About this recipe:Blinis are small light pancakes, originally from Russia. The version here is made with wholemeal flour, and the blinis are topped with soured cream, pickled herring, smoked salmon and lumpfish roe. A very special starter.
140 g (5 oz) wholemeal flour
1 sachet easy-blend dried yeast, about 7 g
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
175 ml (6 fl oz) lukewarm water
1 egg, separated
175 ml (6 fl oz) lukewarm semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp melted butter
120 ml (4 fl oz) soured cream, well chilled
1 jar black lumpfish roe, about 50 g
150 g (5½ oz) ready-prepared pickled herring, drained
75 g (2½ oz) smoked salmon trimmings
fresh chives to garnish
lemon wedges to serve
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:30min › Ready in:50min
Combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the lukewarm water and the egg yolk. Whisk the water and yolk together, then gradually work in the flour to make a very thick, smooth batter. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place, such as an airing or until there are small bubbles on the surface.
Meanwhile, prepare the toppings. Stir the soured cream until very smooth. Carefully separate the lumpfish roe to make it easy to spoon. Using kitchen scissors, cut the pickled herring and smoked salmon into strips about 1 cm (½ in) across and 4 cm (1 1/2 in) long. Cover the toppings and chill until ready to serve.
When ready to cook the blinis, preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F, gas mark 2). Whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks, then gently fold into the batter.
Heat a heavy, non-stick frying pan until it is moderately hot, then add a little of the melted butter and swirl it around to coat the pan. Spoon in about 2–3 tbsp of the batter to make a pancake about 7.5 cm (3 in) across. Cook over a moderate heat for 2 minutes or until the surface of the blini is covered in small bubbles and has set. Using a palette knife, turn the blini over and cook the other side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Keep the blinis warm, lightly covered, in the oven while cooking the remainder – there will be enough batter to make 18 blinis.
To serve, put a teaspoon of soured cream in the centre of each blini, then top 6 with the black lumpfish roe, 6 with pickled herring and the remaining 6 with strips of smoked salmon. Arrange the blinis on a large serving platter, scatter over some chives and serve with lemon wedges.
I love this recipe! Blinis are like pizza dough except they are done in a pan not oven.
Pickled fish + sour cream!? Never would've thought it! But it's so good! I love fish, I love sour things, so am always looking for sour recipes that are tasty. - 28 May 2014