Mary Haymaker, Teacher & Local Food Blogger Photo by Kim Box
White Lily Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
2 cups all-purpose flour (a soft wheat brand like White Lily will turn out the best biscuits)
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
6 tbsp. unsalted butter (cold, cut into chunks)
1 cup buttermilk (can also use milk, cream, or half-and-half, or splash a little vinegar into the bottom of a measuring cup and fill the rest of the way with milk to approximate buttermilk)
Preheat the oven to 450˚. Put a baking stone or baking sheet in the oven to preheat. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk a little at a time, stirring after each addition, until the mixture comes together into a sticky dough. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and lightly coat the outside with flour. Flatten and fold into thirds. Repeat the flattening and folding twice, adding flour as needed but being careful not to add too much flour, which will toughen your biscuits. Lightly press the dough into a rectangle about an inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or knife to cut into the desired number of biscuits. (I use a knife and don’t worry about the shape of my biscuits. Not using a biscuit cutter prevents me from having to re-roll the scraps, which will also toughen it.) Place the biscuits on the preheated pan barely touching one another. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Note: If you want to use self-rising flour, omit the salt, baking soda, and half of the baking powder.
For the Gravy
4 tbsp. bacon or sausage drippings
4 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
While the biscuits are baking, preheat a 10-inch skillet (cast iron works great) over medium heat. Add the drippings and heat until the fat starts to shimmer. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, until it just begins to brown. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking and allowing to thicken after each addition. Continue adding until the gravy reaches the consistency that you like (you may need a little more or a little less than the recipe calls for). Salt and pepper the gravy to taste and serve with biscuits.