White Flour Blini (Russian Yeast Pancakes)
1/2 yeast cake (or dry equivalent)
2 cups scalded milk, cooled
2 tsp. sugar
3 cups sifted flour
3 eggs, separated
5 Tbsp. softened butter
1 tsp. salt
Crumble the yeast in a deep bowl with the lukewarm milk and stir till smooth. Stir in the sugar and 1-1/2 cups flour. Cover the bowl with a cloth and set it in a warm place for 1-1/2 hrs. for the sponge to rise. Beat the egg yolks with the butter, adding the salt and the rest of the flour, then mix this with the sponge. Beat well and put aside to rise again for another 1-1/2 hrs. Stir the stiffly whipped egg whites into the batter with a fork. Let stand 10 minutes before making your pancakes.
Ladle the batter out in small quantities, about 3 inches across. Use small frying pans very lightly buttered, and fry the pancakes till brown on both sides. Keep melted butter in a sprinkle top jar, or use a small feather brush to butter the pan. The pancakes should be buttered lightly on the uncooked side before they are turned. Serve very hot, with additional melted butter and sour cream.
Blini are served during Maslyanitsa, the carnival week before Lent. Translated Maslyanitsa means “butter festival.” They are served also with smoked fish, caviar, or salt herring.