It’s official: spring is coming. How do I know? Well, because next week is a MASLENNITSA (stress the first syllable) week. The week when, in Russian tradition, we cook lots of pancakes and crepes and blinis (which symbolize the sun) to welcome spring.
Like most religious and harvesting holidays (e.g. Easter), maslennitsa doesn’t come on exactly the same week every year – I always have to google it to find out when exactly I am supposed to get that pancake pan going. Sometimes it’s in February, sometimes – in March.
In the good old days in the centuries long gone, maslennitsa was HUGE. People used to eat blinis every day for a week. There was a designated day when a family invites his in-laws, and then hers, and then when everyone went to in-laws, and so on. There were festivities and events like burning an over-sized Winter Figure (which looked like a scarecrow) and jumping over a bonfire.
Well, as the maslennitsa starts off on Monday, I am not planning on jumping over bonfires, but I decided to make blinis.
There are millions of recipes, of course – I chose the one to my liking and slightly modified it.
For about a dozen blinis:
- eggs – 2
- salt – a pinch
- sugar – 1 tbsp
- boiling water – 1 cup
- milk – 1 1/4 cups
- sour cream – 1 tbsp
- flour – 1 1/4 cup
- baking powder – 1/2 tbsp
- Beat eggs with sugar and salt into foamy liquid.
- Slowly pour boiling water into the mixture, constantly stirring. Don’t worry, the eggs won’t cook 🙂
- Add milk and sour cream, mix thoroughly.
- Using a sifter (this is a must!) add slowly flour and baking powder, constantly mixing the dough.
- Add a bit of oil (not more than 1 tbsp) and stir.
- Now, it is best to use a shallow non-stick frying pan with thick bottom. Like this.
- Heat up the pan (I set the stove to just above 5 out of 6). If your pan is really good and non-stick, you can go ahead without using the oil (the amount you poured right into the dough should suffice).
- I personally prefer using a refillable oil sprayer that I bought some time ago (like this).
- Anyway, spray a bit of oil into the pan. You want to keep your distance while doing that: if your pan is as hot as it should be, the oil might spit around as it comes into contact with the pan.
- Pour a ladle of dough onto the skillet and turn the skillet to let the dough spread evenly into a thin crepe.
- When the edges become slightly dry and golden, flip it. When it’s done – slide onto a plate. While you’re baking the rest of crepes, keep the cooked ones covered with a pot lid and towel to keep them warm.