Russian Oladyi: Yogurt Pancakes

February 20, 2010 § 10 Comments

These here are lighter, more airy cousins of pancakes as Americans know them. They are made with yogurt instead of milk, are smaller, and use baking soda instead of powder, whose chemical reaction with yogurt is responsible for the lovely airy texture. In my mind, these are the Old Country classic, and they present a great use for yogurt that is kinda old and is starting to go bad in your fridge (although you can make them with fresh yogurt as well). Don’t throw that old yogurt away! Make these guys instead. If I want pancakes, this is what I make – not the denser, mealier American kind.

Here’s what they look like on the inside.

Here’s how to make them:

Note: This recipe will feed a small army of relatives that may descend on your house the day after Thanksgiving. Cut it at least in half for a family of four.

You’re gonna need 4 C of yogurt (only 2 in the picture – because I originally intended to cut the recipe in half, but decided otherwise)…

To which you add 3 eggs (2 small eggs if making half a batch),

4 T sugar,

1 t salt,

And 2 t of baking soda (NOT baking powder).

Now add enough flour till you get to about this consistency (I never count my flour, I really should have for you – I think it’s somewhere around 2 C?)

Now add some oil (I use sunflower but you can also use canola or any other vegetable oil – just not olive) to a cast-iron skillet and heat until very hot, almost smoking, over medium-high heat.

Using a large tablespoon, spoon batter into the pan in the form of smallish pancakes – not as big as the American ones, otherwise they won’t cook properly.

Cook over medium-high heat until golden-brownish on the bottom, then flip them over, reducing the heat to medium for the frying of the second side. Be sure to keep adding oil to the pan as it becomes dry.

Cook until the other side achieves the same color, then remove onto a platter. Serve with any of the following (or a combination of several): maple syrup, sour cream, fruit preserves, cheddar cheese, chocolate syrup, black or red caviar. The last one is actually my favorite – salty fish and sweet pancakes are a perfect combination, and not any more outlandish than pancakes and pork sausages people have here. Even if you think that eating fish eggs is gross, try keeping an open mind and give it a try sometime.

But me, I am always up for something more sinful. I had mine with some of the Annie’s brownie pudding from yesterday, the one that Jacob described as “just like Hershey’s syrup drunk directly from the bottle” (I must confess, I increased the cocoa content by 50%).

Oladyi: The Russian Yogurt Pancakes

  • 4 C plain yogurt (going bad OK)
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t baking soda
  • enough four to make a medium-thick batter (one that holds its shape but is still a liquid rather than a paste)
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Mix all the ingredients together except for oil, and beat until smooth. (I do recall people adding 1-2 T of oil directly into the batter back in the Old Country to prevent sticking, but I never do that, and mine never stick.) Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Using a large tablespoon (but not a ladle or anything like that), spoon the batter into the pan in the form of small oval pancakes. Fry on one side until golden-brown, then flip, reducing the heat to medium, and cook until the other side is golden-brown as well. Be sure to add more oil if your skillet becomes dry. Remove to a platter and top with any of the desired toppings.

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§ 10 Responses to Russian Oladyi: Yogurt Pancakes

  • Rasha says:

    the pictures on this morning recipe do good service to your subject. early daylight + blue pattern plates = lovely.

  • Michelle says:

    Oh my Goodness, made these this morning with some older store bought vanilla yogurt I had in the fridge.

    They were wonderful. I ate mine piping hot from the pan no syrup needed!


  • Michelle says:

    Also, wanted to add that we usually prefer a more crepe like pancake. These were wonderful and light on the inside with alittle crunch on the outside.

    These take alittle longer to cook than even a “normal” American pancake. Don’t have your pan too hot or they will burn before the insides reach light, tender perfection.

    Will be trying more of your recipes soon!

  • Anthony says:

    G’day Sofya,

    Greetings fron Down Under. Stupid question regarding the oladyi recipe – would you be so kind as to clarify your weights and measure abbreviations. I am fairly sure I know what they are but just want to check that I do not make a mistake regarding metric/US imperial/UK imperial conversions.

    Thanks for posting the recipe – seems a lot easier than going for blini which was my original intention and thank you for taking the time to reply.

    Cheers, Anthony

    • Sofya says:

      Hi Anthony – boy I am not great with metric – but I would say T stands for tablespoon, t stands for tea spoon, C stands for cup (8 oz = 227.3 ml, that’s what an online converter told me). That should be all. The flour measure is by eye, until you get to the right consistency. It’s not exactly an appetizer though, if that’s what you were thinking – this is very much breakfast food.

  • Anthony says:

    Dear Sofya,

    Thank you very much for the clarification – it confirms what I had in my mind and is greatly appreciated. Many thanks also for your comment regarding oladyi not being an appetizer, however, I plan to have them at 0430 in the morning over here with some friends as we watch the World Cup.

    I can agree with your comment that fishy things go well with them and I was planning smoked salmon with fresh dill and sour cream – otherwise if they are not appreciated I will have all of them for myself with roe or true caviar if I can get it.

    By the by, sensational blog and please keep up the good work. As for your pantry, you’ve left out a bottle of Bombay Sapphire and fennel seeds – must have for anything done in the kitchen!

    Cheers, Anthony

  • Sofya says:

    Hi again, Anthony – I just want to warn you (once more) that they are not like mini-blinis – they are more like oily breakfast food – like the American pancakes, and serving them as appetizer/snack might not exactly hit the spot. Just so you know. They are a little sweet, too – see how they have sugar in them? And another important difference – they are squishy and plump.

    Is Bombay Sapphire a type of gin? I guess we don’t use gin, but sometimes we buy Bourbon for baking, and I actually do have some fennel seeds but don’t use them often – they are a bit foreign to me.

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