Butter Swim Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
You guys we LOVE our biscuits and gravy around here! Every time my husband comes home after being away he requests these bad boys. I opt for a recipe called butter swim biscuits the majority of the time when I do make them from scratch, which I much prefer, but lets be honest. Pop-the-can biscuits are GREAT when you just don't have the time or motivation to get in there and bake!
The reason I opt for butter swim biscuits is because lets face it, rolling out messy dough, cutting it, and having flour everywhere at the beginning of the day is not my idea of starting the day off on the right foot! These help you get breakfast on the table fast, cut down on the mess and while not quite as light and fluffy, do a great job of holding up to a good thick sausage gravy. My mouth is watering even thinking about it!
To start the biscuit gather the following ingredients. This makes a 8x8 pan of 9 biscuits but you can easily double it to fit in a 9x13 if you have a large family or group.
1/2 cup of SALTED butter (one of the few times I will recommend using salted butter)
2.5 c flour
1 T sugar
1.5 T baking powder
1 T salt
1 3/4 c buttermilk
Did you know here in the South they sell buttermilk by the GALLON?! I was awed the first time I went grocery shopping to see an entire section dedicated to just buttermilk in the milk isle. Usually it is just a couple little places for one brand to carry a few size options. They have all kinds of varieties around here!!!
Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees and throwing your stick of unwrapped butter right in the dish. Pop it straight in the oven as it is heating up to let that butter melt completely.
Next in a bowl mix all your dry ingredients together. That means the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Give it a quick stir to make sure everything is dispersed. Then add in your buttermilk. Slowly stir it until it comes together in a thick and a bit lumpy dough. Don't over-mix it, you don't want tough, chewy biscuits!!
Take your pan with melted butter out of the oven. You want the butter completely melted, so if you need to wait a bit you can. Another option is just to melt the butter beforehand in a measuring cup or mug and pour it into your pan.
Glop the biscuit dough right on top of the butter, it is ok if some of the butter goes over the top of the dough. Smooth out the dough on top to make sure it is nice and even. Using a butter knife slowly cut all the way down to the bottom of the pan through the dough to form 9 squares. The dough will likely come back together partially, but don't worry about it. This just helps to cut the biscuits apart after baking.
Stick the pan in the oven and wait for about 20-23 minutes. (If you are making gravy too now is a great time to start on that!)
When done the biscuits should be a light brown on top and there will be a bunch of butter bubbling around the edges of the pan.
Set the biscuits on the counter and let them cool slightly. As the cool the butter is absorbed by the bread and there is not a puddle of it left in the pan. Cut and serve with your favorite preserves, our our favorite sausage gravy!
For the sausage gravy you will need:
1 lb mild or spicy sausage (NOT Italian, trust me)
1/3 c All-purpose flour
3 cups milk (you can add more to make a thinner gravy, we like it THIIIICK)
1/2 t salt
1 T pepper (again add more or less depending on taste, I like it on the spicy side and use mild sausage)
Brown the sausage in a pan, I always choose my lodge cast iron skillet because it makes me happy to cook in it. :) I really prefer cooking with cast iron when possible.
If you have a bunch of grease in the bottom of the pan drain some of it out, if it is just a bit leave it in there to help you form the roux. Next sprinkle the 1/3 c flour over the sausage and stir to coat it all. Cook it over medium heat for a minute or two until all the grease is absorbed and you are left with what looks like a dry crumbly mess. Don't panic, you are doing it right!
Next slowly add in the milk about a cup at a time, stirring until it thickens each time. After the last addition, turn the heat off and add the pepper and salt and stir until thickened again. Add more milk if it suits your fancy and you are looking for a thinner gravy. Just remember it does thicken as it cools so start a little thinner than you would like!
Slide one or two of the biscuits out of the pan and top with the gravy. Sit down and enjoy a nice hearty meal to start, or end, the day. Because who says biscuits and gravy are for breakfast only!