Kid-friendly Southern Charm Breakfast Biscuits and Gravy Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Southern Charm Breakfast Biscuits and Gravy

Recipe: Southern Charm Breakfast Biscuits and Gravy

Southern Charm Breakfast Biscuits and Gravy

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dylan Sabuco
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
24 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Southern Charm Breakfast Biscuits and Gravy

The humble biscuit may be one of America’s most comforting comfort foods. From Tennessee’s fluffy buttermilk variety to the sweet potato gems found in the Carolinas, biscuits embody the very essence of Southern-inspired hominess. Who can resist the tender, flaky interior, the buttery melt-in-your-mouth flavor, and the layers that just beg to be pulled apart?

Biscuit recipes often become treasured heirlooms, lovingly passed down through generations. And they come not only with instructions on how to make them but also on how to serve them, as is the case with this recipe, generously drenched in mouthwatering gravy (yum!).

Put the finishing touch on your classic American diner breakfast with Green Machine Slaw and Kid-Friendly “Coffee” Delight!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • bake :

    to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • simmer :

    to cook a food gently, usually in a liquid, until softened.

  • singer :

    pronounced SAHN-jay, a French cooking term meaning to sprinkle flour on ingredients that have been cooked in fat, like vegetables, before adding liquid; this creates a roux, a mixture of fat and flour, typically used to create a thickened sauce or stew.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Grater
  • Cutting board
  • Round cup or cookie/biscuit cutter
  • Kid-safe knife
  • Medium saucepan
  • Ladle or spoon
scale
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7X

Ingredients

Southern Charm Breakfast Biscuits and Gravy

  • Biscuits:
  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 1 C milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
  • 1 T vinegar (white or apple cider are best)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 C) cold butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub 1/2 C dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance)**
  • Gravy:
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 T butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance)**
  • 1 T all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub 2 tsp cornstarch)**
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 C milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Southern Charm Breakfast Biscuits and Gravy

  • Gluten/Wheat: For 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour in biscuit dough, substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour. For 1 T all-purpose flour in gravy, substitute 2 tsp cornstarch. 
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance for biscuit dough and gravy. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk for biscuit dough and gravy.

Instructions

Southern Charm Breakfast Biscuits and Gravy

1.
intro

Biscuits and gravy are a match made in heaven. The buttery, flaky combination of flour and milk with heaps of delicious onion gravy ladled over the top has become a classic breakfast food of the Southern United States. For our Sticky Fingers preparation, you will make a traditional black pepper gravy that leans more heavily into onions and skips any sausage you might be used to.

2.
measure + mix

Many buttermilk biscuit recipes use store-bought buttermilk, but today, you will make your own simply by combining vinegar and milk in your dough. Let’s dive in! Measure 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir a few times to loosely combine.

3.
grate + mix

Then, grate 1 stick of cold butter into the same bowl. Once the butter is in, start mixing until a ball of biscuit dough forms. Roll the dough onto a clean cutting board. With clean hands, start flattening the dough into a large circle. Using a small cup or cookie cutter, cut out small circles from the flattened dough.

4.
bake +chop

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Place the shaped biscuits onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown and fluffy. Now, work on the gravy. Chop 1 yellow onion into a small (ish) dice.

5.
scrumptious science

Time to make a "roux" (pronounced "roo")! What is a roux? Roux, or chef's paste, is a cooked combination of butter and flour in equal parts. This mixture is then used to thicken stocks and cream into various sauces and soups. For this recipe, we will use a method called "singer" (SAHN-jay), a French term for sprinkling flour over cooked vegetables to form a roux. From there, stock, cream, or water can be added to create soups and sauces with vegetables or meat incorporated into the mix.

6.
sauté + sprinkle

Place the onions in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir a few times while the onions sizzle. Then, measure and sprinkle in 1 tablespoon flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard. Stir until a thick paste (roux) starts to form. This will take a couple minutes of continuous stirring.

7.
simmer + serve

Slowly pour in 1 cup of milk while whisking the milk and roux together. Simmer the mixture for at least 10 minutes or until the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove the biscuits from the oven if you have not already. Serve the gravy ladled over the fluffy, flaky buttermilk biscuits.

Surprise Ingredient: Butter!

back to recipe
Photo by Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Butter!

"I'm a byproduct of churned cream used in cooking and as a spread for bread. I'm really yummy when I'm melted and poured over freshly popped popcorn! You don't have to "butter me up" (flatter me) to get me to add richness to your food!"

