Blinis are small, fluffy, yeast-based savoury pancakes.

They’re great as appetizers or hors d’oeuvres, especially with smoked fish or roe. I recently read about blinis served as large crepe-like pancakes – which I guess would better justify the quantities listed here! They also freeze and reheat really well (which is good, considering this recipe will result in quite a few!)


  • 12.5g/½oz yeast
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 350g/12oz plain flour, sifted
  • 285ml/½ pint milk, lukewarm
  • 2 free-range eggs, separated.
  • a pinch of salt
  • 145ml/¼ pint milk, tepid


  1. Add the yeast to the tepid milk with a pinch of sugar.
  2. Leave to ferment for about two hours in a warm room atmosphere, or until a layer of bubbles covers it.
  3. Add the rest of the flour, the egg yolks, a pinch of salt, to the milk and mix together.
  4. Finally whisk the egg whites and fold them into the mixture, then leave for half an hour before cooking.
  5. Fry over a medium-medium high heat – wait until bubbles form in the pancakes, then flip them.


Depending on what you wish to serve with them:

  • Add finely diced herbs or spices: dill / fennel / parsley / caraway seeds / fennel seeds

Suitable toppings include:

  • Crème fraîche
  • Cream cheese
  • Caviar /Roe
  • Smoked salmon
  • Smoked trout
  • Prawns
  • Mackerel