Liebster Baking: My Mother’s Original Crackling Scones

“The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.” 
  –Oliver Wendell Holmes

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with  him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”

Cesar  Chavez

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Having a Liebster Blog is not only an honour, it is a duty…This is a difficult emotional task for me, therefore, something special has to mark and celebrate it. I have made my mother’s Hungarian “töpörtyűs pogácsa” – I’m sorry all dear readers elsewhere in the world but – in strictly Hungarian style, throughout all my childhood, my life! The biggest obstacle to making this is getting hold of fresh cracklings or the type of pig fat that is necessary for making it, if you live in a country that does not make it traditionally. Unfortunately one cannot make descent cracklings from bacon or salted pork. The taste is very different and the result is simply not the original.  In summary, if one can not buy it, has to make  it from pork fat – and pork fat only! It can appear to be a real challenge because of its required precision of crackling making, folding, but making it again with my mum proved to be a divine memory recall. It takes about 2 to 4 hours of folding, resting, rolling out the dough at least 3 times. For probably first in her life, my knowledgeable mother measured all ingredients for us to be able to create a recipe.

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Make the töpörtyű/crackling-paste first. It’s an old childhood favorite of all which will be used to make the most amazing Hungarian “pogácsa” with cracklings…called “töpörtyű”.  It is made of freshly cut pork fat which you dice and fry in vegetable oil to a complete crisp.  The secret is simple. Cook it real slow, start the cooking with water and add a bit of milk at the end. By the time the water evaporates, enough fat is melted down to ensure an evenly browned, very special crackling. When they’re fried up all crispy, and golden pour in a bit of milk and cover the pot. This will ensure that it will be both crunchy and tender. Finally remove them with a slotted spoon, and layer them on paper towel, sprinkle with sea salt. When cooled grind it to a paste.

Ingredients

300 g flour plus about 150 g to roll and fold the dough with, 50 g butter, 170 g sour cream, 5 g sugar, 20 g fresh yeast, 2 egg yolks, 125 ml luke warm milk, 1 tbsp vinegar, 200 g crackling paste

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Preparation

Cut the butter in small pieces and add it to the flour, along with the salt, and mix by rubbing in. Make  a well in the middle and add sour cream, sugar and the yeast and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Mix it into the flour with a wooden spoon, then add egg yolks, milk, vinegar and create a very soft, sticky dough. It is hard to work with but the final soft scone worth the effort. On a floured board, knead the dough gently and roll out to a rectangle. Scatter the half of the crackling paste on the top and spread evenly (work very gently). When ready fold the two sides to the half (they will touch each other in the middle), then  fold the top side down to two-thirds and fold the bottom side up on the top of it. Finally turn it upside down and place a clean towel on it. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes rest, roll out the dough , and apply the other half of the crackling paste on the top and repeat the folding carefully in similar fashion, in envelope style, from the left, the right, and from each end to enclose. Cover with the towel, and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes again. Follow the same procedure for the third time and let it rest for another 20 minutes. After the final resting roll out, score the dough with a sharp knife (do not cut through).  Make little rounds with a small circle cutter. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the scones onto it. Brush it with egg wash separately, carefully so it does not run down the sides as it would stop it from rising fully in the oven. Let them rest uncovered for a further 20 minutes, then bake in a pre-heated 200-220 degrees Celsius oven for about 18-20 minutes, until it gets nice and golden brown on the top.

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They can be eaten as snacks, or with a nice bowl of soup, or as a bread substitute with any meal.
A variation to the theme…
A similar taste can be acheived when making the gluten-free version, however, due to the characteristics of gluten-free flours, the texture will be significantly different.

6 thoughts on “Liebster Baking: My Mother’s Original Crackling Scones

  1. Pingback: MY FRE FROM SERIES: When a Scone is good, it is good – Gluten and Dairy-free Pork Crackling Scone | When Judit bakes...bread and better..

  2. These look beautiful and delicious. I actually have some unsalted pork fat in the freezer I bought from the farmer’s market, so I will try this recipe as a special treat in the future. Thank you so much for sharing it! It’s really neat that your mother never needs to use recipes and has it all in her head. I would love to be like that someday. I have a few more blogs to find for my liebster nominations, almost done though!

  3. This is pure pleasure! The way that you describe your recipes and give us a little bit of background/history on the recipe is just wonderful. I can almost smell the freshly baked bread coming out of the oven 🙂
    And I love your quotes! Wise words from wise people 😉

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