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Buckwheat Blini with Crème Fraîche

Buckwheat Blini with Crème Fraîche

Leigh Belanger
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

Leigh Belanger

Leigh Belanger is culture's former food editor. She's been a food writer, editor, and project manager for over a decade— serving as program director for Chefs Collaborative and contributing to local newspapers and magazines. Her first book, The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, was published in 2012. She lives and cooks in Boston with her family.