Happy Maslenitsa! In honor of the holiday, we’re sharing our Russian blini recipe. Maslenitsa is an Eastern Slavic folk holiday that takes place the week before the start of the Russian Orthodox Lent to honor the beginning of spring. Interestingly, one of the most notable characteristics of Maslenitsa is pancakes – Russian blintzes or blini. These pancakes are meant to symbolize the sun, which is believed to be gaining strength with each passing day. Traditionally, people will cook pancakes for their families and guests all week long.
How to Make Russian Blini
- 3 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
- 1 packet (1 Tbsp.) active dry yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil or melted butter, plus more for cooking
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of milk. Stir in sugar, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- To make the dough with a food processor, combine flour and salt in the processor and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix. With processor running, pour warm milk with honey, yeast mixture, and eggs through the feed tube and process until well blended. Add the oil or butter and process until all combined. The dough will be like pancake batter. Pour batter in a large bowl and cover bowl with a damp kitchen towel, let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot for about 2 hours. During this time, stir the dough 2-3 times, and after each time let the dough rise again.
- Preheat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with a bit of olive oil or butter. Slowly ladle a 1/3 cup of batter onto the pan. Continue ladling out the batter to make as many blini as you can without letting them touch. If they do touch, separate with the edge of a spatula.
- When blini have begun to rise and bubble in the center, flip with a spatula. Cook until golden on the other side, about 1 minute more, then transfer to plate. Cook remaining blini in the same way, adding oil to the pan as needed.
- Serve with butter, berries, and farm cheese.