Oladi - Russian Kefir Pancakes (Оладики) is a breakfast favorite, topped with jam, homemade sour cream and fresh berries from the garden. Made with Kefir, it's a classic Russian and Eastern European breakfast.
Oladi with Fresh Berries
For me, Oladi have always been served with fresh berries. We grew up with so many raspberries in the garden, rows and rows. At one time, I think I counted 12 long rows of raspberries. This meant hours and hours of picking fresh raspberries during our summer holidays.
When we had company visiting in the summer, which was often, mum would make these thick Oladi - Russian Kefir Pancakes (Оладики) for us with fresh berries just picked from the garden. Oh, it was so good, beats maple syrup any day! With all our extra berries, mum would also make kompot, which is a homemade berry juice. We ate a lot of berries!
So this is my bit of nostalgia that I got to re-live recently at the summer dacha (which is like a Russian cabin in the woods). Mum treated us with her famous pancakes for breakfast. Dad spent the morning picking all fresh red raspberries, black currants, red currants and yellow raspberries. Any forest berries are perfect with Oladi, it's so delicious!
This is an easy 'made from scratch' pancake recipe, with one difference, Kefir. Many people haven't heard of Kefir before. It's a probiotic filled, fermented yogurt like product that is incredibly healthy and part of the Russian diet. Kefir can be hard to find sometimes. You can substitute with buttermilk, or if you are making homemade Farmer's Cheese, use the leftover whey.
I find Oladi aren't as sweet as many pancake recipes. This is due to the tanginess of the Kefir and the less sugar used when comparing to other pancake recipes. If you want sweeter pancakes, add an extra tablespoon of sugar to the batter.
How to Make Oladi
So this is the easy part, make them just like you would make regular pancakes. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix in the kefir and eggs using a whisk or an electric mixer. You want to make sure all the lumps are gone from the pancake mix. If you want thicker and fluffier pancakes, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to this mix.
Heat oil in a frying pan, and add about 2-3 tablespoons of batter to make your kefir pancake. Wait until a few bubbles appear and burst on the pancake, then flip them over. They are ready when they are golden brown on each side, and you should only need to flip them once. Serve them right away.
What to Serve with Oladi?
I love the classics, and love eating Oladi Russian style, with the same toppings as you enjoy Blini Crepes with. Here are some Oladi recipe tips!
- homemade sour cream and fresh berries (raspberries, currants, gooseberries, blueberries)
- blueberry jam and sour cream
- whipped cream and fresh raspberries
- sour cream drizzled with honey
- maple syrup, of course!
Don't use store bought pancake mix, it's so easy to make homemade pancakes. You'll love this healthier pancakes version of Oladi Kefir Pancakes - Oladi, like eating at babushka's kitchen. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Oladi - Russian Kefir Pancakes Recipe (Оладьи)
- 1 ¾ cups kefir whey, buttermilk or milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- oil for frying
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- Create a well in the centre, and add the kefir, eggs, and oil and slowly whisk until smooth and most of the lumps are gone.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Make sure the frying pan is hot. Add about 2 tablespoons of batter to make each pancake. You should fit 3-4 pancakes in a large trying pan.
- Cook the pancakes until bubbles appear on the pancakes and a few of them have burst. The trick is to get as many bubbles bursting as you can without burning the pancakes.
- Carefully flip the pancake to cook the other side until golden brown. Remove pancakes to a plate or on a tray in a warmed oven. Add more oil and repeat process with the remaining batter.
- Serve with fresh berries, jam and sour cream.