Make your own blinis with party-style toppings - vegan and fish, and one just for the kids. Delicious, easy-to-make and freezable. For parties, celebrations, breakfast and snacks.
Gently warm the milk to just above blood temperature, about 100F. Any hotter than 110F, and you will kill the yeast. Whisk in the egg yolk.
Sift or whisk together the flours, salt and yeast. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the milk/egg mixture, whisking until smooth. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for at least one hour, until risen and bubbly on the surface. Leave for up to four hours if you can – the bubblier, the better. You can even do this step overnight in the refrigerator.
Once the batter is bubbly and ready for blini-making, whisk up the egg white until stiff. Gently but thoroughly fold in one-third of the egg white to loosen the mix before folding in the rest.. If you can cover it and leave it for half an hour it will bubble up even more (I do this step), but isn’t absolutely necessary; they’ll still be fantastic without this extra rise/ferment.
Brush a heavy, non-stick pan or flat griddle pan with a little oil and heat over a medium heat. Drop a small amount of the batter in the pan; if it sizzles, it's ready. Now, dollop in tablespoons of batter – about 4 to a pan. You don’t want to over-crowd the pan as it makes the blini more difficult to flip. Spread each dollop with your finger or spoon if you need to. Fry the blini gently for about 1 ½ - 2 minutes, until the tops have dried out and are freckled with small holes. Flip and keep frying for a further minute.
Continue with the rest of the batter, adding the merest hint of oil as needed. Eat warm, with sweet or savoury toppings. These also reheat well in a low oven. And you can freeze them, too: defrost and warm in the oven.
Mix the lentil mix ingredients and leave 10 minutes for the flavours to develop. Spoon crème fraîche over half of the blinis and top with the lentils and chopped red onion, if using.
Mix the grated horseradish or creamed horseradish into the crème fraîche, along with the lemon juice and pepper. Dollop onto blinis and top with smoked salmon pieces, a mini sprig of dill, a squeeze of lemon and mini lemon slice. Add some chopped red onion if you wish.
The cooked blini freeze very well. Freeze on an open baking tray lined with baking parchment for 45 minutes. Tip the partially frozen blini into a labelled bag and store flat in the freezer. Use within one month for best result. Reheat in a warm oven until heated through.
I also top most savoury toppings with my own special pepper blend. I add black peppercorns to an empty (or half empty) pepper grinder about halfway full. Then I top up with coriander seeds and finish with the seeds from about 30 green cardamom pods. It's my go-to spice blend and keeps me from reaching for the salt shaker.