biscuits and white gravy

white gravy and biscuits

I might have a small obsession with food from the American south (so I think). I’ve never been to the deep south and the furthest I’ve been to is probably North Carolina. The hubs and I have been wanting to visit the deep south for some time and hopefully will be able to sometime this year.

I love southern food – biscuits, collard greens, cornbread, BBQ, etc. One of my favorites is biscuits with white gravy. The combination of a fresh biscuit (crisp and buttery) and creamy, meaty, spiced gravy makes me very excited.

I’ve been wanting to try out this buttermilk biscuit recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s Baking cookbook for some time. This recipe uses buttermilk powder instead of fresh buttermilk as ATK claims that buttermilk powder gives the biscuit a deeper, richer buttermilk flavor. I also wanted to use up my powdered buttermilk.

The biscuits turned out well – crisp on the outside, tender and flavorful. However, I still feel that using fresh buttermilk is best and will continue looking for that elusive buttermilk biscuit recipe. As it stands, the best buttermilk biscuits I’ve ever had were at The Pit in North Carolina. Feel free to use any buttermilk biscuit that you wish. You don’t have to use this recipe.

The gravy was a made using a simple recipe from The Pioneer Woman. Some tweaks were made to give it a “meatier spice” flavor.

buttermilk biscuits

The Best Buttermilk Biscuits

(taken and slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book, p. 29)

Makes 12 biscuits (or more, depending on how big/small you cut them)

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teapoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks, and chilled
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Method:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse the flour, buttermilk powder, sugar, baking soda , baking powder and salt together in a food processor to combine (about 3 pulses). Scatter the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the milk until the dough comes together.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and knead the dough gently until uniform, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to over knead the dough.
  5. Roll the dough unto a 10-inch round, about 1 inch thick.
  6. Using a floured 2.5 inch biscuit cutter (or top of a glass), stamp out 12 biscuits (you might end up with more depending on the size of your cutter).
  7. Arrange the biscuits upside down on the prepared baking sheet, space about 1.5 inches apart. Brush melted butter on the top of the biscuits.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the pan, reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and continue to bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.
  9. Transfer to wire rack, let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  10. Leftover biscuits can be frozen. To reheat, I like to nuke them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds and then toast them in the toaster oven till crisp (about 2-3 minutes). Keep an eye on them in the toaster oven in case they burn.

_______

White Gravy

(taken and adapted from here)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound breakfast or Italian sausage
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole or 2% milk
  • Seasoned salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Method:

  1. Using your fingers, tear small pieces of sausage and add them in a single layer to a large heavy skillet. Brown the sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle on half the flour and stir so that the sausage soaks it all up, then add a little more until just before the sausage looks too dry. Stir it around and cook it for another minute or so, then pour in the milk, stirring constantly.
  3. Cook the gravy, stirring frequently, until it thickens. About 10-12 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in the dried thyme, caraway seeds, seasoned salt and pepper and continue cooking until very thick. If it gets too thick too soon, just splash in 1/2 cup of milk or more if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Spoon gravy atop biscuits. Enjoy warm!

biscuits and gravy

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