Chicharrones are pieces of fried pork, similar to pork rinds, but typically prepared with pork belly. Sandwiches made with chicharrón are a hugely popular snack in South America. Bakeries sell pan chicharrón, or bread made with pieces of pork rind and lard kneaded into the dough.
This version of pan chicharron is made with bacon, which gives it a similar delicious flavor. The resulting rolls are soft and tender, and are excellent for sandwiches (especially BLT's) and hamburgers. They also freeze well.
- 6 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 2 cups water
- In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat, until fully cooked, but not overly crispy. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
- In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a standing mixer), whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the yeast.
- Melt the butter with the reserved bacon drippings and add to the bowl.
- Finely chop the bacon. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon bits to sprinkle on top of the rolls, and add the rest of the chopped bacon to the flour mixture.
- Gradually add the water to the flour mixture, while stirring at the same time. (If using a standing mixer, use the dough hook attachment).
- Keep adding water until the dough starts to come together, then begin to knead the dough. Add water if the dough seems too dry, and knead until you have a smooth, elastic dough (about 5-8 minutes).
- Place the dough in a oiled bowl, cover the top with plastic wrap, and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch down dough and divide into 12 equal portions. Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Place balls of dough on 2 cookie sheets, well spaced. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Using the palm of your hand, flatten each ball of dough gently into a 3-4 inch diameter circle. Brush tops of rolls with butter or bacon grease, and sprinkle them with the reserved finely chopped bacon bits.
- Loosely cover rolls with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until double in size.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake roll for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheet.
- Serve warm as dinner rolls, or sliced for sandwiches or hamburgers.
Makes 12 rolls.