablespoons of batter – (1 tablespoon goes in first, then another ½ tablespoon on top) – it won’t spread out much and the underneath sets as soon as it touches the pan. This amount should give you a blini about 4 inches in diameter.

Don’t worry at this stage if it looks too thick, it isn’t, it’s just light and puffy.

After 40 seconds, no longer, flip the blini over and give it just 30 seconds on the other side. Transfer it to a wire cooling-rack and repeat, brushing the pan with butter each time. This mixture should give you 18-20 blinis.

When all the blinis are made and have cooled, wrap them in foil parcels, with 6 laid out flat in each one. To serve, pre-heat the oven to 275°F and place the foil parcels on a high shelf for 10 minutes. Serve the blinis on warm plates, giving each person 2 to start with, and top with slices of smoked salmon, add a tablespoon of very cold crème fraîche or sour cream on the side of the plate and garnish with sprigs of fresh dill.


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