Yeasty oladyi: Master the Very Russian Pancake with a Secret Topping (RECIPE)


A legend of Slavic country cuisine, Soviet canteens and cozy family breakfasts – savor the authentic taste of these fluffy yeast oladyi!

Victoria Drey

It comes from the old Russian village stove, but this centuries-old proven recipe remains the ultimate formula for traditional Slavic pancakes. Let’s repeat in the modern kitchen!

Among all the possible variations of pancakes, oladyi are by far my favorites. They are closer to American pancakes, but much thicker and softer. Most of the time I go for a regular oladyi recipe based on kefir and baking soda, because it’s the fastest and tastiest breakfast. But since we are almost in the traditional Slavic Pancake Week – Maslenitsa – why not try a more delicious yeast oladyi with apple filling?

For my parents and even grandparents oladyi are the true symbol of childhood: my great-grandmother cooked them in the Russian stove and served them with fresh homemade products ryazhenka.

Today leaven, or leaven, oladyi are unfortunately not very common due to their relatively more complicated cooking technique, so find genuine yeast oladyi in a bakery is a great chance.

What I like most about using yeast instead of baking soda or powder as a leavening agent is the fact that the leaven always gives oladyi richer, clearer pastry taste with no foreign soda flavor. Not to mention the yeast which also makes the pancakes softer, although it takes longer to bake because the yeast needs about an hour to rise.

Another great thing about this particular recipe is its filling. This recipe calls for adding the filling directly to the dough. Chopped fresh or dried fruit, berries or even savory toppings like ham, cheese or mushrooms – go for whatever stuffing you crave!


  • 250 ml of milk
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 5 g powdered yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 apple
  • vegetable oil for frying


1. Start by doing opara – what is called the pre-dough for an ideal yeast oladyi based. In a large bowl, combine the warm (not hot!) Milk, sugar, baking powder and about 1/3 of the flour – whisk until smooth.

2. Leave the mixture in a warm corner for 20 minutes until it boils and increases in volume. This means that the yeast is working properly and the pre-dough is ready.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the garnish: peel and seed an apple, then cut it into very small cubes.

4. Return to the dough – add an egg and a pinch of salt to the pre-dough. Mix well. If you prefer a sweeter type of pancake, feel free to add another tablespoon of sugar at this point. Then add in the remaining flour – you might need a little less or more depending on the flour you are using, so I recommend that you don’t add all at once. The right consistency for the dough is gooey, mushy, and quite thick but not firm.

5. Finally, add the chopped apple and mix it gently into the mixture using a spatula.

6. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 40 to 60 minutes.

7. When the dough is ready, prepare a pan with unflavored vegetable oil – preheat over medium heat. Pour a rounded tablespoon of batter into a pan for each pancake and cook 2-3 minutes on both sides until oladyi turn golden brown on top and fully cooked on the inside.

8. Repeat until all the dough is used up – add another tablespoon of oil for each pan.

9. Serve the apple oladyi hot with your favorite garnish. I usually go for sour cream or condensed milk. Priyatnogo appetite!

READ MORE: Holiday indulgence with babushka’s tvorog blini

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