With only one to go until pancake day I was chastising my food and lifestyle blogging self for not having marked the occasion. Forget christmas, pancake day is the big one, and having injudiciously missed the boat on national Nutella day last week I was anxious to meet this brief, yet completely without inspiration. That is until I visited leicester wholefoods co-op at the weekend.
If you are Leicester based and have not visited this delightful treasure trove of wholesome delights drop everything and go, go now! It’s an inspiring place. I was accompanying C who was picking up ingredients for work and I had promised myself I would just window shop, but it wasn’t to be. £20.00 later I was armed with Buckwheat flour, coconut palm sugar, agar, dried shitake mushrooms, Liquorice yogi tea and I even threw in some physilium husk (A key ingredient in the life changing loaf of bread) for good measure.
So, lets talk about buckwheat for a minute, the name is misleading as it’s not a grain, rather a pseudocerial or seed more closely related to sorrel and rhubarb than wheat, It’s high in nutrients and a great source of protein. Buckwheat is often to be found lining the shelves of the supermarkets in groat format though it’s not often I see buckwheat flour and I don’t recall ever having baked or cooked with it so I seized the opportunity, buckwheat was exactly what I needed for my pancake recipe of choice this year.
Now onto Blinis, This humble yeasted pancake hails from Russia, traditionally made with buckwheat flour and served to mark the beginning of lent. These delicate, cloud like morsels offer a sophisticated bite sized pancake that can hold up a multitude of toppings. The addition of yeast does keen you need to be a little patient, but the end results are well worth it!
Buckwheat blinis- you will need:
- 125ml milk
- 40g plain flour
- 30g buckwheat flour
- 2.5g fast action dried yeast
- pinch salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 egg whites
This recipe makes 35-40 canapé size blini, I made mine a little larger, around 5cm diameter with yield of 20
- Gently warm the milk to blood temp and mix in the yeast and 15g of the plain flour. Cover and set aside in a warm place for two hours*
- Mix in the remaining flours, the yolks and salt. Cover and leave for a further 1/2 hour.
- Whip the whites to stiff peaks and fold into the mix.
- lightly oil a frying pan and on a medium high heat fry the blinis in batches and watch as the batter bubbles up delightfully. Flip the pancakes halfway through so they are an even golden colour on both sides.
*If you have a dehydrator you can cut the time down by setting the dehydrator to 30°C and warming the milk mix through for just one hour, rather than two.
Now time to get creative, lets talk about toppings…..
I’ve gone down the savoury route here, blinis have a great affinity with smoked fish so I couldn’t deny them a little smoked salmon and cream cheese. I also opted for semi dried tomatoes, avocado and Sirancha, and red pepper pesto, cherry tomato and and olive.
Sweet works a treat here too, I suggest any of your favourite pancake toppings, e.g. honey and blueberry, maple and banana or Nutella and orange, anything goes!
Happy pancake day to all!