Saturday, May 29, 2010

Flipping palachinki

So I’ve had palachinki on the brain in the last few days. Palachinki are Bulgarian pancakes or crepes or blintzes. They are thinner and wider than American pancakes and they are filled with stuff and rolled before eating. That, and they are flipped in the air as they are made, which is the best part, in my humble opinion. Nia agrees – she loves watching me make them.

Palachinki have been one of my favorite breakfast foods forever because they are just delish but they escalated to a whole new level of cool when I figured out the whole flipping thing at the tender age of 12. Learning to flip palachinki is kinda like learning to ride a bike. It looks difficult and scary but once you get the knack of it, it’s the easiest, most fun thing in the world. It’s just awesome! I made them all the time for a while and my family was in palachinki heaven. 

The coolness of flipping pancakes has faded somewhat through the years as I learned to cook other interesting things and don’t make them often any more but I still love them just the same. They are just so flexible – literally and figuratively. They are soft and warm and wonderful and you can put anything you want in them. In Bulgaria most people eat them with jam, honey or sirene (Bulgarian feta cheese). I also love them with fresh berries, Nutella, fruit yoghurt, shredded cheese or combinations like berries and Nutella or feta and honey. My husband, who is an eggs-and-bacon-for-breakfast kinda guy, puts bacon or thinly sliced ham in them. My Bulgarian friends will probably think that’s weird but who cares as long as he enjoys them. 

The inspiration for my palachinki escapade this morning came from a trip to the Falls Church farmers’ market a couple of weeks ago, where they had crepes with strawberries and Nutella for $7.50. As soon as I set my gaze on them, all my palachinki memories came back to me and I just had to have one. They were a little bigger than mine and they didn’t flip them but otherwise they were almost identical. Except, mine cost less than $1 each to make .

There are different recipes but here is a basic one, if you want to try them.

A couple of tips:

  • Even though the recipe above calls for milk, you can make them with yoghurt too. You just have to make sure you have the right consistency.
  • You can use butter in the pan but if you are vegetarian you can use oil instead. It works just as well. I am a fan of sunflower oil – just love the way it tastes.
  • The batter needs to be substantially thinner/runnier than American pancake batter.
  • I put them in a deep, wide plate as I make them and I cover them, which keeps them warm and soft.
  • If you make more than you can eat in one sitting, you can cover and refrigerate them for a few days. Then just reheat them in the microwave and enjoy. I haven’t tried freezing them but that may work too.

Here’s what the flipping looks like. I took the first picture while flipping and let me tell ya, it ain’t easy. It’s a timing thing and it took me a while to “catch” a palachinka in the air. Paul was nice enough to take the second picture. I look ridiculous but that’s because I am focusing! I kinda have to do that because otherwise things can get messy – you know, palachinki on the the ceiling, palachinki on the floor… you get the idea.

palachinki 009 palachinki 018

Paul and Nia getting ready to eat/eating palachinki. You can also see our palachinki paraphernalia (the things we put in them). And no, Nia is not drinking a big glass of wine with her breakfast, believe it or not. That’s cherry juice*.  palachinki 020

Rolling a palachinka with strawberries, blueberries and Nutella. Yummy Yummerson!!!

palachinki 022palachinki 023palachinki 024

*Cherry juice was the topic of another FS blog, For Lack of Tacos, this past week. It happens to be my favorite fruit juice and it is also very good for you but it’s very expensive in regular grocery stores, so I thought I’d let you know that it’s available at Halalco in Falls Church for $1.70 a liter. They don’t have the Bulgarian brands I like but they have two Turkish brands (pictured above), which are very good. 

Update: Added a very short video for Shannon. Hopefully, it will help you gage how high you need to toss them, Shannon!


  1. this looks spectacular! I'm no cook but you have tempted me to give them a try. yum!

  2. Look at you, girl!

    That is some SERIOUS talent! I could totally never, ever flip food like that. It would wind up first on the ceiling, and then on the floor!

    And wow- that looks insanely tasty.

    Also: I LOVE the look on Paul's face in that picture!

    Also: every little girl should be allowed to drink her juice from a wine glass.

  3. Those look de-lish!!! Yummy Yummerson, indeed.

    I love the determination on your face as you're flipping.

    And, um, what's wrong with wine for breakfast? Just kidding.

  4. OK I make crepes for the kids all the time, but I had never tried flipping them before. Saturday I tried, and tried hard with the boys cheering me on. There must be a trick to it because most of the time instead of flying up into the air and flipping over they just sort of folded neatly in half. Not what I was going for. Will have to try again, after packout!

  5. Shannon,

    So glad you tried flipping palachinki. It is not unusual for them to fold at first. You may need to toss them a little bit higher. Not real high but they do need clearance in order to flip neatly. I added a little video to the post above - hope it helps give you an idea of how high.

    I love that your boys were cheering you on - that's so cute.


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