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Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon

This recipe calls for making a sponge, which is essentially a very wet version of the batter that acts as a head start for the yeast. The sponge is allowed to stand before being mixed with the remaining ingredients. During this time, fermentation is initiated, causing the yeast to begin to multiply.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk, scalded and cooled
  • Vegetable oil for cooking
  • 1/2 lb. sliced smoked salmon
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped

Directions:

To make the sponge, in a bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour, the yeast, sugar and warm water and stir until blended. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and salt until light in texture and color, then gradually whisk in the butter. Whisk in the milk and the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour until smooth. Fold the sponge into the batter until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise, 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 175ºF.

In a copper bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the batter.

In a blini pan over medium heat, warm 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and cook until golden underneath, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the blini over and cook until golden underneath, 2 to 3 minutes more. Place the blini in the oven and repeat with the remaining batter.

Top the blini with smoked salmon, crème fraîche and chives. Serve immediately.
Makes 8 to 10 blini.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.