Wholefoods was all out of blinis so we decided to make our own, using good old Delia’s recipe. It was surprisingly painless, however we didn’t factor in the resting time so brunch became a rather late lunch (almost tea!). Having made them from scratch, we won’t be buying the stodgy pre-cooked versions again – they are so much softer and fluffier when fresh. We had ours with crème fraîche and tsar-cut smoked salmon, but you can top the tiny pancakes with whatever you desire for the perfect canapé.
Buckwheat Blinis (with smoked salmon and crème fraîche)
(recipe from Delia Smith)
40g (4 tbsp) buckwheat flour
125g (1 1/4 cup) strong white plain flour
3/4 tsp salt
5g (1/3 tbsp) easy-blend dried yeast
150ml (2/3 cup) crème fraîche
175ml (3/4 cup) whole milk
2 medium eggs, separated
25g (1 3/4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
smoked salmon and crème fraîche (to serve)
Make the batter by sifting together the buckwheat flour, plain flour and salt into a large bowl, then sprinkle in the yeast. Warm the crème fraîche and milk gently – be careful not to overheat, it only needs to be slightly warm, as too much heat will kill the yeast. Next add the egg yolks to the milk, and whisk to combine.
Pour the egg and milk mixture in with the dry ingredients and whisk 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 (you can achieve this by placing the bowl in another larger bowl filled with warm water).
When the batter has rested for an hour and is spongy and bubbly, whisk 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, brush a large frying pan with a little of the melted butter and heat on a medium flame. Add 1 tbsp portions of batter to the pan, leaving a little room between each. Leave to cook for about 30 seconds, then flip over and cook for a further 30 seconds on the other side. Transfer the cooked blinis to a wire cooling-rack and repeat, brushing the pan with butter each time.
Serve immediately* with smoked salmon and a pot of crème fraîche.
* or make them up to a day ahead and reheat, wrapped in foil, in an oven set to 140°C (275°F) for 10 minutes