Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

A week ago my friend and ministry partner Jan Hamil and I hosted the Spring Session of our Tasting Grace Mentoring Ministry. We went Southern all the way with homemade biscuits and delicious sausage gravy.  Tasting Grace is a “mentoring-in-the-kitchen” ministry of encouragement. It is our passion, and we have loved every single moment we’ve spent in the kitchen with the women who attend. Women of all ages attend and that is part of the joy!

This past Saturday I was blessed to serve by teaching two sessions on Tasting Grace at the 2017 Georgia Baptist Women’s Spring Event.  I had the absolute best time! My husband Gary came and supported me and I am so thankful for him. He was so much help and the sweet attendees purchased 70 Tasting Grace books. I pray each and every one of them caught the JOY of Tasting Grace “kitchen mentoring,” and will use it as a ministry outreach in her church and community.

I wanted to share the recipes here with anyone who happens to stop by.  As I shared with the girls last week, this is a moderation meal. Not something you eat often, but definitely enjoy on those occasions you prepare this delightful Southern delicacy.

BUTTERMILK BISCUITS – Doubles easily!
(This makes about 10-12 medium sized biscuits.)
2 1/2 cups of White Lily self-rising flour
1 stick of frozen (or very very cold) butter (salted)
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 stick of melted butter to brush biscuit tops when done

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a cast iron skillet or baking sheet pan w/Crisco. I prefer cast iron all the way!
  3. Measure 2 1/2 cups of self-rising flour into a large bowl. Now, using a grater, grate the cold butter into 2 1/2 cups of self-rising flour. Use the bigger “side” of the grater, not the coarse grind side. Toss flour and butter together. 
  4. Next, pour the 1 cup of buttermilk into the flour/butter and mix well. Using a spatula, stir about 15-17 times. Don’t overmix.
  5. Now wash and dry your hands well and then “dust” your hands with more flour.
  6. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and pat it all into a nice rectangle shape about the size of a piece of notebook paper, about 1/2″ thick. Fold the dough up and over so it’s in half, and then turn it clockwise, fold in half again, and turn again. Do this about 4-5 times. This creates all the layers in your biscuits.
  7. Using a 2 1/2 to 3″ biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits. Refold the dough as needed. Place them on a greased cast iron skillet and bake at 450 degrees until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Brush the hot biscuits with melted butter.

    NOW FOR THE “PINCH & PAT” HAND-ROLLED METHOD: 
    1.  With floured hands, pinch off some dough, enough to fit in your palm  (you’ll get the size down as you make more and more biscuits) and roll it by cupping your hands with your palms sufficiently floured. Don’t handle the dough too much – my Grandmother always told me the biscuits would be tough if you overwork the dough. Just a quick knead is all you need! You will get better each time you make biscuits.
    2.  Place the biscuits on the pan so they touch each other – this makes them softer. There’s a lesson here in staying close and working together! Amen!
    3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter and serve.

The Fine Art of Biscuit-Making ~ “Roll & Cut Out” Biscuits OR “Pinching & Patting

  • I can make biscuits both ways – rolling out the dough and cutting them with a biscuit cutter, or as a pincher-patter-placer biscuit maker, which is how my Granny taught me. I prefer to roll the dough and cut the biscuits out with a biscuit cutter. I have a nice collection of biscuit cutters.

    EITHER WAY YOU CHOOSE: Always do the following!

  • Accurately measure ingredients. Flour is measured by the “SPOON & LEVEL” method – spooning into a measuring cup and leveling off with a straight edge (like a butter knife). Sifting is not needed.
  • Butter should be cold, very cold.  Cold enough to grate. I keep butter in the freezer all the time to be ready to make biscuits. 
  • Always use whole buttermilk,  not low-fat! And the buttermilk should be very cold!
  • Mixing the liquid ingredients into the dry ones can be done effectively with a fork or a spatula. Either way, just don’t overmix.
  • If using a biscuit cutter, just cut straight down without twisting the cutter to ensure tall, straight biscuits.
  • Place on a baking sheet 1-inch apart for crusty sides or touching for soft sides.

SAUSAGE GRAVY – doubles easily!
(Serves 4-6)
1 lb. Jimmy Dean pork sausage (mild, hot, sage flavored or a mixture)
[I like to mix the hot and sage sausage together, and then double the recipe by using a pound of each.]
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup White Lily all-purpose flour
4 cups milk (whole or 2% milk)
1/3 stick of butter

  1. Crumble sausage and brown over medium heat until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. You will be amazed at how lean this Jimmy Dean sausage is – no grease to drain!
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and then sprinkle on the 1/3 cup of flour and mix well so that the sausage soaks up the flour. Keep stirring the sausage and flour together for another minute or so.
  3. Now slowly pour in about 4 cups of the milk, stirring constantly.
  4. Continue to cook the gravy, stirring frequently, until it thickens. (This may take a good 5 minutes or so.)
  5. Now go ahead and add the butter and stir well. You are done!
  6. Spoon the sausage gravy over warm buttermilk biscuits and serve immediately. It is sooooooooooooooo good!

My friend, you will love serving your family this comfort food.  I plan to make this for breakfast when my family is together for our beach vacation this summer. I know my boys will love it and I hope to teach it to my daughters-in-law.  I’ve taught them both how to make biscuits, sausage gravy is next!

Happy May Day to all,

Gran Jan

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