In the cool latitudes of northern Europe, rye, buckwheat and barley were the principal cereals for centuries. Large dark breads were not only the staple food, but during sever famine were often the only food for all but the very wealthy.

Today wheat is widely grown in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe but the fondness for breads made from rye and buckwheat continues to this day and these breads are still the mainstay for many rural communities.
Although not strictly breads, one of my favourites is the Blini.

The Blini is easy to make, cost very little and requires very little preparation time. Great for parties,for making with children or lunch boxes, the little buckwheat pancakes were the equivalent of festive sweet breads in a country where buckwheat rather than wheat was the main crop. Buckwheat was widely grown in Russia in the past.

They are just as popular now and are eaten at any time of the year, most normally with a type of sour cream and caviare, although for those who cannot afford such delights, some cream fraiche and salmon is a tasty alternative. Blinis look like a Scottish pancake in terms of shape and weigh, but they are normally a darker colour. Additionally they have a far more savoury taste which comes from the buckwheat flour. For those who would prefer a slightly less bitter flavour, plain flour can be combined with the buckwheat but for an authentic taste, buckwheat should be solely used.

The best blinis are yeast-risen, and are made using buttermilk or yoghurt. Shop bought Blinis may have been made using baking powder instead and some contain so little buckwheat that they hardly deserve the name 'Blini'.

Ingredients
50g, 2oz, or ½ cup of buckwheat flour
50g , 2oz or ½ cup unbleached plain flour.
2.5ml or ½ tsp of freshly ground black pepper
5ml or 1 tsp of salt
15g or ½ oz of fresh yeast
200ml, 7 fl oz or 1 cup of lukewarm milk
1 egg, separated

1.Mix the buckwheat flour, plain flour pepper and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
2.In a small bowl, cream the yeast with 60ml/4 tbsp of the milk, then mix in the remainder of the milk.
3.Add the egg yolk to the flour mixture and slowly whisk in the yeast mixture to form a smooth batter. Cover with cling film and leave to stand in a warm place for 1 hour.
4.Whisk the egg white until it forms soft peaks and fold, not mix, into the batter.
5.Lightly oil a heavy based frying pan and heat it.
6.Add about 45ml/3 tbsp of the batter to make a 10cm round pancake. Cook until the surface begins to dry out, then turn the pancake over using a palette knife and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter and serve warm with your own taste of toppings.

If you wish to get the full authenticate taste of the Blini, use 100g, 40z or 1 cup of buckwheat instead of plain flour.

Author's Bio: 

Andy Owen is an enjoyer of all things for the kitchen and home, ranging from researching recipes and cooking with the children to interior design and great home products