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Blini (or Russian pancakes)

One of the classes I used to run here at the Cooking School was a “Party Food” course. I mean a cocktail party rather than a dinner party, although you can even make these as an amuse-bouche. I shared some of my most favourite recipes collected over the years. You know I can’t share everything from the course, as that wouldn’t be right. But I think I can share this little Blini (or Russian pancake) recipe.

Blini mixture in a pan, just starting to cooki.
Blini cooking in the fry pan

Traditionally a Blin is made with buckwheat flour, but that can be hard to find for many of us. I’m going to share my recipe that has plain flour. Oh, and, Yep, the singular word for Blini is Blin. Who would know?

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere ๐Ÿ™‚

Blini are similar to sweet pikelets. However, Blini are typically savoury. I love them; they’re so good for parties because you can make them early, freeze them, and when serving, add different toppings to create variety. They’re just a carrier for a yummy topping, after all. The good thing is that they are delicious, fluffy, flat little morsels, that really can carry any topping you wish.

A ceramic bowl with beetroot and salmon Blini.
Blini dressed and ready to eat

You can make a bucket load of them in a short amount of time, either in a frying pan or if you’ve got a lot to make, then think about using your BBQ plate. Freezing them will indeed help when you’ve got a big event, and want to prepare ahead of time. You can pull them out of the freezer the evening before and place the container in the fridge to thaw. I like to have the toppings made the day or morning before as well. That way, it only takes minutes to either quenelle or pipe some on top.

Blini ingredients

  • Plain flour – As I said earlier, traditionally Russian Blini are made with buckwheat flour, I often prefer to make these with plain flour (and that’s what I’m using in this recipe). Plain flour is simply that, I love that it doesn’t detract too much from the flavour of the ingredients your serving them with. Plain flour is also lighter in texture. Perfect as a base for cream cheese and smoked salmon.
  • Caster sugar – its only a teaspoon but it will help with flavour and colour when you fry them off. They wont be sweet.
  • Baking powder – Yes it’ seems a lot but if you want light and fluffy you need to use it.
  • Salt – Just a pinch to bring out the flavours, don’t leave it out.
  • Milk – use full cream for best results
  • Egg – When I add the weight of an egg in a recipe I always mean without the shell. 55g will give you the right texture.
  • Unsalted butter – A little trick I use for the Thermomix sometimes is to have it chilled and blitz it though the mix at the start, but for the conventional method it’s best to melt it and blend it though.

What would you put on your Blini?

A ceramic bowl with beetroot and salmon Blini

Blini recipe

4.39 from 13 votes

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

becs-table.com.au
These Blini are perfect to make for a party. Make them early, freeze them, then pile all sorts of toppings on them for any festive event.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Course Appetizer, Party food, Snack
Cuisine Russian
Servings 36 Blini
Method Thermomix and Conventional

Equipment

  • Thermomix, Stand Mixer or a bowl and spatula

Ingredients
  

  • 150 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 180 ml milk
  • 1 egg 55g
  • 20 g unsalted butter chilled for TM owners or melted for non Thermomix owners.
  • + extra butter for a frying pan

Instructions
 

Thermomix Method

  • Weigh the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into the TM bowl with the MC in mix 6 seconds/speed 8.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. (yep get this started)
  • Now weigh the milk and egg into the TM bowl and mix 10 seconds/speed 4 scrape down and repeat for 5 seconds/speed 4.
  • Add a little butter to the pan then drop small heaped teaspoons (10 ml) portions of blini mixture into the pan to form small rounds.
  • Cook until browned lightly underneath and bubbles appear on the surface. Turn over, and cook until blini are cooked through.
  • Repeat with the remaining blini mixture. If the pan gets dirty from the burning butter, clean it out with a paper towel.

Conventional Method

  • Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  • Gradually whisk in milk, egg and melted butter.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a little butter to the pan then drop heaped teaspoons of mix (10 ml) portions of blini mixture into the pan to form small rounds.
  • Cook until browned lightly underneath and bubbles appear on the surface. Turn over, and cook until blinis are cooked through.
  • Repeat with the remaining blini mixture. If the pan gets dirty from the burning butter, clean it out with a paper towel.

Notes

Becโ€™s Tips:
Blini have a lot of baking powder in them; this gives them the lovely light, bouncy texture we love.ย  But be warned, once you mix your liquids in with the dry ingredients, the baking powder starts to activate.ย  If you leave your blini mix sitting on the side, 10 โ€“ 15 minutes waiting for your frypan or BBQ plate to heat, it will start activating before you want it to.ย  So be organized with your hot pan at the ready when your batter is made, and be quick.

Want to know more?

Would you like to learn how to add more flavour? Our online course “A bit on the side“, might be the answer.A bit on the side

19 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    It looks amazing, but that’s not “blini”. It looks more like other russian dish – “Olad`i or , as my family calls it, oladushki”.
    Blin is plain and looks like french crep.

      1. 5 stars
        Good to learn something new. Honestly I didn’t know. for me, they’re so different. Different recipes, different tastes. When I make them classic blini look like crep. When I make oladyi I add grated apples.

  2. 5 stars
    Thx for this recipe Bec. I usually test things before I have visitors over but I had no time and so no choice. Took a chance and I must say they were perfect! Thx so much. This will be on repeat for when visitors come over for a little nibble. Served with smoked salmon, red onion and a dill sprinkle. They went like ummmm hot cakes๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜

  3. Looks like a recipe Iโ€™d love to try. What kind of milk? Whole? Would skim work?

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