Sunday, April 10, 2011

Buttermilk Biscuits with Sausage Gravy

Who doesn't love biscuits?  When my daughter was born I started reading labels and became much more conscious of the choices I made for our family.  I couldn't find biscuits that didn't contain trans fat so I started trying to find a biscuit recipe that I could easily make at home.  I played with different recipes and always felt something was missing.  I grew up where there was a Cracker Barrel restaurant and they always had such great biscuits.  I finally found that by adding a bit of yeast to the recipe but requiring no rise made the flavor fantastic.

After I took these pictures I sat the gravy boat and biscuits down in front of my husband.  By the time I had sat down he had upended the entire gravy boat onto his biscuit and removed the strawberries and replaced them with three extra sausage patties.  Once he was done I found him in the kitchen eating the rest of the gravy out of the pan with a spoon.  

Buttermilk Biscuits:

1 ½ tsp yeast
¼  c. warm water
2 ½  c. all-purpose flour
½  tsp baking soda
½  tbsp baking powder
½  teaspoon salt
1 tbsp sugar
½ c. shortening
1/2 stick cubed butter, cold 
1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add yeast and 1 tsp. of sugar to warm water and allow to sit.  Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl. Cut in shortening and butter with a fork until it looks like coarse sand.  I just use my hands though.  Add the yeast, water and the buttermilk and mix until combined.  Again, I just use my hands as I find it is easier to get the feel for the dough that way.  Add more milk if necessary.  Pour dough onto a floured surface and bring together. (Use plenty of flour under and on top of dough) Gently press the dough into a rectangle until it is between 1/2 and 3/4-inch thick. Use a round cutter that has been floured to cut the biscuits. Place on a baking sheet (or in a cast iron pan) so they are touching each other. Brush the top with melted butter.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  I start to check on them around 15 minutes and give them a few minutes more if needed until they are slightly golden on top. This makes about 8-10 biscuits depending on the size you make.

Sausage Gravy:

2 c. of half and half
1/2 lb. ground sausage
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt 
2 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour

While the biscuits are baking start with adding 1/2 lb. of your favorite ground sausage to a pan and brown.  Add the butter into the sausage and melt.  Slowly whisk in the flour until sausage mixture turns a bit pasty.  You can add extra flour if you need to, some sausage releases more oil than others.  Add in the half and half slowly while whisking to prevent lumps.  Allow to come to a simmer and start to thicken.  Add in salt and pepper to taste.  I think adding a good bit of pepper to the gravy makes a big difference.  Serve over biscuits.     

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