Buckwheat Blini with Crème Fraîche
These light little pancakes are traditionally served with crème fraîche and caviar, but why stop there? Offer a selection of toppings such as smoked salmon or trout, diced pickled veggies, and chutney.
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons lukewarm water
- 1 cup lukewarm whole milk
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons canola oil plus more for greasing pan
- 2 eggs separated
- Crème fraîche and assorted toppings to garnish
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Stir in milk and let stand 5 minutes.
- Sift together flours and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk into yeast liquid. Add buttermilk, oil, and egg yolks, and stir to combine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until mixture is bubbly.
- In a small bowl, use a hand mixer to beat egg whites into stiff peaks. Fold into batter, cover, and let rise again for 30 minutes.
- Lightly grease a large skillet and set over medium heat. When pan is hot, gently drop tablespoons of batter into pan without crowding. Cook until blini puff and bubble, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low if skillet starts smoking. Flip blini and cook 1 or 2 additional minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet or plate, cover with a towel, and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.
- To serve, top each blini with a teaspoon of crème fraîche and a dab of caviar, smoked salmon, or other desired toppings.
Do ahead: You can make blini the morning of the party, then wrap in foil and reheat in a 325°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman of The New York Times