Yeasty oladyi: Master the very Russian pancake with a secret filling (RECIPE)

A legend of Slavic country kitchen, Soviet canteens and cozy family breakfasts – enjoy the authentic taste of these fluffy yeasty oladyi!

A legend of Slavic country kitchen, Soviet canteens and cozy family breakfasts – enjoy the authentic taste of these fluffy yeasty oladyi!

Victoria Drey
It originated from the ancient Russian village stove, but this centuries-tested recipe remains the ultimate formula for traditional Slavic pancakes. Let’s repeat in the modern kitchen!

Among all of the possible pancake variations, oladyi are hands down my favorite. They’re most closely to American pancakes, but much thicker and fluffier in texture. Most of the time I go for a regular oladyi recipe based on kefir and baking soda since it is the quickest and tastiest breakfast. But since we’re almost in traditional Slavic Pancake Week – Maslenitsa – why don’t we try our hand at more scrumptious yeasty oladyi with apple filling? 

For my parents and even grandparents yeasty oladyi are the true symbol of childhood: my great-grandma used to bake them in the Russian stove and serve with fresh homemade ryazhenka

Today yeasty, or leavened, oladyi are unfortunately not that widespread because of their relatively more complicated cooking technique, so finding authentic yeasty oladyi in a bakery is a great piece of luck.

What I like most in using yeast instead of baking soda or powder as a raising agent is the fact that leaven always gives oladyi a richer and clearer pastry taste with no foreign soda flavor. Not to mention yeast also makes pancakes fluffier – though it takes more time for cooking since the yeast needs around an hour to proof the batter.

Another great thing about this particular recipe is its filling. This recipe calls for adding the filling right into the batter. Chopped fresh or dried fruits, berries or even savory fillings such as ham, cheese or mushrooms – go for any stuffing you crave! 

Ingredients:

  • 250 ml milk
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 5 g yeast powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 apple
  • vegetable oil for frying

Preparation:

1. Start with making opara – so-called pre-dough for ideal yeasty oladyi base. In a large bowl mix lukewarm (not hot!) milk, sugar, yeast and around 1/3 of flour – whisk until smooth.

2. Leave the mixture in a warm corner for 20 minutes until it bubbles and increases in size. This means the yeast works properly and the pre-dough is ready.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: peel and core an apple, then cut it in very small cubes.

4. Back to the dough – add an egg and a pinch of salt in pre-dough. Mix well. If you prefer a more sweetish type of pancakes, feel free to add another tablespoon of sugar at this point. Next, add the remaining flour – you may need slightly less or more depending on the flour you use, so I recommend don’t add all at once. The right consistency for the batter is gooey, paste-like and quite thick but not firm.

5. Finally, add chopped apple and gently mix it into the mixture with a spatula. 

6. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 40-60 minutes.

7. When the dough is ready, prepare a skillet with flavorless vegetable oil – preheat over medium heat. Pour a heaped tablespoon of batter onto a pan for each pancake and cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides until oladyi become golden-brown on tops and fully baked inside.

8. Repeat until you run out of the batter – add another tablespoon of oil for each skillet. 

9. Serve apple oladyi warm with your favorite topping. I usually go for sour cream or condensed milk. Priyatnogo appetita!

READ MORE: Shrovetide indulgence with babushka’s tvorog blini

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