I am a writer and a Mommy. I am a devout Jew. These are the most important books I have read: The Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu, Stephen Mitchell translation. Spiritual Divorce by Debbie Ford. Living Inspired by Akiva Tatz. My kitchen would suggest I'm a closet carny, as would my love of Branson.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy

A few weeks ago I finally learned how to make amazing biscuits at the Silverado Cooking School in Napa.  

I have tried to make biscuits a few times before this class and to say I failed would be an understatement.  

It's really easy to make good biscuits from scratch.  It's great if you have buttermilk but I just did it with D milk and they were great.

You need flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, butter, milk

If you want amazing strawberry shortcake then you can add sugar to the above.

So the exact recipe is obviously very important but equally key is how to make the biscuits.

I'm assuming you have a recipe.  Mine is two cups of flour, 1 tsp salt, t tablespoon baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda mixed well with a whisk.

Then about a cup of milk and 6 tablespoons butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes.

So here is the key:  keep that butter and milk in the fridge until you have whisked your dry ingredients because you want them as cold as possible (not frozen) when you start actually making the biscuits.

First you will use only your fingertips to mix the tiny pieces of butter into your dry ingredients.  This is essential.  Don't let your biscuit dough get warm.  Just mix in that fat - fingertips only - and as soon as it's crumbly and mixed move on to the cold milk.  If you have buttermilk use half cup that and half cup regular.  

Don't pour in all the milk at once.  Pour most of it in.  Now this is another essential moment - run the flour/milk mixture through your fingers.  Don't knead the dough at all. 

Let the mixture fall through your fingers in the bowl until it is the consistency of dough.  Once it is dough like put it on the counter and gently form it into a 1 inch high round.  

When you place the biscuits for cooking on parchment paper they should all be touching each other with one or two in the middle and the others around them.

Cook them at 450 for ten minutes.

If you are making dessert biscuits, add 3 Tablespoons sugar to the dry ingredients. Then you just add fresh fruit and whipped cream.

So for the gravy - well, I used to love biscuits and gravy but they are as not kosher as you can get.  Still, once I nailed the biscuits I wanted the gravy!

Lucky for me this was the easy part.  Any fake meat breakfast sausage works.  I used Morningstar breakfast sausage patties.  Browned them in a bit of oil in a skillet and broke them up into small pieces.  I boiled some milk with a little flour, generous salt and pepper and the fake sausage and then let it sit and thicken.

It was really good!

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