In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer. Remove from heat, allow to cool to a temperature that is comfortable on the inside of the wrist, then dissolve the yeast in the milk. Place the flour in a large bowl and, after the yeast has foamed, stir the mixture into the flour, along with the oil, the salt, and enough water to make a soft dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rise for 1 hour in a warm, dry place.
In a tall-sided pot, heat the lard to 375 degrees F. Cut the dough into pieces the size of a toddler's fist and, once the oil has come to temperature, cook the dough in the oil, a few pieces at a time, until it is golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with the sliced meats and sliced fatback.
Recipe copyright 2000, Mario Batali. All Rights Reserved.