Crackling Biscuits – the ultimate party snack; crispy, flaky, peppery and salty, they are perfect paired with beer.
Crackling Biscuits are savory scone-like puff pastry originating from Central and Eastern Europe. They are made in countries from Czech Republic to Croatia, Hungary and further down the Balkans.
Pork cracklings used for this Croatian recipe (Pogačice s čvarcima) are made from leftovers after lard rendering (if you cannot find them, you can use crisped bacon instead). They used to be the cheapest food on the market until, a few years ago, small packages of cracklings imported from Austria started to appear on deli sections of supermarkets. Only then did people realize that this could be valuable food. Suddenly, the demand for cracklings skyrocketed and so did their price. Nowadays a pound of cracklings costs more then a pound of prosciutto (!).
I love my Crackling Biscuits to be very peppery, so I use full 2 tsp of finely ground black pepper. The amount of salt depends on whether cracklings themselves are salty or not.
Serve Crackling Biscuits paired with beer as the ultimate party food.
- 2 cups cracklings about 200 g, or crisped bacon
- 2/3 cups lukewarm milk or 1/3 cup water + 1/3 cup white wine
- 25 g fresh yeast or 2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs divided
- 4 Tbsp sour cream
- 3 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp finely ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup butter or lard softened
Dissolve sugar and yeast in milk. Let stand until yeast is activated, about 10 minutes.
Chop cracklings with a knife or in a food processor or in a meat grinding machine.
Mix chopped cracklings with flour, yeast mixture, 1 egg, sour cream, salt and pepper. Knead until sooth. Cover and leave on a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to 3/4 inch thickness. Spread with 1/3 of butter or lard and 3-fold as puff pastry: Fold the dough into 3 by folding the bottom third up over the middle third. Fold the top third down. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
Turn the pastry through 90 degrees. Roll it again, spread with second part of butter and fold again. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
Repeat this process of rolling and folding one more time (altogether 3 times).
Roll the dough one final time. With a sharp knife, make diamond shape incisions on the surface of the dough. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter or glass.
Place biscuits on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush the top of the pastry with an egg wash. Bake in 375 F (175 C) oven for about 25 minutes or until tops are golden.