Baking Powder Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

>> Friday, July 18, 2008

Continuing on with the breakfast for dinner theme, today we're making biscuits and gravy. Yum. This is all my husband orders when we go out for breakfast. Well, sometimes he'll branch out and get an omelet, but that's pretty rare. I'm more of an eggs benedict girl myself, but that's another post (we have plenty more breakfast for dinner ideas up our sleeves, so stay tuned - we'll visit this topic again!).

Let's start with the gravy. I normally make this first to give it a chance to thicken while I'm making the biscuits. This is the same gravy I use for crepes.

For the gravy--
1 pound regular bulk sausage
2 tablespoons flour
3-4 cups milk
salt and pepper, to taste

Brown the sausage in a large skillet. After sausage is browned, mix in the flour, cooking for 2-3 minutes. You may have to add in a little more fat (a drizzle of olive oil works well) to combine the flour. Then stir in the milk.

Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.

If your gravy gets too thick, just add in some more milk to thin it out. No big deal.

On to the biscuits.

Biscuits can be a bit tricky. The key to making great biscuits is to handle the dough as little as possible. When the recipe says to mix just until combined or to knead just until smooth, those "justs" are extremely important. Over-handling the dough makes tough biscuits, so really, less is more here. Don't let that scare you away, though. They really are easy to make and take very little time (about 20 minutes from start to finish).

Plus, your family will be very grateful. And then you'll feel like a kitchen goddess. And that will inspire you to create more wonderful dishes. Your family will then be even more grateful. See where this is going? And it all boils down to homemade biscuits. You can thank me later.

Before making biscuits (or pastries), you'll want to invest in a pastry blender. If you don't have one, you can just use 2 knives or even a large fork, but the pastry blender works a lot better. It's like $5, so it's not a large investment. You can even get them at Wal*Mart. They really help incorporate the fat into the flour mixture and get it evenly distributed, so I'd highly recommend you get one. They look like this:

Also, you'll need something to cut your biscuits out with. You can use a regular, round cookie cutter. If you don't have one, you can just use a glass cup. Just dust the top with flour so it doesn't stick, and you have an instant biscuit cutter.

For the biscuits--
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until flour mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.

Pour milk into the well. Mix just until combined.

Put dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead just until smooth, about 10-12 strokes. Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick. Then cut out your biscuits. You'll end up with about 10 biscuits.

Place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Top biscuits with sausage gravy or honey butter.


Mindy July 18, 2008 at 1:41 PM  

looks delish! So if I dont have one of those pastry cutters, can I use the hook attatchment from the kitchenaid that I have never used before?!

Mindy July 18, 2008 at 1:42 PM  

Oh, I guess I should have just finished reading the post before I commented! 2 knives it is!

Kate July 18, 2008 at 2:24 PM  

Biscuits and gravy are my husbands favorite and I have to say that I have never made it......making gravy scares me a bit. But you don't make it look that hard! I will have to try this soon! My husband would be pleased :)

Hillary July 18, 2008 at 3:35 PM  

Mindy-- You can use 2 knives, like I said, but cutting in the shortening without the pastry blender will take a lot longer! My mom always did it that way when I was growing up, but it was definitely more time-consuming. Just an FYI. :)

munchbucket July 21, 2008 at 12:36 PM  

This is my altime fave breakfast. You make it look so simple.

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