Russian Mardi Gras

Life occasionally gets crazy (or in my case is always crazy) so while I made this recipe last weekend, I’m only getting around to this now. Every now and then the Russian side of my personality comes to the fore – in this particular case, the result was delicious food, bliny. Bliny are Russian pancakes that are a traditional food to eat before Lent begins and one of my favorite things ever. They are typically topped with cheese, hard-cooked eggs and scallions probably because the Russian Orthodox are hard core. Lent is not just meatless – like Catholics – there are no eggs or dairy products either. I’d never made them before, but when my dad told me that he and my mom were having them for dinner, I asked him to email me the recipe so I could make them too.

I was out of eggs, so I topped my blini with apples

I was out of eggs, so I used apples

An important thing about bliny – they take forever. I kid you not, the dough needs to rise FOUR times. Four. Its a little ridiculous. First: you make a bread sponge of 1/2 cup water, 1 package of yeast and 1 cup flour. Then, after that’s risen, you add an egg yolk, 1 cup warm milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon sugar and more flour (about 1-1 1/2 cups). Then you let it rise. After an hour, you stir it down, and let it rise again. Stir it down and let rise again. After the third rising, you cook the super puffy dough on a griddle, like a normal pancake. Yes, this seems like rather a lot of work for just pancakes … but they are the puffiest and most amazing pancakes ever. They also have a very distinctive flavor – no idea why, maybe the result of the alchemic process of rising and cooking.¬† They are SO GOOD. Seriously worth the effort of making. A word of warning though. Make sure you use a large enough bowl for the dough to rise in. Otherwise you get this …

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  1. Pancake Week: Kale and Potato Pancakes | Sunshine Kitchen - February 17, 2015

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