The Best Buttermilk Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy for Breakfast Ideas Mondays
This week for Breakfast Ideas Mondays, I decided to make two southern favorites. First, buttermilk biscuits, and these are the best, really, and then chocolate gravy. I grew up in the metro-Atlanta area of Georgia, and buttermilk biscuits are a common staple in the area - though most people don't eat them regularly anymore due to the fat involved. Chocolate gravy, however, is new to me. I first saw it here on the You've Got to Taste This blog My Recipe. I have seen it several other places online, but chose to use this recipe because it was the first. At first, I could not imagine how any southern tradition, especially one involving chocolate, had escaped me, but after reading the comments, I realized that while it is definitely southern, it is also definitely from a different area - I think primarily Mississippi. It is a deliciously sweet foil to the salty, buttery, biscuits.
A note about flour: I use self-rising flour in the recipe, which is typical for a southern biscuit recipe. I believe it is available throughout the U.S. and in other countries, but I could be wrong. I think using it frequently is very much a southern thing, but at this point, I really only use it for biscuits - though I did use it in the muffin last week because I had it and was trying for quick and easy. You can convert all-purpose flour by adding 1 tsp. of baking powder and 1/2 tsp. of salt for each cup of flour. Additionally, southern cooks tend to be avid fans of White Lily flour - often saying that it essential to a certain recipe. It does make particularly fluffy biscuits, but since I know it is not available everywhere, the science behind it is that it is very bleached and low protein similar to cake flour. Hey, I never claimed this was health food... Maybe I'll try for healthier next week.
Be sure to check out the other great breakfast ideas this week for Breakfast Ideas Mondays at Yummy Inspirations.
First, make the biscuits. You will have plenty of time to put the gravy together while they bake.
yield: 10 biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 2 Tbsps. butter, cold and divided
1 cup whole buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a dry 10 inch cast iron skillet in the oven to heat while you make the biscuits. Cut the 1/4 cup of butter into the flour using a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles corn meal. Pour in the buttermilk and stir with a fork just until the dough comes together. Lay the dough on a large floured cutting board. Fold and knead several times until dough becomes smooth and is no longer sticky. Do not over stir or over knead or you biscuits will be tough and won't rise well. You should only fold and knead 4 or 5 times. Cut dough with a biscuit cutter of desired size and shape - I used a glass a little over two inches in diameter for these. When you have the dough cut, remove the the skillet from the oven. Remember it will be very hot! Place the remaining two tablespoons of butter in the skillet and allow it to melt tilting the skillet so that butter covers the entire bottom. Place the biscuits in the skillet. Put the skillet back into the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden. Alternately, you could bake them on a parchment lined baking sheet, but you will miss the crunchy, buttery crust.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa (I used natural because I would imagine that to be traditional, but after tasting it, I think some high quality dutch processed would be wonderful and will try that next time.)
1/2 cup water
2 cups milk (I used 2%, the original recipe, used skim, and I imagine whole would be even better, but use what you have on hand.
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter
In a medium saucepan, combine dry ingredients until well distributed. Whisk in water until smooth. Stir in milk. Heat over medium until thickened. Stir in vanilla and butter continuing to stir until butter is melted. Serve over buttermilk biscuits.
Source for gravy: How to Make Chocolate Gravy by Ashley Johnson for You've Got to Taste This blog on My Recipes