Ultimate Russian Pancakes: Traditional Recipe (Blini). I use this recipe for over 10 years and my pancakes always come out great. Made of wheat flour, milk and eggs.
Russian pancakes (blini), also known as bliny or blinchiki, are really special for people raised in Russia or former USSR. Blini are outstanding. They are REALLY important to us. They are a pearl of Russian cuisine.
And I’m not kidding because they will become your upcoming favorite Russian dish! And here is why:
- Russian pancakes are much wider and thinner than American-style pancakes but not as thin and wide as crepes. It allows you to stuff them with everything you like. Examples follow.
- They can be stuffed with minced meat, cheese, ham, mushrooms, or anything savory you like and then fried the second time, like chimichangas.
- If you feel that it’s not fancy enough, you can eat them with caviar, smoked salmon, and sour cream.
- They can be also eaten with jams, chocolate cream, poppy seeds, condensed milk (sgushenka), berries, honey, apples and cinnamon or every other sweet.
- They are a blank page you can fill according to your culinary preferences. You can fulfill your craziest culinary desires like stuffing RP with sausages or wrap yesterday’s chicken salad in them.
- Classic RP are made of wheat flour, milk and eggs (+ some secret ingredients you will find below) but you can experiment with rye or oatmeal flour, use beer or kefir instead of milk or add yeast to the batter.
You can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and never get tired of them, as the possibilities are countless. Remember I said they are important for our culture?
Here is an example: we have a holiday called Maslenitsa dedicated to pancakes. It comes from an old Slavic tradition to worship the beginning of spring with pancakes, symbolizing the Sun. It was even adopted by the Orthodox church. Maslenitsa lasts for a week. You are supposed to make and eat tons of pancakes during that time. Wherever I am, I keep doing this, because it feels so wrong if I wouldn’t.
One more thing, you can’t make just 4 RP at once. You can’t make 10. If you start to make them, you should make the right amount (which is at least 40!), because they are still tasty on the second day. Bonus fact: The singular for pancake – “blin” is used instead of cursing in Russian language. Isn’t that cute?
Frying Russian pancakes is easy but you have to be careful not to burn them, as they become ready quite fast. Before you start frying the first pancake, the pan should be really hot. You can test it by sprinkling a drop of water on it and if it starts vaporizing immediately, you can start frying.
There is a Russian saying: “The first pancake always comes out a lump”. So be warned. And I recommend using two pans simultaneously, for the sake of time. Here is the recipe I find the best so far (and I tried quite a number). To me, that’s how RP should taste. I use this recipe for more than 10 years now, and my pancakes always come out great. And believe me, it will be your “go to” recipe for RP, too! Just to remind you, it’s just the basic recipe and the filling is up to you. Here you go!
How to Make Ultimate Russian Pancakes
Ultimate Russian Pancakes: Traditional Recipe
- 400 grams or 1 3/4 cups wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 2 eggs
- 800 ml or 3 1/3 cups milk
- 100 ml or 1/2 cups cream (for lower calories intake use milk instead)
- 5 tablespoons butter
- sunflower oil to fry
- In a bowl, mix flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- Mix eggs and sugar with a mixer.
- Add milk and cream while mixing.
- Gradually add the flour mixture and blend until smooth. The consistency of the batter should be a bit thicker than cream.
- Heat two pans over high heat. Melt butter and add it to the batter. Blend until smooth.
- Pour a tiny bit of sunflower oil in both pans.
- Use a scoop to pour the batter in the middle of the pan. Tilt the pan from side to side while pouring, forming a circle with the batter.
- Flip the pancake over with a thin spatula, after the surface looks porous and sides are golden.
- Fry for half of the time you fried the first side.
- Repeat with the rest.
- You might want to put them in the warm oven (not more then 70 °C/160 °F) to keep them hot before serving.
Note: For the Pancake Sushi Rolls, use a frying pan which is at least 28 cm (11 inches) in diameter.
What kind of pancakes do you usually make? What toppings do you like? Share your comments below.