Buckwheat Blini

Buckwheat Blini
Photo: Gentl and Hyers

These savories were originally crumbly pancakes with a strong buckwheaty, yeasty flavor. Nowadays, they're more cohesive, subtle, and sophisticated. Served with spoonfuls of creme fraiche and sevruga caviar, blini make wonderful hors d'oeuvres alongside glasses of chilled vodka.


  • 1 envelope (¼ ounce) active dry yeast

  • ½ cup warm water (110 degrees)

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ¾ cup plain yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • 2 large eggs, separated

  • 1 to 3 ounces caviar, such as sevruga, for serving

  • Creme fraiche, for serving


  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, about 7 minutes. Sift together flours and salt. Stir together yogurt, butter, sugar, and yolks in a large bowl; whisk in yeast mixture and flour mixture. Let batter stand, covered, in a warm place, 30 minutes.

  2. Beat whites until stiff peaks form; fold whites into batter. Let stand 10 minutes.

  3. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon batter; cook blini 3 or 4 at a time, flipping once, until golden, 2 minutes per side. Serve with caviar and creme fraiche.

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