Smoked salmon blinis with caviar

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Steven Doherty's smoked salmon blinis recipe is perfect served as an individual starter – a fluffy, yeasted savoury pancake topped with the classic combination of cream cheese, smoked salmon and a little caviar for an elegant flourish. Smaller blinis could be served as delicious party canapé, simply cook one large pancake and stamp out rounds with a small pastry cutter. Traditionally hailing from Russia, the original versions would be made with buckwheat flour which can be substituted for the wholemeal flour used here, and has the added benefit of (generally) being gluten-free.

First published in 2016





  • 150g of wholemeal flour, stoneground if possible
  • 7g of fast-action dried yeast
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 400ml of milk, warmed slightly
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 4 tsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter

Smoked salmon topping


  • Blini pans


Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and mix in the dried yeast, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Add the whole eggs and warm milk, then mix well until everything is fully combined
  • 150g of wholemeal flour, stoneground if possible
  • 7g of fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 400ml of milk, warmed slightly
Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside somewhere warm to rise for up to an hour, or until the mixture has doubled in size
After this time, place the egg whites in a clean bowl and beat with the remaining pinch of salt until just firm. Gradually add to the flour mixture, folding carefully so as not to beat out too much air
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
To cook, place a blini pan over a medium heat with 1 tsp of oil and ½ tsp of butter. Drop 2 large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan to cover the base completely and cook for 2–3 minutes until just set on the bottom
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 4 minutes. Loosen the blini in the pan and flip over to reveal the underside then return to the oven to finish cooking for 2 minutes
Set aside to cool while repeating the process to make 4 blinis in total. Alternatively, the blinis can be cooked in 4 separate pans
To serve, spread each blini with a spoonful of cream cheese, topping with a slice of smoked salmon and a teaspoon of caviar. Scatter over the dill fronds to garnish and finish with a grinding of black pepper

Working as the head chef at Le Gavroche in the 1980s cemented Steven Doherty's status as a legendary chef, but after falling in love with Cumbria he kick-started the gastropub scene in the county.

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