Fluffy Russian Pancakes “Oladyi”
Why I Love This Recipe
This is a dish that's a must-have for any book on Russian cuisine. Russia has a rich tradition of pancakes, which goes back to Butterweek (Maslenitsa), the pagan celebration of upcoming spring. This was a week in February when, among other traditional celebrations, flat and round pancakes were eaten on a massive scale. The pancakes looked somewhat like the sun, hence the spring connection. The traditional pancakes eaten during Butterweek are called “bliny”. These are paper-thin and as wide as a dinner plate, and are practically indistinguishable from French crepes. Then, there are the thicker and smaller pancakes called “oladyi”. Unlike the plate-wide and paper-thin bliny, oladyi are about 2-3 inches wide and 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch thick. These are somewhat easier to make than bliny and they are more unique to Russian cuisine, which is why they were chosen for this book.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cups unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking powder
Vegetable oil, enough to coat the pan
(If buttermilk is not available, you can create a substitute by mixing 1 tablespoon of white or cider vinegar with a cup of milk. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.)
• Add the vinegar to milk, stir and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
• Mix eggs and sugar in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved.
• Melt the butter by heating in a microwave for 30 seconds and add to the eggs.
• Add the buttermilk, flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly until the mixture has a uniform consistency.
• Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil or butter on a frying pan.
• Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter and pour onto the frying pan all at once. (If you don't have a measuring cup with a 2-tablespoon capacity, just measure out two tablespoons into a large ladle or cup.)
• Wait for about 1-2 minutes for the underside to turn golden brown. (This happens when you start seeing the edges turn slightly brown).
• Flip and wait another minute.
• (Several oladyi can be fried side-by-side, as long as their edges don't touch.)
• Place the finished oladyi onto a serving plate and serve right away.
• Oladyi are usually served with sour cream and/or fruit jam