Having recently been in the American South, I’m hankering for some of the foods I enjoyed there. In this post, I wrote about a sweet tea recipe I tried (and enjoyed very much). Another very common Southern food staple is “biscuits and gravy”, a popular breakfast food. For the better understanding of my readers from the UK and elsewhere, let me say that by “biscuits” I don’t mean the crunchy and sweet biscuits, or cookies, you might be thinking of. In the US, a biscuit is like a savory scone. Anyhoo, I searched the Internet for biscuits and gravy recipes and mixed and matched them a bit to come up with my own recipe. I had to make a change or two due to the ingredients we have (or rather, don’t have) here in Finland, but the end product was very close to standard biscuits and gravy.
- 2 cups (4.75 dl) of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 6 tablespoons of cold butter
- 1 cup (2.4 dl) of milk
- Preheat oven to 450*F (230*C).
- Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
- Put the butter into the bowl and cut it up until the pieces are about the size of a pea.
- Pour in some of the milk and mix with a spoon. Repeat until the ingredients form a dough that sticks together.
- Lightly flour a flat surface and knead and fold the dough a few times, but not too much, or the biscuits will come out tough.
- Break off pieces of the dough with flour-dusted hands, roll them into a ball and place them on baking paper on a baking tray so that they touch each other, as shown in the pictures. I like to flatten them just a bit before putting them in the oven. As for the size of the biscuits, it’s up to you. I like making smallish ones. A standard size is 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. I accidentally let mine go a bit too long because I was busy with the gravy, so they’re just a tad overdone.
- Take the biscuits off the baking tray as soon as you take them out of the oven.
- 0.4 pounds (170 kg) of bacon* (see comment below)
- 1/4 cup (0.6 dl) of flour
- 2 cups (4.75 dl) of milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut up the bacon into very small pieces and cook it in a frying pan (don’t dump out the bacon grease).
- Making sure the heat is on medium-high, add the flour and the desired amount of salt and pepper (you can also add the salt and pepper later on, if you’re not sure how much you want).
- Stir the mixture until the flour is browned.
- Add the milk and stir until the gravy becomes thick.
*I used a 170 g/0.4 pound package of bacon, which is commonly available here. Normally, a certain type of pork sausage would go into the gravy instead of bacon. I’ll have to dig a little deeper to see if I can find an acceptable type of sausage here. The bacon I used gave it a different taste, but it was still good. 🙂
When the biscuits and gravy are done, break a few biscuits in half (I forgot to do this for the picture), spoon some gravy on them and enjoy! (Sweet tea optional.)
There was plenty left over for later. 🙂
After finding out how easy they are to make, I’m starting to think about how feasible it would be to transition from making them in the kitchen to making them in the woods. Instead of baking the biscuits in a dutch oven or other contraption, I think I might try making them the same way I make bannock, i.e. in a pan. The ingredients are very similar, so this should work. As for the gravy, all I’d really have to be concerned with is keeping the meat, butter and milk (unless I use powdered milk) cold until I need it, which actually isn’t a problem in Finland for most of the year. I hope this recipe will end up working well as a camp food, because it’d be perfect for cool- and cold-weather trips up here in the far north thanks to its hearty and filling (and high-calorie) nature. 🙂