- In a medium bowl, mix the buckwheat flour, baking powder, pepper, half the salt, and mustard powder.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the rest of the salt until soft peaks form.
- Whisk one fourth of the egg whites into the batter. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care not to over-beat.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon mounds of the batter into the pan, creating tiny circles. Allow to cook until the edges begin to bubble, about two minutes. Flip the blini and continue cooking on the other side until both sides are nice and brown.
- Continue working in batches, and add more olive oil as need. Take care not to overcrowd the pan so that the blini don’t touch. Transfer the blini to a serving platter and cover with a towel to keep warm or keep in the oven at 250 degrees F.
- Serve topped with butter, lox and chopped chives for a savory option. For something slightly sweeter, add apple butter and walnuts.
Blini are also known as Russian Pancakes. They are traditionally made with buckwheat flour and served with various toppings. Blini make an excellent choice for a quick brunch for guests, or for appetizers at cocktail hour. If you plan on serving them to a crowd, keep the blini warm and simply set up a toppings bar for your guests to dress their own.
The main ingredient in blini, buckwheat, is typically placed in the grains camp, but it is actually the seed of a broad-leaf plant related to rhubarb. Though the name belies it, it does not contain wheat at all and is entirely gluten-free! It’s useful to treat it like a grain in the kitchen, however, as it makes an easy replacement for white flour, offering much more flavor and nutrition.
Buckwheat ranks low on the glycemic scale, making it a great choice for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. It also packs more protein than your usual suspects such as wheat, corn or millet. The protein structure of this seed and its unique proportions of amino acids make it one of the best choices for lowering cholesterol. Buckwheat is easily available in health food stores, as well as most grocery stores these days.
Have you ever made these before? What are your favorite toppings for blini?