Holiday Recipe: Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon

Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon

Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon

Buckwheat flour gives these delicate, airy pancakes an earthy flavor. Top them with smoked salmon and a dollop of crème fraîche and, if you're feeling especially celebratory, perhaps a spoonful of caviar.

Makes about 40 (3-inch) blini

1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup plus 1/3 cup whole milk, warmed to 100°F
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
2 large eggs
Crème fraîche, for serving
Smoked salmon, for serving

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the yeast, ½ cup of the milk, and the sugar. Cover and set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes. The yeast should get bubbly and frothy. (If it doesn't, toss it out and start over.)

In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, and salt. Once the yeast is bubbly, add it to the bowl along with the remaining 1/3 cup milk. Use a wooden spoon to mix well, then stir in the melted butter. Cover the batter and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Stir the yolks to break them up and then stir them into the risen batter. Beat the whites until they hold soft peaks, then fold them into the batter.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Coat the skillet with a small amount of butter. Drop the batter by spoonful into the hot skillet. Flip as soon as the surface is covered in bubbles, about 30 - 60 seconds. Cook the second side until brown, another 30 seconds or so. Continue cooking blini until you've used up all the batter. (Blini can be made ahead and stored at room temperature for several hours.)

Blini can be served warm or at room temperature. Dollop a little crème fraîche on top of each blini and top with a piece of smoked salmon. If you have any caviar, now's a perfect time to serve it!

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