Although this dough is similar to the one used in your basic roll and cut biscuit, I like to use the French laminating technique for mine. By folding the dough over and over on itself, you produce lots of flaky, super thin layers without much more effort. And the effect is like one of those towering Pillsbury Grands biscuits except it doesn’t come from a can! To reduce your efforts in the morning, prepare the biscuit dough up through the final folding step the day before, and chill overnight.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
for the biscuits:
2 cups|454 grams (4 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen
2 cups|280 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups|240 grams Wondra flour (see The Wonders of Wondra (below) for substitutes)
¼ cup|50 grams granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups|500 ml buttermilk, chilled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
for the sausage gravy:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 ounces|345 grams ground pork
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning blend
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup|30 grams Wondra flour
3 cups|750 ml whole milk, plus more as needed
- Make the biscuits: Grate the butter on the large holes of a box grater or with the shredding disk of a food processor. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze or refrigerate before proceeding.
- In a large bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, Wondra, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Add the frozen butter and toss with your fingers to make sure each piece is coated well (work quickly so that the butter doesn’t warm up too much!). With a silicone spatula, fold in the buttermilk until just combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, wax paper, or foil (it will help with moving it around later). Gently press and pat the dough together and roll it out to an even rectangle about 12 × 18 inches. Transfer the dough on the parchment to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Slide the parchment paper and dough back onto a flat work surface with the long side closest to you. Lightly dust the top of the dough with a pinch of flour, then fold the two short sides into the center until they are touching (like a set of double doors), and then fold the left side on top of the right (like a closed book).
- Center the folded dough on your parchment paper and roll the dough out to a 12 × 18-inch rectangle again, rubbing flour on your rolling pin if the dough sticks. Repeat the book folds again, then roll the dough this time to a 12-inch square. Transfer the dough back to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the center position. Slide the dough back onto your work surface and use a sharp knife to cut the dough into approximately 2-inch squares. Line the baking sheet with a new piece of parchment paper and line up the biscuit dough squares on the baking sheet, spaced about an inch apart. Return the sheet to the refrigerator and chill the biscuits for another 10 minutes before baking.
- Place the baking sheet on the center rack and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating once halfway through, until the biscuits are puffed and deeply golden. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and honey. Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush with the honey butter. Let cool while you make the sausage gravy.
- Make the sausage gravy: Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork and season with a couple of heavy pinches of salt and a generous pinch of pepper. Sear the pork, stirring occasionally and breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the brown sugar, sage, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, and maple syrup and caraway (if using). Cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the butter, then sprinkle the Wondra evenly over the top (it should look like a nice snowfall). Stir everything together to create a roux of sorts. The fat in the pan should no longer be visible, and the mixture should take on a light sheen. If liquid fat is still visible, add another teaspoon of Wondra to soak it up.
- Gradually pour in the milk, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan; the gravy will loosen and smooth out. Let it come to a low simmer and season with more salt and pepper to taste. If the gravy is thicker than you like, add another splash of milk or water before serving.
- To serve, split the biscuits and spoon warm gravy on top. Any leftover biscuits can be used to make panzanella and leftover gravy can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
For the gravy, you can use uncooked seasoned sausage or breakfast patties instead of ground pork, and eliminate the spices, sugar, and syrup. Just crumble and cook until brown, then add the butter and flour.
If you don’t want to go through the motions of making gravy at all, the biscuits are delicious on their own, brushed with a bit of melted butter and honey right after baking.
THE WONDERS OF WONDRA
This “instant” low-protein flour is finely ground, precooked, and dried, so it can quickly dissolve into hot liquids to make sauces or gravies without clumping. If you’re not in possession of Wondra, you can make a homemade version by combining 2 cups all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, then sifting it a few times to aerate and lighten it up.
Reprinted from Sunday Best. Copyright © 2022 Adrienne Cheatham with Sarah Zorn. Photographs copyright © 2022 Kelly Marshall. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.”
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