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Russian Pancakes Blini Recipe

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Authentic Russian Pancake Recipe - Blini or Blinchiki

Today we are going to learn how to make Authentic Russian Pancakes called Blini or Blinchiki. Even though we like to refer to Blini as "pancakes," they don't actually look a lot like a pancake (but they surely taste just as yummy, if not more.) Authentic Russian Blini are much larger in diameter and much thinner than pancakes. In fact, Blini look more like a delicate crepe than a pancake. Either way, this recipe is easy to make and is guaranteed to please your taste buds.

So, let's embark on a delicious adventure and learn how to make one of the most popular traditional Russian recipes. And, along the way we are going to learn some Russian words, explore Russian culture and discover best cooking tools to help you on this journey. Did you ever think learning a new recipe could be so much fun?

blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe
blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe

Are you ready to begin?

(by the way, there is nothing wrong with this poll, we just thought there could be no other valid response to this question :)

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russian-russia-blini-recipe-caviar

Pancakes in Russian Language

So, we want to learn how to cook Blini. But before we do it, how do we properly pronounce "Blini" or "Blinchiki" in Russian language?

Blini is pronounced as "blee-nee"

Blinchiki is pronounced as "bleen-chee-kee"

Is there a difference between "Blini" and "Blinchiki"? I would say that both "Blini" and "Blinchiki" are practically the same, though some Russian cooking experts will insist that there is a difference in preparation and outcome. But, as a practical matter, it is safe to call Russian Pancakes whatever name is easier for you to pronounce.

Russian Pancakes Pronunciation Poll

Which name is easier for you to pronouce for Russian Pancakes?

  • Blini ("blee-nee")
  • Blinchiki ("bleen-chee-kee")
See results without voting
blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe
blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe

Blini Culinary Skill

One of the most important parts of Blini culinary art is to make each Blini as thin as possible because super thin Blinis are truly much tastier (trust me on this one!) With just a little bit of practice, you will learn how to pour the batter thinly into a non-stick pan and then quickly tilt and rotate it until the batter covers the entire surface. You will then cook each Blini on one side until bright golden color, then flip the Blini over and cook it on the other side. Cooking Blini is really not as hard and complicated as it might sound, the entire cooking process from start to finish will take approximately 35-40 minutes.

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russian-russia-blini-recipe-caviar-crepe

Russian Blini Proverb

In Russian language we have a very popular Blini proverb "The first pancake is always a blob." It means that things don't always work out well on the first try but with a little practice and persistence it gets better and better. So when you make your very first Blini and it doesn't turn out all that well, don't give up! Remember, that even experienced Russian people who cook Blini every day are used to getting first few Blinis as lumpy and imperfect (that's why we always remember Blini proverb). Once you have made four or five Blinis, you will get the knack of making perfectly cooked, delicious Blini.

Comments - Do you have a similar proverb in your culture? Please let us know, we would love to learn about it! 5 comments

ajgodinho profile image

ajgodinho 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Level 1 Commenter

That's nice to know. I think it's a neat little proverb. Some things in life can sometimes be a blob, but it's important to persevere. Ok, let's get down to Blini now... :)


LDWorld profile image

LDWorld 2 years ago

Love that saying! Helps me to stay positive. Also I try very hard not to make a blob when I make blini :) sometimes it works


anonymous 2 years ago

Am laughing at this, as whenever I make pancakes, the first one is always most definitely a "blob" :)


mihgasper profile image

mihgasper 2 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

We say: nobody was ever born smart (or something like that...).


vaslittlecrow 8 months ago

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

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    blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe
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    blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe
    • Prep time:
    • Cook time:
    • Ready in:
    • Yields: Approximately 25 Blinis

    Ingredients

    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1/3 teaspoon salt (optional)
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)

