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May 12, 2007

Biscuits - Biscuits and Gravy

"These biscuits are one of the recipes made from my All Purpose Baking Mix When you combine these fresh-baked biscuits with Sausage Gravy (recipe also below), you have a wonderful comfort meal in itself! But for really hearty appetites, Biscuits and Gravy can also be combined with eggs (made your favorite way) for breakfast, or with a tossed salad for a dinner entree. Any way you have it, you can not be worried about either calories or cholesterol -- this is not a dish for the faint of heart (no pun intended!)

At the end of this post are a few photos of what the finished biscuits should look like, as well as what a true helping of biscuits and gravy looks like! Enjoy!" ... EC

3 cups All Purpose Baking Mix
2/3 cup of milk

Preheat over to 450 F. (230 C.). Combine All Purpose Mix and milk in a medium bowl and blend till just mixed well. Let dough stand (rest) about 5 minutes.

On a lightly floured board, knead dough about 15 times. Roll out to 1/2-inch thickness (do not roll thin - you want the product to be big and fluffy!). Cut with a floured biscuit cutter or, if you don't have this, you can use anything circular with about a 2-3" diameter (for example, drinking glass or small serving bowl). Make your cut outs close together, without actually cutting into each other, so as to not waste dough. You can re-roll the leftover dough to use again if you like, but beware that this "second" batch might be just a bit less fluffy and soft than the first because of all the handling.

Place the cutout biscuits (pronounced "bis-kets") about 2 inches apart on an un-greased baking sheet, and bake about 10 to 12 minutes - until a nice golden brown (not too light, not too dark).

This recipe should make about 12 large biscuits.

Country Sausage Gravy

This is also known as Sawmill Gravy, just Country Gravy, or just Sausage Gravy. I've offered two different versions, based on whether you like spice/heat, or not. The one with out the spice/heat is the traditional version. Either version is awesome!

Basic Ingredients to Both Versions

1 pound of ground pork sausage (I think it's best not to use a sweet sausage, but I leave this to your discretion!)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2-3 cups milk (start with 2 cups, then add more based on how thick you like your gravy. We like very, very thick gravy!)
2 Tablespoons prepared, strong, black coffee
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (this is optional, but it does add wonderful flavor and depth!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 full teaspoon fresh ground pepper (it's the pepper that makes this dish, so the more the better!)

Additional Ingredients for a Spicier and/or Hotter Version
(add whatever you like from the following)
Hot pepper flakes, or hot sauce - to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg; otherwise up to 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 to 1 full Tablespoon steak sauce

Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat; remove from the pan. Stir flour into the pan juices (you can add up to 3 Tablespoons more bacon grease OR lard OR shortening, depending on your tastes if you like, but I don't usually have to do this; this is usually only necessary if you used really lean ground pork sausage). Stir constantly, until golden brown. Gradually, but steadily, add the milk to the pan - and cook until the mixture begins to simmer. Then add the sausage back in, along with the coffee, Worcestershire sauce (if desired), salt, pepper - and any other spices you are using. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the gravy thickens. Serve gravy over split open (or broken up) biscuits.

My husband and son eat this on plates, and always end up regretting it because it is so messy! I break my biscuits up into a big (and I do mean big!) bowl and then just cover everything with a very generous ladle full (or 2!) of gravy. Enjoy!

What biscuits should look like...

A typical serving of Biscuits and Gravy...

And for the really brave at heart (again with the puns!) - the following is an example of a good ol' Southern breakfast: a huge ham steak, over-sized biscuits with gravy served on the side (in the bowl on the platter; it is served "on the side" because some like to smother the ham steak in the gravy, while others do not), a side of grits (the smaller plate on the platter) and fried eggs! I have been known to eat like this, but when I do this is usually all I eat that day! Also, since I'm not a big fan of ham, I usually substitute a huge, thick, grilled steak. The gravy is also awesome served over fried chicken, or a baked potato, or rice, or .... well, just about anything!!

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