Russian Blini & Pelmeni

Pancakes-Blini     Russian: блин, блины (plural)  Ukrainian: млинці, mlyntsi (plural)

Thin pancakes, almost like crepes but with more pancake characteristics,  made popular in Russia and other geographical locations with significant Jewish populations.  Very tasty!  You can put just about anything into Blini–from meat to potatoes to sour cream to fruit to jam.

1 tsp active dry yeast.
1 cup whole milk.
1/2 cup water.
3 tbsps sugar.
1/2 tsp salt.
50gms butter.
1 egg.
1 and 1/3 cups flour.
1 tsp canola oil.

Place the yeast into a large mixing bowl.

Combine half the milk and all the water and heat until lukewarm. Add the liquid to the yeast along with the sugar and salt, and gently mix until dissolved.

Melt the butter and add to the mix. Lightly beat the egg, add to the mix and whisk to combine. Gradually add in the flour, whisking to remove all the lumps. Scrape down any mixture left on the sides of the bowl, cover with cling film and stand in a warm place for 90 minutes.

After one hour, stir the mixture, recover and leave for the remaining 30 minutes.

Heat the rest of the milk until lukewarm and stir into the mixture.

Heat a small heavy-based frying pan on medium heat. Pour in enough mixture to thinly cover the bottom and cook until firm and lightly golden. Flip and repeat on the other side.

Serve as soon as they are made or stack them together on a plate under a large pot lid to keep them warm and moist until all are cooked and ready to serve.  Serve with sour cream or jam.

Now another “Blini” (pancake/crepe) dish:
Pancakes stuffed with cheese and chicken:

Blini (very thin pancakes) stuffed with chicken, cheese and onions.

Wheat flour – 10 full heaped tablespoons Flour, Milk -1 liter., Chicken Eggs – 4 large (or small 5) Sugar – 1 tsp, Salt -1 / 3 tsp, Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons

For meat – boiled chicken without skin and bones, Boiled rice-1 cup, boiled chicken eggs, 3 pieces, onion, 1 pc., Green onions – 1 bunch, fresh dill, finely chopped to taste. Salt to taste. Black pepper to taste.

Method of preparation:
Beat the eggs with salt and sugar until fluffy egg mixture. Add milk while whisking and gradually add sifted flour. Add vegetable oil and quickly knead the dough until there are no lumps. Pour one scoop on a hot frying pan, greasing it occasionally.

In a separate pan add onions or potatoes with olive or vegetable oil. Add boiled chicken without skin and then a cup of cooked rice. Stir in chopped onions and dill.

Combine mixture with pancakes and bake in oven for 7-8 minutes.

Just for fun and even if you don’t understand Russian language, you can understand more about blini recipes and technique in this next video:

For our Russian language readers:

Блинчики в сырную клеточку, фаршированные курятиной

Мука пшеничная – 10 полных с горкой ст.л. муки,Молоко -1 л.,Яйца куриные – 4 крупных ( или 5 мелких),Сахар – 1 ст.л.,Соль -1/3 ч.л.,Масло растительное-2 ст.л.

Для фарша – курица отварная без кожи и костей,Рис отварной-1 стакан,Яйца куриные вареные-3шт,Лук репчатый-1шт.,Лук зеленый – 1 пучок,Укроп свежий, мелкорубленный по вкусу,Соль по вкусу,Черный перец по вкусу,Сыр твердый для подачи.

Способ приготовления:
Взбить яйца с солью и сахаром до получения пышной пены.Соединить яичную смесь с молоком.Продолжая взбивать постепенно добавлять просеянную муку.Добавить растительное масло и быстро замесить однородное тесто, без комочков. Разливать по одной разливательной ложке на горячую сковороду, смазывая периодически её половинкой луковицы или картошки, обмакнутыми в растительное масло. Блинчики складываем на полотенце не стопкой.Для фарша режем отварное куриное мясо без кожи и костей не очень мелко, добавляем стакан вареного риса, рубленные вареные яйца.Лук репчатый, рубленный кубиками, обжариваем в растительном масле, добавляем в фарш, прибавляем рубленный зеленый лук и рубленный укроп. Солим, перчим, перемешаваем.Начиняем каждый блинчик, сворачиваем конвертиком.

А дальше по желанию. Перевязываем зеленым луком, как багаж и разогреваем духовке. Обжариваем на сковроде на масле.Автор сделал сырную сеточку и поставил в разогретую духовку на 7-8 минут.

Now lets learn about Russian Pelmeni (пельмени), similar to dumplings.

Russian pelmeni recipe:

From the website there is a very nice recipe for Pelmeni. Step one is the Dough.

To make dough you’ll need: 210 ml cold water, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 400 grams of flour.

It is best to make dough in a bread maker because it does a great job of making dough, is very simple and doesn’t take more than 20 minutes. A bread maker makes the exact consistency of dough needed for good pelmeni. Very elastic, soft but not too sticky. If you don’t have a bread maker, sift the flour into a table. Make a dimple in the top and crack the egg into it. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Add cold water gradually, knead the dough vigorously 15-20 minutes.

Step two is the filling and you’ll need a half pound of ground beef or chicken, half pound of ground pork, one medium size onion and salt, pepper and spices. Mix all items together and add 1 chopped clove of garlic. Combine all ingredients and filling will be ready. (Substitute potatoes for meatless pelmeni.)

Cut the dough into 2 pieces, one piece cover with something (kitchen towel, bowl) or wrap in a plastic bag otherwise the dough will dry up.  Roll the dough into a long “snake” one inch in diameter.

Cut the dough at one-inch intervals and roll the pieces out into circles using floured rolling pin 1/16 to 1/32 of an inch thick. Place a teaspoon of the meat filling in the center and fold the dough over, pinching edges firmly to completely seal each pelmen into a small packet.

There should be no holes in the dough to preserve the flavor and consistency of the meat inside. Than pinch 2 sides of each pelmen to get the final shape.

The final step is boiling so boil a generous amount of water with 1-2 tsp. salt. Drop enough pelmeni into the boiling water. They are ready to eat when they floating to the top for 3-4 minutes and stay there.

Take pelmeni out using skimmer.  Add 1-2 teaspoon butter. Serve with a sour cream. If you did everything right each pelmen should look as shown in the picture above, without holes and with a drop of delicious broth inside. From this amount of ingredients there should be 30-40 pelmeni, 3-4 servings.


But traditionally we make 100-150 pelmeni and keep them frozen over time so if you plan to store your pelmeni, freeze them uncooked.

2 thoughts on “Russian Blini & Pelmeni

  1. Pingback: A taste of Russia with Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel « The Mendeleyev Journal

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