Blini - I had never heard of these thin Russian pancakes before our homeschool world studies last fall. Now blini are an adored recipe in our household, and everyone is excited for Blini Night. On Blini Night, I work at the stove, cooking the blinis, while everyone keeps coming back for more. We have both savory and sweet toppings ready, and it feels like a simple feast.
For the savory blini, we use sour cream with smoked salmon, thinly-sliced cucumbers, capers, and green onions. Our sweet blinis are topped with sour cream and jam, honey, or strawberries. Sour cream, salmon, and honey are all traditional Russian foods, so these toppings work well for our Russian-inspired meals.
Traditionally, blini are made with either buckwheat or wheat flour. Since two members of our household are still most often avoiding gluten, and tolerate other grains to varying degrees, I make our blini primarily with white rice flour. Tapioca starch is used to give the blini a bit of holding power, since blini made with only rice flour break very easily. Milk kefir gives these blini a fantastic taste.
Blini - Russian Pancakes
Makes 12-14 blini
For the Blini:
1 cup plus 2 Tb white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 Tb organic sugar
1/4 tsp finely ground celtic sea salt
2 eggs, preferably from pastured hens
1&3/4 cup whole milk kefir (or substitute buttermilk)
2 Tb nutrient-dense butter, melted
Additional 1 stick of nutrient-dense butter, for cooking the blini
Combine the white rice flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk to combine.
In a small bowl, beat two eggs with a fork. Add the milk kefir and stir well to combine.
Mix in the 2 Tb melted butter.
Set aside the blini batter for 10 minutes.
In the meantime prepare the toppings (ingredients listed below).
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. I like to use a cast iron skillet to cook the blini.
Melt some butter in the skillet, coating the bottom of the skillet well. Use a 1/4 cup of batter for each blini (a 1/4 measuring cup works well for this). Immediately after pouring the batter into the skillet, give the skillet a gentle swirl to allow the batter to spread out.
Cook the blini until golden brown on one side (about 2 minutes), then add more butter to the skillet and flip the blini. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until golden brown.
Top the blini with savory or sweet toppings and enjoy!
Savory Blini Toppings:
green onions, green parts only, sliced thinly
thinly sliced cucumbers
Start by spreading the sour cream over the blini, then add the rest of the toppings.
If desired, fold the blini over the toppings.
Sweet Blini Toppings: