2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce envelope)
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs, separated
Caviar or fish roe
Sprinkle yeast over water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir together flour and 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt. Stir together buttermilk, butter, sugar, and egg yolks in a large bowl; whisk in yeast mixture, then flour mixture. Let stand, covered, in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, and coat with a thin layer of butter. Add a scant tablespoon batter for each blini (about 6 or 7 per skillet), and cook, flipping after bubbles appear at edges and color turns golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. (Makes about 4 dozen blinis).
Transfer blinis to a parchment-lined tray, and let cool for 30 minutes. Top with crème fraiche and the caviar or fish roe of your choice.
Recipe adapted from and photo courtesy of www.marthastuart.com