Oladi with Apples (Russian Buttermilk Pancakes)
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My mom is always inventing new ways to use a classic recipe. These buttermilk pancakes are commonly referred to as “oladi” but we called them “blinchiki” growing up.
They are like american buttermilk pancakes, only 10 times better. Ok, they are NOTHING like American pancakes. My sister, Anna, gave me a great tip for next day pancakes: just put them in the toaster and they taste like fresh!
NOTE: The original recipe I posted had raisins mixed in. This incorporates finely chopped apples – fruit makes everything better! I also updated the original recipe to 4 cups of flour instead of 4 1/4; they are fluffier and nicer this way. Just like Mama’s!
I’ve officially started my Nursing program this week (hence the posting delay). I appreciate your requests for additional specific recipes. I only ask for your patience as I have zero time to do anything but read my textbooks!
Ingredients for buttermilk pancakes:
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups warm water
2 eggs, room temperature
½ Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
½ Tbsp active dry yeast
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (Flour made in Canada makes the fluffiest pancakes)
1 to 1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples (About 2 medium apples, peeled and cored)
Oil for frying (I used canola)
How to make buttermilk pancakes:
1. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients (cups buttermilk, 2 cups warm water, 2 eggs,1/2 Tbsp salt, 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 Tbsp yeast).
2. Add the flour one cup at a time until it is the texture of cake batter. There should not be lumps of flour.
3. Mix in the finely chopped apples.
4. You have to put the batter in a warm place to rise. We use the oven. Warm your oven and then turn it off so it’s just about 90 degrees in there. Not too warm.
Pour the batter in an oven proof bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it sit in a warm oven for 1 hour. It will about double in volume. You can put it outside in summer.
5. In a large skillet, heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil over medium-low, medium heat.
6. Place heaping tablespoons of dough onto the skillet and sauté until golden brown, then turn over. You can get better shaped pancakes if you use a wet tablespoon to put the dough in the skillet and scrape it off with a teaspoon.
7. Continue to oil your skillet in between each batch. They turn out nicer on a well-oiled skillet.
Oladi with Apples (Russian Buttermilk Pancakes)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ tablespoon active dry yeast
- 3 3/4 cups flour
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples, About 2 medium apples, peeled and cored
- Oil for frying
Whisk together the first 6 ingredients (buttermilk, water, eggs, salt, sugar and yeast).
Add the flour one cup at a time until it is the texture of cake batter. There should not be lumps of flour.
Mix in the finely chopped apples.
You have to put the batter in a warm place to rise. Pour the batter in an oven proof bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it sit in a warm oven for 1 hour. It will about double in volume.
In a large skillet, heat 3-4 Tbsp of oil over medium-low, medium heat.
Place heaping Tbsp of dough onto the skillet and saute until golden brown, then turn over. You can get better shaped pancakes if you use a wet tablespoon to put the dough in the skillet and scrape it off with a teaspoon.
Continue to oil your skillet in between each batch. They turn out nicer on a well-oiled skillet.
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My family loves this recipe. We have had it almost on a weekly basis for the last month! Thank you so much!
That is fantastic! I’m happy to hear that this recipe is now your family’s favorite. Thanks for sharing, Lena.
I followed the recipe exactly, using yeast that is good for another two years. The batter did not rise in the 100 degree oven and the oladi turned into very flat pancakes, instead of the fluffy things I wanted.
Hi Liz, it sounds like maybe something got too hot and deactivated the test. I’m not sure what else it could be.
The next time you make these, if possible would you weigh the flour and let me know. The amounts can vary widely if not weighed with even bigger differences between high protein flowers like King Arthur (my fav) and say White Lily. I know you mentioned that Canadian flour works best but didn’t say why. Any additional info would be appreciated before I give these a whirl. I noticed that one of your reviewers advocated for more buttermilk; it would seem that would make for a more flavorful pancake but would like your thoughts.
Hi Bill, I will add this one to my list as one that I need to republish for clarity. I suspect people are adding more buttermilk due to flour differences. Thanks Bill!
Love to buy these in my Russian store. But they make them with apples and cherries. So good!!!
My wife and I use as much as 2 cups of shredded — not chopped — apples. To remove excess moisture, we squeeze the apple shreds in a kitchen towel just as when making potato cakes. We save the juice for the liquid in our rye bread. Also, we make a whole batch, then freeze the surplus; they reheat well in our old cast-iron skillet with a lid.
Thanks for sharing your great tips with other readers!
When putting it in the oven to rise, what temperature would you recommend the oven to be at?
