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Behold My Flaky Biscuits

For dinner on Sunday night, I got adventurous and made buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy from scratch.   Homemade biscuits are really pretty simple (they’d have to be if I make ’em.) and they take only a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand.   As with all baking, your results will be best if you use fresh ingredients, especially your flour and baking powder/soda.  

These took me about 10 minutes to prep and 22 minutes in the oven.  The gravy took 10 minutes total, and was actually finished a good 10 minutes before the biscuits, so it got a little thick.  Still damned tasty, however.

Ingredients:

For the biscuits

1/2 cup cold butter, cut into smallish cubes

2 tablespoons shortening

1.5 cups cake flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

melted butter for brushing on before baking

For the gravy:

Ground sausage

Flour

Milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions – Biscuits

Preheat oven to 350.  Start by adding all the dry ingredients, the cold butter and the shortening to your food processor.  (a pastry cutter will work just as well, it will just take a little more elbow grease.)  Pulse just until mixed.

Add buttermilk and pulse a few more times, again just until it’s well blended.  Over-mixing will make your biscuits tough, you don’t want to over-agitate the gluten.

Biscuit ingredients in the food processor

Spread your dough on a floured cutting board or counter.  Sprinkle a little flour on your hands to keep the dough from sticking too badly.

Buscuit dough rolled flat on a white cutting board.

Fold one third of the dough over to the center, then fold the other third on top.

Biscuit dough folded over once on white cutting board.

Biscuit dough folded over twice on a white cutting board.

Fold one more time and press to make sure the dough is of equal thickness.

Biscuit dough folded a third time, on a white cutting board.

Cut dough into six roughly equal pieces.

Biscuit dough cut into six rougly equal sized squares.

Place on a cookie sheet with a few inches between biscuits. Let them set for about 10 minutes so they can rise (it won’t be by much), then brush with melted butter and sprinkle with a little salt.

Raw biscuits on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet next to a dish of melted butter, a pastry brush and a box of Kosher salt.

A close up.

Close up of a raw biscuit on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Six freshly baked biscuits on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Gravy Instructions

Everyone has their own style of sausage gravy, and I’ve never ever met one I didn’t like.  Mine is super easy and straightforward, but it does lend itself to a little experimentation.  For Sunday’s dinner I just stuck with the basics, however.

Brown your sausage in a heavy pan, then scoop out all the meat, leaving a few teaspoons of grease in the pan.

Add flour until you have a bit of a greasy paste, then add milk.  (I never measure, I just go by instinct and whether or not it looks right.)

Stir until the gravy starts to thicken, then add the meat back in.

Cast iron skillet of sausage gravy cooking on a gas stove top.

Stir over medium heat until thick.

Thickened sausage gravy in a cast iron skillet on a gas stovetop.

Spoon over biscuits and enjoy!

Biscuit smothered in sausage gravy on a square white plate.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

10 replies on “Behold My Flaky Biscuits”

As usual we are on the same wavelength. I made buttermilk biscuits Saturday night. Yours look better than mine. Mine were ok…because really, it’s butter, flour and buttermilk, it’s probably going to be tasty. But…mmm…it’s a good thing I have like 85 gallons of buttermilk left, I can try again!

I’ve never cooked with veg substitutes, so I’m not sure. I’ve made other kinds of gravy with all sorts of fats, so I bet you could improvise with butter, shortening or even a little olive oil. I know gravy doesn’t work without some sort of fat to hold it all together, though. Much like me.

MY FAVORITE BREAKFAST. Now I’m so hungry, and there’s not a lick of sausage in this house.

Those biscuits look beautiful, by the way. I usually just make the recipe of the back of the baking soda tin and they’re definitely good, as far as plain biscuits go, but they don’t look pretty and they are more pasty than golden brown.

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