Today’s delicious dish – Big Biscuits
Although there are many timesaving alternatives to making biscuits, there is no biscuit that tastes as good as a homemade biscuit. There are a lot of ways to make them – whole wheat or white flour, shortening or butter, buttermilk and baking soda or milk and baking powder – all are wonderful in their own way.
This recipe is less fussy than some – the dough is patted out into a rectangle and then cut into square-ish biscuits. These biscuits are rustic and big and soft. If you don’t want to use whole wheat flour, replace it with all-purpose flour. If you don’t want to use butter, you can use vegetable shortening or lard. Don’t use coconut oil – its melting point is too low to make a flaky biscuit. If you don’t want big biscuits, press the dough into a larger (and thinner) rectangle and cut into more pieces.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 stick butter (3/4 cup)
- 1 1/4 cup 2% milk
Turn on oven to 450 degrees.
Combine flours, cornstarch, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Roughly chop cold butter and add to dry ingredients. Then, using a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until well incorporated and no large pieces are seen. Add milk to flour mixture and stir until combined. Dough will be sticky, with a few dry pockets.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead gently, adding flour if necessary, until dough is smooth and workable. Pat dough into a rectangle, about 6” x 12”. Cut into 8 big square biscuits, in a 2 by 4 pattern. Place biscuits on a large ungreased baking sheet, leaving space between biscuits. Bake for about 14 minutes, until browned on top and bottom.
Makes 8 biscuits, each about 3” x 3”
Nutritional information (per biscuit): 352 calories, 18 grams fat, 11.5 grams saturated fat, 6 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams sugars, 2 grams fiber, 49 milligrams cholesterol, 941 milligrams sodium
Cost per biscuit: 45 cents
Preparation time: 25 minutes
What happens next?
Biscuits will keep for a day or two, although they are best right out of the oven. If you mix up some tasty honey butter, you can be sure there won’t be any leftover biscuits. I also like to split leftover biscuits, butter the cut side, and sizzle them in a skillet until they are nicely browned. My experience with biscuits is that they don’t freeze very well – they tend to fall apart. However, I have had decent luck with freezing the shaped dough and thawing and baking it at some later date.
I usually plan ahead to make Biscuits and Gravy the day after I have made Big Biscuits, and so I put 3 Big Biscuits aside. It is easy enough to make the biscuits and the sausage gravy at the same time, but it is really quick and easy to whip up the sausage gravy and serve it atop leftover biscuits that only needed 15 seconds in the microwave.
Another day’s delicious dish – Biscuits and Gravy
Biscuits and Gravy is a favorite at my house. We eat it for breakfast, for lunch, and for dinner, and always wish for more. This recipe does not produce the typical pasty white gravy with scarce sausage crumbs. Instead, it makes a velvety and flavorful gravy, with plenty of tasty sausage.
Use fresh bulk sausage that is well seasoned, usually called breakfast sausage, country sausage, or pork sausage, and often sold in one pound rolls. This sausage usually has enough fat in it that you don’t need to put any oil in your skillet. The fat will render into oil as the sausage cooks, and should be the right amount for the 6 Tablespoons of flour you will add. If it seems like not enough, add a teaspoon of olive oil.
If you don’t care to use white wine, replace it with water or lemon juice, or a mixture. But I urge you to try the wine – it adds acidity and complexity to the flavor of the gravy. If you don’t want to use Fat-Free Half and Half, you can substitute 2% or whole milk, but not Fat-Free (skim) milk. Fat-Free Half and Half starts as skim milk, but then fat-free milk solids are added, so it becomes richer and tastier. Thus, Fat-Free Half and Half gives this gravy a nice richness without adding so much fat and calories. Finally, if you don’t want to buy Kitchen Bouquet Seasoning (found in most stores near the steak sauces and Worcestershire sauce), you can omit it. I like to use Kitchen Bouquet because it gives the gravy a delicate light brown color and makes it taste meaty.
If you don’t have leftover Big Biscuits, use whatever biscuits you’ve got. This gravy will make anything taste wonderful; we sometimes have it over toast.
Biscuits and Gravy
- 1 pound bulk Breakfast Sausage (not patties or links)
- 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup Fat-Free Half and Half
- 2 Tablespoons white wine
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet seasoning
- 3 Big Biscuits, split and warmed
Heat large skillet. Add sausage and brown, breaking up into small chunks as it cooks. Stir in flour and spices and cook until flour begins to brown, stirring often. Add chicken broth and stir well, cooking until it starts to thicken. Add Fat-Free Half and Half, white wine, water, and Kitchen Bouquet seasoning. Cook, stirring often, until you have a thick gravy (about 10 minutes). Taste and correct seasonings, if necessary.
Serve on warm Big Biscuits that have been split.
Makes 6 servings (1/2 biscuit and about 2/3 cup gravy)
Nutritional information (per serving): 437 calories, 28 grams fat, 12.5 grams saturated fat, 15 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams sugars, 1 gram fiber, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 1195 milligrams sodium
Cost per serving: $1.27
Preparation time: 30 minutes