Now, you know I totally love it when someone genuinely asks for my biscuits and gravy. It was a top request this Thanksgiving so I upped the ante and added bacon to my traditional sausage gravy. I made my biscuits with my Granny Good Biscuit Mix. It is so easy on a heavy baking and cooking day to use the mix..and the biscuits turn out so tasty, fluffy ..and pretty too. Hover over the pictures and the instructions are given. Also, if you're in Nashville and want to take my Southern biscuit class we eat as we learn all of this.
The feeling is always the same after my Saturday morning biscuit class taught from my Biscuit Kitchen. That feeling of company having just left. Laughter and friendly chatter echoes in the quiet - I'm happy surround by stacks of biscuit bowls that need washed. My cast iron skilled hasn't a near portion of sausage gravy left.
I enjoy my students very much, consider them my new dear friends that I hope to see again. As the demands of Southern Belle Biscuit Company grows -- I hold on to my small classes. For teaching and sharing the art of Southern biscuit baking is at the heart of my mission.
My thought is that my classes are really like inviting friends over-- eight of us sit in my Biscuit Kitchen, drink coffee, talk about biscuits, and share stories about biscuit making and the memories of those who baked them before us. It never gets tiring. In between all that, I share and demonstrate everything I've loved learning about this Southern art.
We eat, laugh, and drizzle butter and honey on hot biscuits until we can't eat any more. Oh yeah.. don't forget the gravy too. For me, I enjoy coaching my students as they make their own batches of biscuits - perfecting their techniques - and I have to say I've been impressed with the biscuits they make - many their first time.
As I write - I smile - glad that the families of my biscuit students will now have their own biscuit traditions to remember. Perhaps the echo I hear in their absence - is heart of their homes beating louder .
I'm on a short vacation and looking at the butter on the counter. It is the second day of fun in the sun, and something about this butter just isn't right. For one... it has been sitting out at room temperature overnight and is in a perfect rectangle as if just taken out of the fridge. Should it not be in a blob state? Wonderful quality butter should almost be in a puddle sitting out on the counter in a beach town. I guess it was thrown into the shopping cart by price consideration -- mmm a common mistake.
This yellow firm square of "so called" butter sparked me write you. I find butter is just like flour. To most of us, it is a simple staple and you think they're all basically the same -- but truly there are many factors that make it a quality product.
Anyway..here are some butter basics that will improve your biscuits and baking overall.
1. Butter in the United States has less butterfat than French and European butters. USDA requires butter to have 80%butter fat. European butters have 84-86%
2. The fat in butter intensifies and compliments the tastes of your other ingredients in your biscuits, cakes, cookies..or whatever you love to bake. So using a higher fat butter will make your biscuits taste better;not only for its buttery taste..but what it does for the other ingredients in your recipe.
3. Butters in the U.S. are defined by three grades. A, AA, B. "A" the best.. "B" not the best..
( or B for "bargain" and you know what means).
4. It is confusing..but there is "Sweet Cream"butter..which is made from the fresh sweet cream of milk and is most popular in the United States. Then there is "Sweet Butter" which is made from cultured or fermented dairy and has a sharper taste and is preferred in Europe. To make things more confusing..some think "sweet butter" means unsalted -- but that is not the case.
5. Salted and unsalted butters. Salt extends the shelf life of butter and that is why it was introduced many years ago. It comes down to personal choice as the taste. Some bakers prefer unsalted so they can control the amount of salt in the recipe..as each butter manufacturer can add differing amounts of salt to their brand of butter.
6. Grass fed butter Versus Grain Fed butter. This is all the rage..the grass fed butter trend. In short, butter from grass fed cows has higher levels of good fatty acids for health and vitamin K2 … to read more..go here. I do use Kerrygold butter in my biscuits…and I find it tastes better than Sweet Cream Butter. You'll find the best price for that at Walmart of all places. No kidding..and it costs double and even more at other grocery stores and Whole Foods.
I've been literally in a haze these past months. In a cloud of flour in my Biscuit Kitchen, testing one flour after another in my determination to formulate a biscuit flour that will put homemade biscuit baking back into the heart of the home ..the kitchen.
Flour is a big business, and it has been quite an education. But..the dust has settled in my biscuit kitchen…and I found the winner… a Southern grown and milled soft winter wheat that has tested head and shoulders above the rest. The flour continued to fly, as I blended my new found soft biscuit flour with the best ingredients I tested and used combinations from the recipes i've formulated and documented in my work.
My loving hope is to bring you a a line of biscuit products that have eliminated the difficult aspect of biscuit baking..and leaves the loving great part - making them in your kitchen for y our family to enjoy and see. Roll them out as you talk to your kids, friends, spouse. Nothing is better than a hot biscuit out of the oven. They're memory makers. Let me leave you with a photo of one of my test bake offs.. the tall one … is our winner.. Southern Belle Biscuit Flour was born..