      Instructions

      1. Step 1. In a medium bowl, beat together milk, eggs and olive oil (plus sugar and salt) with a hand mixer until nicely blended. Then, gradually add flour and continue to thoroughly mix with the hand mixer until mixture is well blended and very smooth.
      2. Tip: Make sure to add flour gradually and not all at once to prevent formation of lumps. The batter should be almost liquid. If it is too thick, add a little more milk and if it is too thin, add slightly more flour.
      3. Step 2. Heat non-stick pan over medium heat. You can either spray the pan with cooking spray or oil it slightly. Pour batter into the pan using a soup ladle of small or medium size. Immediately tilt the pan to spread the batter until the pan is covered with a very thin layer of batter. Cook for about 50 seconds or until golden brown color.
      4. Step 3. Carefully slide a spatula (or flipper/turner tool) under the Blini, flip it over and cook for about 30 seconds on the other side or until lightly browned.
      5. Step 4. Take the finished Blini off the pan and put it on a plate. Repeat Step 2 and Step 3 with the remaining batter for each Blini. Stack all Blinis up high on top of each other. Serve Blini with toppings of choice (either savory or sweet.)
      6. Tip: Make sure to spray the pan with cooking spray each time before pouring the batter.
      Cast your vote for Russian Pancake Blini Quick Recipe
      blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe
      blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe

      Blini Toppings

      Blini can be served either with a variety of sweet or savory toppings. For those with sweet tooth, Blinis are perfect with jam, honey or fresh berries with whipped cream or creme fraiche. For savory types, Blinis are delicious with smoked salmon, chopped hard-boiled eggs with minced meat. Of course, the most popular way to eat Blinis in Russia is with red or black caviar. There is really no right or wrong choice of topping when it comes to Blini. Sweet or savory or simply plain, Blinis are delicious either way.

      Sweet or Savory Debate

      Do you prefer sweet dessert Blini or savory dinner Blini?

      I love it Sweet

      katiecolette 13 months ago

      I like both kinds, but if I have to choose, I'll go with sweet - with strawberry jam or tworog :)


      elyria 19 months ago Hub Author

      I love sweet dessert Blini with sour cherry jam - delicious!


      anonymous 2 years ago

      Sweet, with lemon juice and sugar


      ajgodinho 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like both, but when I think pan cakes, I generally think "sweet".


      Swisstoons 3 years ago from Michigan

      I'd actually like to try the first half of the batch, savory (kismika's suggestion sounds pretty darned good to me!)...and the last half with fresh sliced strawberries and fresh whipped cream. Is it permissible to polish off all 25 blinis by oneself? Or is that considered ill-mannered? :)


      OrganicMom247 3 years ago

      Oh, it is all about desert


      kimbesa2 3 years ago from USA

      I can go either way, but on first thought, I'd head for sweet!

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        I love it Savory

        vaslittlecrow 8 months ago

        Sour cream, caramelized onion and caviar are the best together. My husband always looks at me funny when I do this to pancakes. I am so glad I now have a proper blini recipe. :)


        sharingmyinsight 20 months ago

        Great lens. Here is a non-sweet alternative, my favorite are pancakes with meat wrapped inside, yam!


        anonymous 22 months ago

        Savory with sour cream and black caviar.


        mihgasper 2 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

        Sweet when I was younger, savory at the moment...


        LDWorld 2 years ago

        With ikra or sour cream! Just butter is awesome too.


        kismika 3 years ago

        I like it with mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese.

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          Caviar Poll

          Have you ever tried caviar?

