Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Buckwheat blini

Russian blini (pronounced bleenY) are often made using a buckwheat flour batter and have a pronounced nutty flavor. I know many recipes call them blinis, but blini in Russian is already in plural (one pancake is a blin), so I think the extra S is totally unnecessary.

Russian pancakes

For about 15-16 small size blini you will need
4 heaped tbsp of standard self-raising flour
4 heaped tbsp of buckwheat flour
2 medium eggs
1 tsp of granulated sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
200ml milk
2 tbsp of soured cream (optional), if you don't have soured cream, you might need to add more milk
butter for oiling the pan and for the blini themselves

Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and use a blender until you have a smooth batter.
You might want to experiment with the buckwheat/standard flour ratio.
If you want, you might use just the buckwheat flour, but then the flavour will be very strongly on the buckwheat side. They will also be thicker.
I like it at 50/50.
Use a pancake pan, you need to add some butter or oil to it first. Once very hot, using a ladle, add the batter to the pan, or use a tablespoon if you like, about 2 tbsp per one pancake. You can make them big-sized too. Spread a bit of butter on top of the hot blini as you make them.
They are best eaten hot.
Do not use the lemon juice and sugar if you want an authentic Russian flavour. For the savoury blini add a generous dollop of the thick soured cream and a bit of the smoked salmon or caviar, and you don't have to buy the most expensive ossetra or beluga caviar, salmon caviar from Waitrose will be just fine.
For the sweet blini, you might choose either a dollop of the soured cream and sugar, or the honey.

I have been reading recently a little feature on blini in The Observer by some chef called Sasha Belkovich, and she wrote: "Blinis are eaten everywhere in Russia, and by everyone, particularly for breakfast. You'd struggle to find a family that didn't have them a few times a week"
Some families have them regulalry, some only very occasionally. My brother was visiting recently and I read the quote above to him and we had a good laugh about it. When we were growing, our Mum didn't do pancakes. In fact I cannot recollect her making pancakes ever. She is a fab cook, but pancakes were not something she made for us. I started making pancakes when I was about 11 or older, and remember well my cooking disasters.

Here is Eddie eating two pancakes at the same time.

This will be my second entry to the Flavours of Russia event.

originated by simply.food
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  1. Thanks for the good direction and your remarks about russian pancakes! I am one of the persons who eats blini very rarely :)

  2. Ohhhhhhh nice recipe, I am addicted to blini (very diet friendly).

  3. These do look fab. I never get round to making pancakes myself so I can understand your mum.

  4. These look good something to try with my brownies for the world cultures badge

  5. OoOOOH! I have never tried these! What a gorgeous pic at the top! :-) I have had several mishaps myself with pancakes, and the only way I got around it ( after so many pancakes coming out like cakes or sticking to the pan!) was to let my fella do them, he can even toss them and not drop em, amazing! lol