Legendary Dishes | Blini (pancakes)

RUSSIA | UKRAINE

 

Once upon a time in Russia and the Ukraine the people made a flatbread in their ovens using a yeasted batter. In later times the oven was replaced by the skillet.

The blini was born.

Traditional blini were made with equal amounts of flour, usually buckwheat rather than wheat, and liquid (butter, eggs, kefir or milk or both and a raising agent – baking soda or compressed yeast) and left to rise overnight.

The traditional method can be replicated. Mix the yeast with milk, half the allocated flour and soft butter, leave for 30 minutes.

Separate the eggs. Mix the yolks with sugar.

Beat kefir until light and fluffy.

Beat egg whites until stiff, gradually add into the whipped kefir.

Stir the dough, incorporate the remaining flour, salt and sugar-yolks. Add the kefir mixture, stir and leave to rise.

Fry in small amounts in a hot oiled pan.

 

Blini – 2

 

This is a plain blini.

 

2 eggs
45 ml kefir
45 g flour
10 g sugar
Soda, large pinch
Oil, for frying
Salt, pinch

 

Whisk the kefir into the eggs, season, add flour and soda to make a smooth batter, leave to froth.

Heat some oil in a hot frying pan, ladle a quarter of the batter into the centre of the pan, remove from heat.

When holes form on the surface, flip over, and after a few seconds press with a spatula into the pan, putting it back on the heat for a minute.

 

Blini – 3

 

This is a light, airy blini.

 

2 eggs, separated
375 ml kefir
250 g flour
15 g sugar
Salt, large pinch
Baking soda, large pinch (optional)
Oil, for frying

 

Mix the eggs with salt and sugar, add half of the kefir, stirring constantly, gradually add flour and whisk until the batter is smooth. Add soda if using.

Heat some oil and ladle the batter into the pan, tilting it to make sure it spreads to the edges.

Fry both sides until golden brown.

Serve with jam, honey or sour cream.

 

Blini – 4

 

This is a rich blini.

 

5 eggs, separated
500 ml kefir
125 g flour
100 g butter
30 g hard cheese, grated
Salt, large pinch

 

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Mash egg yolks with butter and salt. Pour kefir into a food processor, add flour and blend for a minute, add yolk mixture, blend again.

Whisk egg whites, fold into batter.

Brush tray moulds liberally with butter, pour batter into moulds.

Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with cheese.


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