          • Yes, and it was delicious
          • Yes, but it's not really my taste
          • No, never tried it but would love to
          • No, never tried it and never will
          See results without voting
          blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe
          blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe

          Blini-Making Tools and Equipment

          When cooking Blini, it always helps to have the right equipment in order to prepare Blini with ease and perfection. You don't need to invest into a fancy gourmet Blini griddle, but definitely make sure that you have a non-stick quality pan that allows for optimum sliding. Remember that Blini are first cooked on one side and then flipped over to cook on the other side. So, you would need a non-stick pan that makes flipping Blini fast and easy. Also, remember that when cooking Blini, you would need to often lift and tilt the pan in order to spread the batter out evenly, so make sure your pan is not too heavy and you can easily lift it.

          blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe
          blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe

          Buy Ready-Made Blini

          Of course nothing beats fresh, homemade Blini made from scratch, but sometimes you might need to opt for ready-made Blinis if you don't have time to cook or if you need to feed a large crowd at a big party. These hand made Blinis are quite delicious and arrive fresh with overnight delivery. Please note that authentic Russian Blini are always large in the diameter and never a cocktail size. However, these ready-made cocktail size Blinis seem to be quite popular because of their bite-sized portion that is great for tasting. We tasted them and didn't expect them to be so yummy! We were quite surprised and now buy them ready-made every time we host a large Russian party.

          Making Blini From Scratch Poll

          Have you ever made Russian pancakes from scratch?

          • I am a pro at cooking Blini (do you want to bet?)
          • Never done it before but will try (and will come back to report my success!)
          • Never done it and won't try (but maybe someone will cook it for me?)
          See results without voting
          blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe
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          blini-crepes-pancakes-russian-recipe

           Last updated on March 26, 2013

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          Comments 13 comments

          JackieBlock profile image

          JackieBlock 3 years ago from SE Michigan

          These look great. I've made crepes before, but I am going to give these a try. Thanks for sharing your recipe.


          juditpaton profile image

          juditpaton 3 years ago from Ozun

          I do know this recipe from my hungarian mother, how recipes are the same, names are differents. (we call them palacsinta). I used to get my child's respect flipping them in the air. Thank you reminding me about this pancakes.


          Holley Web profile image

          Holley Web 3 years ago

          My son and I are going to enjoy testing our skills with these and then trying them with different types of toppings. Lovely lens :)


          OrganicMom247 profile image

          OrganicMom247 3 years ago

          What a wonderful lens, makes me hungry


          sukkran trichy profile image

          sukkran trichy 3 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu Level 2 Commenter

          really a interesting and easy recipe. i am going to try my bilini. thanks for the nice recipe.


          squid-janices7 profile image

          squid-janices7 3 years ago

          These look delicious!


          ajgodinho profile image

          ajgodinho 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Level 1 Commenter

          I love pancakes, but haven't had any in a few months - maybe, it's time for me to embark on a delicious Blini adventure...blessings! :)


          LDWorld profile image

          LDWorld 2 years ago

          Super great info, I hope a lot of people will try blini :)


          anonymous 2 years ago

          Am thinking that if you try this recipe with wheatfree flour and then publish a page about it, you will get a lot of traffic to that page as well ;)


          mihgasper profile image

          mihgasper 2 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

          We make very similar dish in Slovenia: palacinke (pa -la-cheen-ke) and they are in most cases made with sweet fill (jam, chocolate or walnuts). With fresh cheese are also very popular. I think main difference is we add some baking soda in the mix to make them more 'puffy'. Thanks!


          anonymous 24 months ago

          Every blini I've eaten in Moscow and St Petersburg has been thin, and scummy. If I buy them here (in the UK) they're thicker and bland. I like your recipe and am happy to eat savoury (with home-flavoured vodka), or sweet with jam made from fruits from the Russian forest!. I nearly fainted when I asked the price of caviar in Moscow, but once tasted - never bettered.


          vaslittlecrow 8 months ago

          Blinis rock!


          sinichka59 3 months ago

          according to my grandma, and most of the "old" russians that i grew up with in S.F. (those that fled russia soon after WWI), bliny and blinchiki are 2 different types altogether. bliny are made with yeast, thicker than a crepe, fried on both sides, then served rolled up with all kinds of goodies like caviar and lox. blinchiki are very thin and unleavened, fried only on one side, filled, folded up, and fried again on both sides (similar to blintzes). names are not interchangeable. most of the recipes i see online are totally anemic. no wonder Bruce (commenter below) wasn't impressed.

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