I am a huge fan of Eastern European cooking. I think it comes from the fact that I live in a hot country, so the freezing weather and snow have always drawn my attention.
Of course, being food obsessed and short on travel money, I have explored these countries largely through the kitchen. Blintzes, blinis, borscht, cabbage rolls, goulash, pierogies; as far as I’m concerned the Eastern European kitchen can do no wrong.
And I’m pleased to say that these little Racuszki have proved me right again. After being inspired by this post on Marta’s beautiful blog, couldn’t resist the lure of these pancakes. After a little research (one recipe is never enough!) I learned that they are made from a simple yeast batter, served traditionally with sour cream and fruit preserves.
The batter is a no-fuss, measure and mix operation which then needs an hour to prove and become characteristically bubbly. The little pancakes rise heroically in the pan, and they will make your house smell like a tantalizing mix of pancakes and donuts.
After an optional (but highly recommended) dusting with powdered sugar, the Oladushki are ready to be eaten in all their puffy, bronzed glory. Think of these little Russian pancakes as a more substantial version of the traditional buttermilk pancake.
Sturdy but airy, and distinctly doughnut-scented, they are just what you might need on a cold morning in Poland. Sour cream and a not-to-sweet jam alongside tastes just right, though a melting pat of butter and some maple syrup would be equally enticing.
I myself chose to munch on a plate of these late last night, listening to the rain absolutely bucketing down onto my roof, and watching videos about Gorlitz. I heartily recommend doing the same, if you get the chance.
What did you do last night?
- 1 + ½ cups flour
- 1 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- butter or vegetable oil, for frying
- icing sugar, sour cream and jam, to serve (optional)
- Place all the ingredients, except the butter, into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth and combined. You should have a thick, somewhat stretchy batter.
- Cover the bow with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for an hour, or until bubbles have formed and the batter has doubled in size.
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium-low heat, and when warm, add a teaspoon of oil or butter to the pan and swirl to coat.
- Using a dessertspoon drop heaping piles of the batter into the pan, leaving them nice and thick. The batter will be thick and sticky, so you may need to use another spoon or your finger to help.
- The batter will rise, and turn golden brown on the bottom after about 2½ to 3 minutes. You will see the sides of the pancake turn from raw, sticky white batter to a more firm state as they cook.
- Gently flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook for a further 2 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. If they are browning too quickly, turn the heat down.
- Continue until all the batter is used up, adding more butter or oil to the pan as necessary.
- Dust them thickly with icing sugar and serve warm with sour cream and your favorite fruit preserve.