Yeasted Blini

Yeasted Blini

52 weeks of baking – The Roaring 20’s

I’m a bit of a history nerd, mostly when it comes to clothing and complicated royal family trees, not so much with food. The history of food is interesting, but what people actually ate as their everyday fair, especially in the Western world, is a little boring for my creative taste buds. Looking into historical food I prefer recipes for preserving interesting cuts of meat along the lines of homesteading, raising your own animals and using every piece of it. There are some really great British programs out there on the subject, Historical Farm Series and Supersizers Eat.

This week’s baking challenge is to make something from the 1920’s, my gut reaction was to make a finger food, something for a cocktail party. Canapés became popular because they were one bite, pop it into your mouth and still have your hand free to hold your drink as you socialize. In French canapé translate as sofa, you can see how little savory bites on slices of bread can look like they are sitting on a sofa.

I made a yeasted blini as my couch, fluffy little pancakes with a hint of sour from an overnight fermentation topped with a cream cheese and goat cream, sliced cucumber, shards of hot smoked salmon and strips of pickled red onion. This makes a lot of tiny pancakes, after awhile I got tired of making them so I made them a little bigger. They work well for both sweet and savory applications, so top these with whatever you like, sour cream and macerated berries is a great option for leftovers the following day after you cocktail party.


Yeasted Blini



  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar


  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 egg yolk, save the white for later
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • butter for cooking

Suggested toppings

  • Cream cheese, cucumber, salmon
  • Fried mushrooms
  • Parsley mayo and hard boiled egg slices
  • Caviar
  • Sour cream and jam
  • Lemon curd


Day before

  1. In a large bowl whisk the sponge ingredients together, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour until it doubles in size.
  2. Add the batter ingredients to the sponge ingredients, mix till combined. Make sure to hang on to the that egg white, you’ll use it tomorrow. Cover and refrigerate the batter over night.

Day of

  1. Let the batter sit out and come to room temperature, 1-2 hours.
  2. In a clean bowl whisk the egg white to soft peaks and gently fold into the batter.
  3. Add some butter to a large skillet on medium high heat, use a ladle to make small, very small, dollops of batter. Cook them just like pancakes, flip them when little bubbles form on the surface of the raw batter.
  4. These do not have to be served piping hot, pile on a plate and cover with a towel while you make all of them. They can sit like this for up to an hour before you serve, it will take a little bit of time to make them, specially if you make them very small.

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