Hi Faye, whenever you are working with yeast, you never want the oven to be over 100˚F or it will ruin the yeast. I would suggest heating it to 100˚F.
Love this recipe! My go to oladi recipe. Thanks.
That’s awesome! Thank you 🙂
Hi, I was recommended this blog by a friend for the chocolate cake recipe on your site. I did try it and it turned out amazing. But then this is not why I write. I looked for this recipe, tried it and it was great. Only thing, I didn’t have was yeast and i wanted something instant for my breakfast, so the same measurement i alternated with soda bicarbonate. It was good.
Now I am a fan of your website/blog/instagram…that I am going to try out maximum recipes I can.
Thank you for sharing your experience and your knowledge.
Kuwait / India
Thank you! Do you mean baking soda? I’m so glad you are enjoying my site 🙂
Yes Baking Soda. 🙂
Thank you Valya 🙂
Thank you Valya 🙂
My mother and grandmother made these pancakes for breakfast every week. 1) No one in Ukraine ever uses water for anything but dissolving yeast. The base for these pancakes is buttermilk. 2) Butter or oil is used to grease the pan not to fry pancakes in it 3) Chopping apples in a blender will give the pancakes an uneven and rough texture: you need to use large cheese greater instead. 4) Packaged Dry Yeast does not always work so if you want to make sure your end result is fluffy dough then you need to use ½ cup of warm 110 F water, 1 tbs of sugar and 1 pack of yeast, mix it and let rise only then blend it into the dough. Dough will take about 1,5-2 hours to rise. 5) To make pancakes even and round, which is practically impossible by just pouring dough on the skillet, use egg rings and fill them with dough by ¾ of the ring, no more than that. The dough further expends during the cooking process. 6) Pancakes should be cooked on med to med-low heat otherwise they will burn before the dough has a chance of expending and cooking through.
The correct proportions for the recipe are:
2 cup of whole buttermilk (not skimmed or 1% as fat is important)
3 cups of four (no more than that or the dough may be too chewy)
2-3 tablespoon of sugar, one of which is mixed with yeast
1 packet of active dry yeast
¼ – ½ cups of warm (110F) water
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and grated
¼ teaspoon of salt
Dash of vanilla
Unsalted butter of oil to grease the pan.
This recipe was awesome stop criticizing. I loved the way the were made besides the wait.
These go great with jam during breakfast :).
I tried making these and cut the recipe in half but they turned out very flat and not fluffy like the ones in your photo. Also I think that it was too much oil for the oladi. They were almost swimming in oil. I tried using butter as well but the end result was still the same. Do u have any suggestions?
Make sure the oil is hot enough for them to be sizzling when you put them on the skillet or they will absorb too much oil. They shouldn’t be swimming in the oil; maybe your skillet is smaller than mine, just add a little less oil next time. Also, about the fluffiness; make sure if you put them in the oven to rise, that the oven is not too hot for rising (too hot will kill the yeast and it will stop rising). Hope that helps! 🙂
I found your website by accident! I had a dish while in Russia (stayed with a family) and she used cottage cheese to make these pancake like rounds for breakfast. Do you have a recipe for that or can you tell me what they are called? I have been trying to find something so I can recreate them – they were wonderful.
Is this what you’re looking for? https://natashaskitchen.com/2012/02/16/ukrainian-syrniki-recipe/
I will make that for my children. I hope they like it. P.S. IT LOOKS GREAT.
Thanks, they are very good
Great recipes! My friend recommended your website and I must say, I love the step by step instructions and pictures! Making these for breakfast after Thanksgiving and Kievskiiy Tort for Thanksgiving dinner 🙂 Excited!
Privet Natasha, just found this blog, I love it! I’m half Russian, but grew up in the Netherlands. My mum did cook a lot of different Russian dishes so I know a lot of them. Unfortunately she died when I was quite young and didn’t leave me the recipes, so these home made recipes with ingredients that are easy to get in ‘the West’ are great!
I was wondering if this recipe could be made with whole wheat flour, I know it would taste different, but would it work you think?
To Nadia, yes, you can make Oladi with milk, but it is different recipe.
I had a question, I forgot to buy buttermilk for the apple oladiki, can I use milk instead of buttermilk?
I have only tried it with buttermilk. I don’t think milk would work
Actually pavloyakovets is absolutely correct. There are proper names for everything. And even though “blinchiki” is a commonly used name, it is wrong. The proper translation of Blinchiki into Ukrainian would be Nalistniki and they are more like crepes that you roll stuff into. What you describe above is really so called Drozhevye Oladi (yeast pancakes) as oppose to plain Oladi na Kislom moloke (kefir) or Buttermilk Pancake without using yeast. And in fact mlin is an Old Russian word that is not very commonly used today. However in old Ukrainian villages it is probably used more than anywhere else.
