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Buttermilk Pancakes

Sunday, October 24, 2010

When the cool fall weather is setting in, I feel a longing for kitchen activities that involve flour. I cannot explain it, but there's something in working with dough that warms my soul and brings spirits up. This Sunday it was badly needed.
The recipe I am offering today is a hybrid between Russian traditional blinis (spelled in English as blintz), thin pancakes similar to French crepes, and small puffy pancakes (called olad'i in Russian). This recipe was born by trial and error, and it appears a little different each time. What makes it so attactive are the easiness and speed. Fast and easy, but extremely satisfying. That's what we need, don't we? Let's begin.

What you need:
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup plain buttermilk
1 cup flour
0.5 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
0.5 -1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp olive oil for batter + oil for frying
Butter to
8-10" diameter skillet (nonstick works fine)


Cosistency of the batter: thin enough
 to spread easily on a skillet 

Mix eggs, 1/2 buttermilk, salt, sugar, and oil.  Add flour and mix until there are no lumps, add the rest of buttermilk (when you first mix the batter thick, it's much easier to break all lumps and get even consistency, after that you can dilute with the rest of liquids). Mix well, then mix in baking soda. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes (it allows the reaction between baking soda and buttermilk to form air bubbles in the batter). The batter will look as a thick foam.  Do not mix after that!

Let the skillet preheat on medium heat during those 5 minutes, drizzle with oil. The heat should be high enough to get you a nice golden pattern on your pancakes, but not too high, when pancakes are already browned, but raw inside.
Relax - they shouldn't be perfect. :)

Ladle about 3-4 tbsp per each pancake. I used a big spoon from my utensils. Working very fast, spread the batter in thin  1/2" layer. Two pancakes fit on my skillet at a time. You can make them smaller, of course. Bigger is not recommended for this batter - could get messy when turned over.
Fry pancakes on one side until they are browned on one side and you see bubbles forming on the surface of pancakes, then carefully turn over, helping with a spade and a fork. Fry on the other side until nicely golden or browned. Each time before frying a new pair of pancakes, drizzle some more oil on the skillet. 
Place ready pancakes on a heat-proof dish, smear/dab some butter over each newly fried pancake (to add some shine), warn them up in the oven if they happen to cool down by the time you are finished.

Serve hot with cold sour cream and jam for a sweet tooth or with caviar and salted salmon. Followed by a cup of coffee, these pancakes make a hearty treat for your lazy Sunday morning. Enjoy.:)

I think I told you all my secrets to get a good result.:) Just follow what I said, and you will be proud of yourself.
This is a basic recipe, you can alter it following your desires.
The view from my study today -
doesn't it inspire you to create?..
1.Add more sugar, add a filling like raisins or sweet dried cranberries, and you will get a richer treat good even for a Christmas morning.
2. Add finely grated onion, bacon pieces, some pepper, and "Voila!" you have yet another completely different derivative recipe.

The members of the household were completely happy and, I would say, mellow after my today's breakfast,  all peace and love - an idyllic picture to strive for and a reward for my effort.

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