Blinis are traditional Ukrainian pancakes that are small, round, and slightly thicker than crepes. They are made from a yeasted batter and are typically served with various sweet or savory toppings, such as sour cream, caviar, smoked salmon, fruit preserves, or honey. Blinis are often associated with celebrations and special occasions. The round shape of the blinis is said to symbolize the sun, making them a fitting tribute to the changing seasons.
Here is a basic recipe for blinis that you can easily follow:
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (65g) buckwheat flour (optional, can be substituted with more all-purpose flour)
- 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup (240ml) milk, lukewarm
- 1/2 cup (120ml) water, lukewarm
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour (if using), yeast, and sugar. Gradually whisk in the lukewarm milk and water until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it sit in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until the batter has doubled in size and become bubbly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and melted butter together. Gently fold this mixture into the risen batter.
- In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, being careful not to deflate the mixture too much. Allow the batter to rest for about 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat a non-stick skillet or a blini pan over medium heat. Lightly brush the pan with melted butter. Pour about 1-2 tablespoons of batter into the pan for each blini, spreading it out slightly to form a small circle. Cook the blinis for 1-2 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface and the edges start to look set. Flip the blinis and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until they are golden brown on both sides. Transfer the cooked blinis to a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm.
- Repeat the process with the remaining batter, brushing the pan with more melted butter as needed.
- Serve the blinis warm with your choice of sweet or savory toppings, such as sour cream, caviar, smoked salmon, fruit preserves, or honey.
Blinis can be easily customized to suit different preferences by adjusting the toppings or adding various ingredients to the batter, such as herbs, spices, or grated vegetables. They make a delightful appetizer or snack, and their versatility ensures that they can be enjoyed at any time of day, for any occasion.