Kefir is a traditional Russian drink, it’s a fermented milk drink made with probiotic bacteria “grains”. Probiotics in kefir can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. While they are similar, kefir is more sour in flavor and of a more pourable consistency compared to a drinkable yogurt. Fermentation gives it a slight fizziness, similar to kombucha. And like kombucha, you can make your own kefir at home with this grain starter!
Whenever we have leftover kefir in the house, we either heat it up to make tvorog, a sort of cottage/farmer’s cheese, or mix it with flour for a style of Russian pancakes called oladyi. I love oladyi because they are so simple to make and I can eat them with anything I want: condensed milk, sour cream, honey, fruit and berries, or cream cheese, caviar, green onions, etc. They’re great for breakfast or snacking!
Kefir Oladyi Pancakes
- 3 cups kefir
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- Pinch of salt
- Vegetable or coconut oil for the pan.
- Optional toppings: sour cream, maple syrup, jam, honey, fresh berries to serve.
1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add more flour by tablespoon if too runny or more water/kefir to thin the dough if too thick. The batter should be spoonable, and thick but still runny.
2. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter into a hot oiled pan. Cook on medium-high on both sides, flipping once, until golden brown.
3. Depending on your pan size, you can fry 3-5 oladyi at the time side-by-side, as long as they don't touch.
4. Serve warm with any toppings of your choice!
Tip: You can freeze leftover oladyi in a sealed bag or container to reheat and eat later.