- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm milk, about 98°
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg, separated
- 2 tablespoons cold heavy cream
- 1/4 cup clarified butter or 2 tablespoons clarified butter + 2 tablespoons canola, rice bran or vegetable oil
- Crème Fraîche
- Smoked salmon or smoked sturgeon
- Chives, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (Optional addition by TFD: also include a tiny amount of snipped fresh dill)
- Caviar (optional)- for TFD, however, it is MANDATORY! Use trout roe or salmon roe if you can’t afford sustainably-raised beluga, osetra or sevruga sturgeon caviar
- For the batter: Sift the all-purpose flour and sugar into a small bowl. Add the yeast, then ½ cup of the warm milk; whisk until smooth.
- Combine the buckwheat flour and salt in a medium-size bowl. Add the egg yolk and remaining milk; whisk until smooth.
- Cover both bowls with plastic wrap set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. After resting, pour the yeast mixture into the buckwheat mixture and whisk to combine.
- Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until soft peaks form; scrape it onto the top of the batter. Add heavy cream to the now-empty egg white bowl and whip it to soft peaks; scrape it onto the egg white and gently fold everything together.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour or so. Letting it rest longer – 2 to 6 hours – in a slightly cool place develops more flavor and the blini will also cook up crisper. The batter can rest up to 24 hours – it will develop a slight sourdough flavor. If the kitchen is warm, refrigerate the batter overnight, then bring to room temperature.
- To cook: Pour clarified butter or butter/oil mixture into a small non-stick skillet, just enough to form a thin film. Drop about ½ tablespoon of batter into the hot fat and spread to about 1 ½-2 inches in diameter, if necessary.
- Cook until golden brown (about 10 seconds); turn and cook the other side until golden brown and done at the center, about another 10 seconds. Remove to a paper towel to drain briefly, then serve hot with a dollop of Crème Fraîche, smoked salmon or smoked sturgeon, and 2 chive pieces (or do it as TFD does, with the addition of a small amount of snipped fresh dill!). For something extra special, dab with caviar.
- Wine pairing: Sparkling wine or Champagne – especially a Brut Rosé will be a terrific accompaniment.