The wonderful thing about bliny is they are so versatile. You can make the size of your bliny more pancake-like and serve them as a side dish alongside your favorite Russian main dish or as a full meal on their own. You can also make the bliny small and serve them as a hors d'oeuvre at an elegant cocktail party with some crème fraîche, caviar, and champagne.
Other accompaniments are: chopped hard-boiled eggs, shot glasses of ice-cold vodka, smoked sturgeon, minced onion, and fresh dill.
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, separated
A little bit of oil or cooking spray
Your choice of accompaniments:
• sour cream
• crème fraîche
• smoked fish (salmon, sturgeon, trout, whitefish)
• chopped onions
• chopped hard-boiled eggs
• fresh chopped dill
• beet salad
In a bowl, mix the first four dry ingredients together and then make a well in the center. Add the milk and blend well with a wooden spoon. Cover with a dish towel and place in a warm, draft-free area and let the sponge rise until it doubles in size, about a hour.
Melt the two tablespoons of butter and let it cool. Break up and beat the egg yolk in a small bowl and add the cooled melted butter a teaspoon at a time to temper it and beat well. Add this egg yolk/butter mixture to the sponge and mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff and fold into the sponge/batter. Cover again and let stand for twenty minutes.
Heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat and coat lightly with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Spoon about 2 tablespoons to a quarter cup of batter on the skillet, depending on how large you want your bliny to be. When the bubbles on the surface of the batter pop (after about a minute or two) turn the bliny over with a spatula and cook for another 45 seconds to a minute. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Serve with your preferred accompaniments.
(Image: Kathryn Hill)