This is one of those recipes that you needed to start preparing last year. It is made with one of the most exceptional ingredients you can find in Slavonia. We have no idea if there is an official name or what it’s called in other parts of Croatia. In eastern Croatia, its name is drožda, which could be compared to caviar or truffles in how precious it is. It is made during the process of making čvarci (Slavonian pork cracklings). To make these little cubes of fun, the fatty bits of pork (just under the skin) are usually fried in a large pot until a lot of the fat separates, and the pieces have turned golden brown. During this process, crumbs will fall to the bottom. Čvarci are then taken out, the lard is strained, and whatever is left (the mentioned crumbs) is your sweet, sweet drožda. Traditionally, this was done to use every single part of the pig when meat was not as affordable. These days, drožda is in most households kept specifically for pogacice sa cvarcima.
Pogacice is a simple sourdough with a healthy dose of the naughty stuff. They remain a very occasional treat, best served with yogurt, kefir, or sour milk. Their appearance at parties and gatherings is always celebrated. You can try and only have one, but we promise you’ll be happy to forget about the calories for a couple more.
1 kg of flour
2 tbsp of salt
250g of drožda (čvarak lard)
1 cube (20g) of fresh yeast
500 ml of milk
2 tsp of sugar
Start by developing the yeast in warm milk (250 ml), a tablespoon of flour, and two teaspoons of sugar. It is ready once it rises and doubles in volume.
Add it to all the remaining ingredients and knead a soft dough. Leave that to rise in a warm environment for about 45 minutes. Again, it’s ready once it doubles in volume and becomes soft enough to leave indents which do not bounce back. Knead the dough once again and roll the whole batch out until it’s about one centimetre thick.
Before cutting into shapes, with a sharp knife cut parallel lines diagonally on the surface to create a textured top, adding a fun dimension to the pogacice. Use a round mold or a glass (diameter up to 5 cm) to cut them out. Bake at 180 °C / 356 °F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.