I noticed that all the picture links on this post in LJ from Jan. 2012 had expired, so, I went back and re-uploaded the pictures to another archive. And then decided to share the post for these wonderful pork crackling biscuits here.
When I was growing up, my mother would make these wonderful rich biscuits studded with ground pork cracklings. Recently I was reminded of this dish by a post on Eva’s Kitcheninspirations and decided to try and make them based on advice from Eva, searches on Hungarian and Romanian blogs and my own memories of the biscuits I had enjoyed. Yesterday, I bought a pound of the cracklings and today I attempted the recipe.
In case you don’t know what pork cracklings look like, here are pictures of the whole and ground porky goodness. 🙂
I think my first attempt at these was a success on the whole.
Pork Crackling Biscuits – makes ~3 dozen 3″ biscuits
Romanian – Pogacele cu jumari
Hungarian – Töpörtyus Pogácsa
4 – 4 1/2 cups (~550 gm) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 package ( 2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warmed milk
2 tbsp fat (pork lard, regular lard or unsalted butter)*
1/2 pound (250 gm) ground pork cracklings
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup (200 ml) warm water (or milk)
* I used butter for this but will probably leave it out in the next batch as I don’t think it added much to the end product.
Egg glaze for biscuits
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp cold water
caraway seeds, optional
Chop pork cracklings roughly and then grind them in a food processor in batches, if necessary, so as to get an even granular mixture.
In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/4 cup milk and sprinkle the instant yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5-10 min until the yeast gets foamy.
In a second bowl, combine the egg with 3/4 cups warm water (or milk).
Sift together the flour, salt, pepper and baking powder and place in a large bowl. Cut in the fat or rub it into the flour so it’s evenly distributed. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast/milk mixture and egg/water mixture. Knead for 5-6 minutes until you have a soft dough.
Let rest for 15 minutes.
Roll out about 1/8″ thick into either a square (~16″x16″) or rectangle (~12″x18″).
Spread 1/3 of the ground pork crackling mixture over the top.
Fold over opposite sides so you get 3 layers. Fold over the other 2 sides so you have three equal layers. Wrap up with saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out again, spread with half of the remaining ground pork crackling mixture. (Sorry for the out of focus picture, I almost forgot to take it)
Fold, wrap and refrigerate. Repeat.
Preheat oven to 350-400 deg F.
After the last 30 minutes of refrigeration, roll the dough out 1/8″ thick. (For the Hungarian presentation, score the top of the dough with lines 1/4″ apart, making sure that the lines only go about halfway through the biscuit.) Cut biscuits out with a 3″ diameter biscuit cutter.
Let rest for 30 minutes. (NOTE: Did not do this.)
Brush top of the biscuits with the beaten egg mixture. (For the Romanian presentation, sprinkle a pinch of caraway seeds (8-10) in the center of the biscuit, if desired.) Bake 15-20 min or until lightly browned on top.
Trial 1: 400 deg F. Took 13-15 minutes until done. I estimated the amount of salt needed perfectly so I was very pleased with the taste. Unfortunately, they didn’t rise as high as I would have liked though they were the same height as the ones my mom made.
Biscuits – Hungarian style on the left and Romanian style on the right