As far as taste goes huge difference in the end result. But it is all technicalities. I like them all.
You’re actually right, Charlie, though I think it also depends on whether you’re from Eastern Ukraine, Western Ukraine (and HOW far west!) the Kuban’, Kiev or even Moscow for that matter. My mom just always called them blinchiki to make life easier for us (huh? And going to Saturday Russian school was easy in what way exactly?) but we knew they were oladi. In the Kuban’, visiting my cousins, blinchiki were a different thing altogether, blini another…. I know I get a bit of an “ouch” when I hear a different word used for a food I’ve eaten all my life but I also know that it all depends on so many different geographical and historical reasons. Why “vareniki,” for example, are called “perogies” is beyond me!
Yeh, my mom is Russian too and pancakes were always called Oladi. Hearing them being called blinchiki makes me cringe all the time, lol. Blinchiki are the crepes/nalisniki type things. But over all, no matter what you call they they are all yummy!
Nadia, I’ve been stalking your site ever since I found it!:) Love it!
True, true. The important thing is, they are delicious 😉
oladi and milintsi (blinchiki) are not the same thing. the recipe on this page is a perfect example of oladi. however, blinchiki is like these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blintz
I think everyone calls them something different growing up. We never called these oladi – we called them blinchiki and I’ve never heard of milintsi. 🙂 I know this nomenclature might drive some a little crazy, but I try to name them based on how people might search for them.
I stumbled upon your website after seeing one of my friends on FB “liking” the site. Needless to say, I have been going over every recipe during my free time and I have not seen anything like it anywhere else : ) You are doing a great job, especially with your busy schedule. (I also love to cook and have many of my own twists on the traditional Russian and Ukrainian dishes.)
Big CONGRATULATIONS on getting into the nursing program. I know how busy it is as I have been through it a few years ago. Don’t despair… there is a light at the end of a tunnel and it will be over before you know it : ) (although I have to give you a lot of credit because you have a husband, a baby, and this website to take care of at the same time : ) ) I hope it will all be worth it for you when you finish.
Tanya from California
Thank you Tanya for your encouragement. I feel like its going quickly allready. But I’m trying not to look at the “big picture” – just climbing Everest 1 day at a time 🙂
Helpful hint – even better than a wet spoon – dishers:
Buy online or find a local restaurant supply place.
The pancakes are great with sour cream, green onion, and smoked salmon.
I’m not from Idaho so I don’t know if you’ll know, but its also a BSN program at U of Washington. I just researched a lot of schools so i was wondering. But i strated in september though. How long is your accelerated program?
It’s 4 semesters without break (about 1.5 years)
Well good luck…I’m always happy for people that get in to nursing schools…and impressed with how people with their own families can manage everything..but you’ll do it.
I’ve been reading your recipe posts once in a while, and read this time that you started nursing school…i just wanted to ask what school you’re in cause i’m in nursing school too, but we started in the fall… why did yours start so late?
Congratulations on getting into a nursing program (I’ts a big deal!!) I’m in the ISU nursing program. It’s a fast track program in Meridian that starts once a year in January. What program are you in?
I have been asking my mom for the recipe for these forever. Now I have yours! I am so making these. We also called them blinchiki.
LOL! Because I was never a morning person, I never really learned to make these and I too have been trying to get my mom’s “recipe” (there is none, of course!) We, too, called them blinchiki, and ate them with sour cream. (Isn’t everything eaten with sour cream???) However, my mother made them with thinnish slices of apple, cut in half or quarters. I liked biting into the apples and that mixing with the taste of the sour cream. Thanks for the recipe. I’ve been “stalking” this site for a while, off and on, and pinned you on pinterest! Love it all! Great job, Natasha!
Thank you! Yes everything is better with a little sour cream 😉 and slices of apple sound nice.
Ha! Obviously these bring back memories, because I was just going to post but Julia beat me to the punch–that we called them “mlintsi” growing up. Never had them with fruit inside–that sounds good.
These look amazing… yum!
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention my family always called them “milintsi”. Why are there always so many names for Ukrainian dishes?
We just had these recently at a restaurant when we were in Ukraine. They served them with creamy “honey butter” which was heavenly. Growing up, we ate them with sour cream, but I can’t wait to make them at home with my own version of honey butter. I think they just mixed honey and butter (pretty simple) for a syrupy texture. SO GOOD.