- 1oz of fresh yeast
- 1 egg – separate the egg yolk from the white
- 2 cups of buckwheat flour
- 1 cup of milk combined with 1 cup of filtered water
- 3 teaspoons of sugar
- 4 teaspoons of butter
- Clarified butter for frying
- ¼ lbs. piece of smoked halibut
These are no ordinary pancakes! These Russian style cakes, prepared with smoked halibut and caviar are a staple of the Podlaskie region’s cuisine. They are not only unique and great in taste, they’re also an elegant dish, one typically enjoyed with a side of champagne! That is exactly how I recommend you enjoy these pancakes at home.
For the garnish:
- 2-3 tablespoons of capelin caviar (salmon, sturgeon or trout caviar can be used too)
- ½ cup of sour cream
- a handful of chives
To prepare the pancakes:
First, make a dough starter…
- Combine half the sugar with the fresh yeast and crumble together in a large bowl.
- Pour 1 cup of the milk and water mixture into a small saucepan and warm it just a bit. Do not let it get too hot – just a little over room temperature is great.
- Pour the warmed milk and water mixture into the bowl over the yeast.
- Add in 1 cup of the buckwheat flour into the bowl.
- Whisk all the ingredients in the bowl together until the dough starter is nice and smooth.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside to set for about 30 minutes. The starter will be ready once it’s grown about twice its original size.
- Combine the egg yolk with the remaining sugar (1.5 teaspoons) and whisk together.
- Melt 4 teaspoons of butter and pour over into the egg yolk and sugar. Whisk together until the mixture achieves a thick consistency.
- After the dough starter has finished setting, add the egg yolk, sugar and butter mixture into the starter and whisk together thoroughly.
- Set the batter aside again for 15 minutes, covering it with a kitchen towel. It should grow twice its size once again.
- Add the remainder of the milk and water mix (1/2 cup water, ½ cup milk should be remaining) into a saucepan to warm. Again, do not overheat. Simply let it come to just over a room temperature.
- Come back to the batter which should now have grown twice in size.
- Add the last part of the warmed milk and water.
- Add 1 more cup of buckwheat flour.
- Whisk all the ingredients together and set the batter aside to rise, one final time for an additional 15 minutes. The batter should double in size one, final time.
- Toss a pinch of salt into a small bowl.
- Pour in the egg white.
- Beat the egg white with a mixer until it turns into a thick foam.
- Add the egg white into the finished batter and mix very gently
Now it’s time to fry the pancakes...
- Set a frying pan over a medium heat level on your stovetop.
- Add 4 teaspoons of clarified butter onto the pan and let it heat.
- Continue to add as needed while frying.
- Scoop one, heaping tablespoon of the batter, drop onto the pan and smooth with the back of your spoon into a thick, round cake.
- Continue to do this for each pancake, frying each cake to a delicate golden color on each side.
- Set each pancake aside on a plate covered with a paper towel to strain excess grease.
Garnish and serve...
- Peal the skin off the smoked halibut and add small pieces to the top of each pancake (about 1.5-2 inches in size).
- Top the fish with a small scoop of sour cream.
- Finish with a drop of caviar on top of the sour cream on each pancake.
- Add some thin stems of chive over the top for an added garnish.