Bacon Biscuit (Škvarkovník)
Ingredients: 1lb flour, yeast, ground-up bacon bits
Prep Time: 30 minutes to an hour for the dough to rise, some 20 minutes to prepare the biscuits, another 20 minutes for dough rising and finally 20 minutes for baking.
In Slovakia, we make this amazing bacon-flavored biscuit (pagáč) called škvarkovník. The name is derived for the word for bacon bits, škvarky. When done properly, the biscuits are extremely fluffy and the dough comes apart in layers. I actually like to eat them like that, layer-by-layer.
To make these biscuits, you will need ground up bacon bits. These are quite easy to find in Slovakia. They come in a margarine-sized tub, as shown in the photos below. However, I don’t know if anything like this available in the States. You can probably start off by buying bacon bits and grinding them up yourself.
As with any leavened dough, start off by preparing the yeast culture, kvások. This is done by dissolving the packet of yeast in luke-warm milk and adding about a teaspoon of sugar. Once it bubbles up (as in the recipe for knedla), add it to your flour (múka). Then add about two table spoons worth of bacon bits (škvarky) cooked with butter (masľo). Add a dash of salt and enough water (voda) to end up with dough having the consistency shown on the right.
Next let the dough rise. This will take somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the temperature of your room. My grandma fills a pot with hot water, and places the dough on top of it to speed up the process. Roll the dough out to a pancake approximately the width of your finger. Use a pastry brush (one made out of goose feathers works great!) to spread on a layer of bacon bits dissolved with butter.
Take this cylinder and hand pat it down into a circular shape. Then take a rolling pin and roll the dough out to about an inch thick. Don’t forget to work on a surface dusted with flour and to dust the top of the dough to keep the pin from sticking. Take a drinking glass and also stick it in flour. Use a circular motion to cut out the biscuits. This is identical to making pierogi.
Place the biscuits onto a greased baking pan. Let rise for about 20 minutes. In the mean time, preheat your oven. My grandma likes to bake them on the bottom and they took only about 20 minutes in her wood burning stove. Serve pagáče as a snack or instead of bread with soups.