BELARUS – Блины (Buckwheat Pancakes)

belarus_3

The first bread to be cooked in a pan. Happily buckwheat is grown in Bosnia (where I am cooking from now) and it was very easy to find in the stores.

IMG_1948

Rating:

  • Faithfulness to recipe: Exact, but I used too much yeast…ooops!
  • Met expectations? Yes, except for tasting a little too yeasty and not letting the buckwheat shine through.
  • Would cook again? Maybe. There was quite a lot of proving time so it’s not convenient.
  • The taste test rated on a score of 5: 2 from husband, 3 from kids and me. I would have probably given this a 4 if I hadn’t messed up the yeast measurement, I love the taste of buckwheat. The rest of the family don’t really like it and my husband has a tried and true family crepe recipe that he doesn’t like altering. We tried these pancakes with a savoury addition (soft white cheese and smoked meat) as well as a sweet version with nutella. The kids liked the nutella version, of course.

belarus_4  belarus_1

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of buckwheat flour
  • 2 cups of all purpose (plain) wheat flour
  • 30-35 g yeast – fresh – less if using dry yeast!
  • 4-5 cups of milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • Butter to grease the pan

Method

I’ve rewritten this recipe because the version I followed was not easy to follow at all, in fact: Russian translated to English.

Warm the milk. Dilute the yeast in a small amount of milk. Split the eggs – yolks and whites – and chill the egg whites.

Mix the buckwheat flour with wheat flour and pour 1-1.5 cups of warm milk (about 40 degrees) of milk to make a thick mass. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, add the yeast mixture and mix/knead to form a well-kneaded dough.

First rise: Put the mixture in a warm place, cover with a towel and leave for 40-50 minutes to rise.

Second rise: When the dough has expanded, mix again after adding another 3 cups of warm milk. Cover and leave to rise again for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks.

Third rise:  After the mixture has expanded, pour a thin stream of the whipped yolks, stir again and leave the dough to rise. Leave again for another 30 minutes.

Fourth rise: After the mixture has been left again, pour 1-2 cups of warm milk (you can add water if you wish to or you have run out of milk), stir and leave for 15 minutes. At this time, beat the chilled egg whites into a solid foam, and add to the dough. Finally you are reading to cook the pancakes.

If available, use a cast iron skillet, and for each pancake pour, grease the pan using a fork with butter dipped in vegetable oil. Pour one pancake at a time onto the pan and cook until able to turn over. Cook on the other side. Keep cooking until all mixture is used up.

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