Sunday, April 5, 2009

Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy

I woke up this morning with the urge to make something yummy today. At first I was brainstorming what to make for Sunday dinner, however my mind soon shifted to breakfast. I quickly found myself with my hands covered in sticky dough, making a batch of buttermilk biscuits and gravy.

Gravy is another one of those non-recipe recipes I learned how to make from my mom. Growing up she often made it for breakfast or to accompany certain southern dinners. I wish I didn’t know how to make it, because then I wouldn’t be regretting my choice to eat such a sinfully fat breakfast. Of course my bad decision made me feel even worse because right after I finished breakfast, I saw the first picture of my brother post-weight loss. Oh well….at least I made it with skim milk right??

As for the biscuits, I would normally go buy a bag of Pillsbury’s frozen buttermilk biscuits (why do the work when they are soooo good). Today I decided to make use of what I had on hand and made my first batch of biscuits from scratch. I have to admit, they turned out pretty good for a first-timer!

Buttermilk Biscuits

3 cups all purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 ½ t baking powder
½ t salt
½ t baking soda
½ c butter
1 cup buttermilk (maybe a little more if needed)

1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients
3. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender, until it is crumbly and well mixed
4. Add buttermilk a little at a time, stirring until well mixed. This is where experience will tell you how much you need, which I certainly had no clue at the time. I added enough buttermilk to make all of the flour stick and hold together into a ball. The end product was very sticky.
5. Lightly flour a surface (countertop or cutting board) and knead the dough a few times (my goal was trying to make it less sticky, but who knows if that is right).
6. Roll the dough out to about ½ inch thick, and then use a biscuit cutter or glass.
7. Place in a greased cake pan or other baking dish and let the sides of the biscuits touch each other.
8. If you desire, brush the tops with a little bit of melted butter
9. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

This is another one of those dishes I make without a recipe, so hopefully these measurements will work well for you. The best way to know what you are doing is trial and error! In order for this to turn out well, you really need some bacon grease or to have just made sausage, fried chicken, fried pork, etc.

1/3 cup bacon grease (the next time you fry bacon, just pour the grease into an old jar and save in the fridge for future use)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2-3 cups milk (I use skim, but use what you have)
Lots of salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat grease in pan on medium heat
2. Add in flour and whisk until smooth

3. Let it cook for a few minutes, continuing to whisk, until it turns a caramel color
4. Add in milk (start with 1½ to 2 cups and you can always add more later) and whisk to combine
5. Keep whisking on medium heat; once it starts to bubble the milk will start to thicken – may take 5 to 10 minutes (you don’t have to continuously whisk, but you want to stay close so that it doesn’t burn)
6. If the mixture is extra thick, add some more milk to thin it out; it will re-thicken as it cooks, you just want to be careful to not add too much milk to start
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste (it will need lots).
8. Spoon on top of biscuits or whatever else you may want gravy on.



  2. people underestimate bacon grease. i think it is a cure-all, a modern day snake oil.