Pancake week can rightly be considered the most fun time of the year after the New Year hustle and bustle. It heralds the onset of spring and gives people a few carefree days in the winter succession of daily routine. Maslenitsa is unimaginable without pancakes in all their diversity with different fillings and toppings – pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, pancakes for yourself, for dear friends and guests.
But why are special Maslenitsa pancakes so delicious in comparison to pancakes we cook in any other day? Well, only these pancakes waft spring warmth, and also there is lent ahead, a time when Orthodox Christians are fasting and do not allow themselves anything extra, including food. Pancake week is called a cheese or a meat-and-vegetable week, because two weeks before Great lent it is customary to eat up all meat products in the house, and to eat up all dairy: cheese, sour cream and butter during pancake week in order to start Great Lent without temptations.
For the whole week festivities, various games, quizzes and dancing are arranged in towns and villages, people dress in traditional attires and robes. The brightest Shrovetide include fist fights, climbing a pole for the gifts and sleigh rides. Do not forget about last day culminating action – burning of a stuffed figure of winter.
Russian pancakes are believed to be thin, patterned, light and sweet. But in Russian villages people still bake thick and sour pancakes with yeast and leaven, which represent a completely different culinary flavor. Thick pancakes have an unusual sour taste, and while they are still hot, they are smeared with melted butter mixed with an egg and sprinkled with sugar.
Here we suggest a recipe of yeast pancakes. Such pancakes are prepared with the yeast starter that will take a little more time. But let it not scare you, the recipe is very simple. The pancakes turn out thick, but with airy texture.
10.5 oz flour
0.33 oz dry yeast
26.3 fl oz milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
sour cream, caviar, jam, honey, etc. for serving
Mix yeast with warm milk, adding 5-6 spoons of flour and bring it all together. Leave the yeast starter covered with a towel in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Separate egg whites from the egg yolks. Add warm milk to the yeast starter. Then mix sugar, salt, egg yolks, melted butter and flour in. Knead the dough and leave it to rest for 1 hour under a towel.
Whip the egg whites into a thick foam and add to the dough.
Bake the pancakes in the pan on both sides until golden brown. Serve with something sweet like jam, condensed milk, chocolate topping; caviar and fish will also be good.