Using buckwheat flour along with other gluten free ingredients, you can make fluffy Russian pancakes small enough to use as a base for appetizers or to serve for breakfast Typically, blini are served with caviar or smoked salmon on top of sour cream. Nowadays, you can serve them just about any way you desire. Use creme fraiche or cream cheese with salmon roe (shown). How about using something inexpensive like chicken, tuna, or egg salad? Or something trendy like pureed fig on goat cheese topped with applewood smoked bacon bits? How about something a little sweet like goat cheese and sliced strawberries? You can even have a blini station/bar! They are not only fluffy but moist, delicious, very versatile, and may be made in advance.
Gluten Free Buckwheat Blini
- 1/2 cup water warmed to 110 - 120ºF
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup Carla's Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend Recipe
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup milk of choice warmed to 110 - 120ºF
- 1 large egg* divided
- 2 tablespoons butter melted, plus more for skillet (or margarine (or 1-1/2 tablespoons oil)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
In a medium-size bowl, stir together the warm water, sugar, and yeast; set aside for about 10 minutes or until a few bubbles develop.
Whisk in the flour blend and let rise in a warm environment for 45 minutes and until slightly puffy. (I use a warm oven that is not over 120ºF.)
While the flour-yeast mixture rises, set the egg white aside at room temperature. Whisk together the remaining ingredients; set aside to allow the buckwheat to soften and the flavor develops.
Once the flour mixture completes the first rising cycle, using a rubber/silicone spatula, fold in the buckwheat mixture. Set aside to rise another 45 minutes or until at least 1.5 times its size.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the entire egg white into the batter until no white streaks remain.
Preheat your oven to 170 - 200ºF to keep the pancakes warm.
Preheat a heavy skillet over medium heat for at least 5 minutes. Add about 1 teaspoon of butter to the skillet and allow to melt. Add more if needed, but only enough to coat the pan. (If you use too much it may make turning the pancakes over in a non-stick pan difficult.) Fry 1 tablespoon scoops of batter per pancake (leaving plenty of room for your spatula to turn them over) for about 1 minute. Turn them over when you see the first sign of bubbles on their tops, even if it's just one bubble. Fry another minute or until golden brown.
Place cooked pancakes in the oven on an oven-proof plate to keep warm.
Serve as the base for your appetizers or for breakfast or brunch. For breakfast or brunch allow guests to pour on their own warm pure maple syrup or my new favorite, Seelect Tea Vanilla Syrup.
Freeze leftovers in a single layer in a gallon ziplock bag. To reheat, defrost at room temperature and bake on a baking sheet in a preheated 350ºF oven for 5 - 7 minutes. If they appear to be a little dry, brush them with butter.
*Substitute the egg white with 2 tablespoons of liquid from a can of cannellini beans and the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon additional melted butter or margarine.