History & Etymology

  • According to Elaine Khosrova, author and pastry chef, butter may have originated 8,000 years ago in Africa. A shepherd had tied a bag of warm sheep's milk to the back of a sheep and found that after traveling a few miles, the milk had curdled, creating a tasty substance. She claims butter would have come from the milk of sheep and goats before cow's milk. 
  • The method of churning butter eventually changed from having bags of milk dangling from domesticated animals' backs to hanging them from tree branches. 
  • In places where olive oil was preferred with bread and cooking, as in ancient Greece and Rome, butter was seen as a food for barbarians. However, it was accepted as a medicinal ointment. 
  • A 4,500-year-old Sumerian tablet describes making butter from cows. 
  • Scandinavia was exporting butter by the 12th century. Butter did not spoil as quickly in northern Europe as in southern climates. In Ireland, in the 11th to 14th centuries, butter was placed in firkins (wooden vessels or casks) and buried in peat bogs to preserve it. Archaeologists can still find buried butter firkins in Ireland.
  • Butter was churned by hand on farms until the 19th century. Farmers would make enough for themselves and to sell in brick form for extra income.
  • In the 1860s, butter factories started up in the United States. In 1894, Gustaf de Laval patented the first centrifugal milk-cream separator, which sped up the butter-making process. 
  • At home, you can make butter by shaking or whipping heavy cream, causing the butter fats to separate from the liquid until it turns into butter and buttermilk!
  • The latter half of the 20th century would see margarine overtake butter in popularity because it was less expensive and seen as healthier. That changed somewhat in the early 2000s, but both products have been surpassed in recent years with healthier fats, like canola and olive oils. 
  • The United States produces the most butter worldwide, followed by New Zealand and Germany. 
  • The word "butter" is from the Old English "butere," of West Germanic origin, from the Latin "butyrum," from the Greek "bouturon."

Composition

  • Butter is a dairy product made from cream, which is typically 80 percent butterfat. It is a solid substance when refrigerated, and at room temperature, it is semi-solid. When heated, it melts and becomes a liquid.
  • Butter is most often made from cow's milk, although it can also be made from goat, sheep, buffalo, and yak milk. 

How to Buy & Eat

  • In the US, butter is typically purchased in 1-pound packages with four 4-ounce sticks. The sticks may come in the Elgin or Eastern-pack shape: 4 3/4 x 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 inches. This form was named for a dairy in Elgin, Illinois. Or, they will be in the Western-pack shape: 3 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches. Butter dishes are generally designed for the Elgin shape. 
  • Most butter has 80 percent butterfat. If your recipe calls for butter with more butterfat content, look for a European-style butter. It is churned longer and has 82 to 90 percent butterfat. 
  • You can purchase salted or unsalted butter. In baking, recipes often call for unsalted butter. If you use salted butter in a recipe that calls for unsalted, you may not need as much or any additional salt. 
  • The culinary uses for butter are extensive. You can spread it on bread, toast, and other baked goods. It is a cooking fat that adds flavor to pan-fried foods. Cooking vegetables in a little butter allows the sugars in the veggies to carmelize. Adding butter when finishing a sauce makes the sauce rich and creamy. Baking with butter will add texture and richness to cakes, cookies, and pastries and make them more tender. Mix it with powdered sugar, and you have buttercream frosting!
  • Several foods have "butter" as an ingredient and in their names, including butter cookies, butter cake, butter chicken, butter rice, butter pecan ice cream, buttercream, butterscotch (candy), butter pie, bread and butter pudding, and cookie butter (a sweet food paste). The French "beurre blanc" ("butter white") is a rich white butter sauce. 

Nutrition

  • One tablespoon of butter has 102 calories, 12 grams of fat (7 grams saturated fat), one-tenth gram of protein, and no carbohydrates, fiber, or sugar. It has 355 IU of vitamin A and small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Salted butter has 91 milligrams of sodium.
  • Eating butter may increase the absorption of other nutrients in the foods it is in. 
  • Butter is not a heart-healthy fat, so it should be eaten in moderation.

History of Biscuits and Gravy!

Photo by Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock.com
  • Some say the popular breakfast dish, Biscuits and Gravy, got its start during the late 1700s. It would have been a cheap and substantial breakfast for Revolutionary War soldiers and people working on southern plantations. Others say it originated in the 1800s in Southern Appalachian lumber mills, and the gravy used to be called "sawmill gravy."  
  • The biscuit portion is made from a soft dough of flour, milk or buttermilk, butter or shortening, and baking powder. After it is baked, it is usually cut in half with the gravy spooned over it. The gravy typically consists of flour, milk, black pepper, pork sausage drippings, and bits of sausage. The dish can be served by itself or accompanied by eggs.
  • You can make your gravy without the sausage and replace the drippings with butter (or a dairy-free alternative). Try adding sautéed chopped onions as in our Sticky Finger Cooking version, Southern Charm Breakfast Biscuits and Gravy!

Let's Learn About the Southern United States!

Photo by In The Light Photography/Shutterstock.com
  • The southern region of the United States is also referred to as the Southern States, or just "the South." The area lies between the Western states and the Atlantic Ocean. Midwestern and Northeastern states are to its north, and Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico are to its south. 
  • From west to east, the states included in the South are Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. 
  • The term "Deep South" usually applies to Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
  • Native Americans inhabited the region as early as 11,000 to 9,500 BCE. They lived on food they grew, hunted, and fished.
  • Eleven Southern states seceded from the Union from 1860 to 1861 and became the Confederate States of America. Their secession and the dispute about the expansion of slavery caused the Civil War (1861-1865), the war between the North and the South. At the war's end, the Southern states returned to the Union. 
  • Southern culture was influenced by indigenous peoples, immigrants from England, Spain, and France, and enslaved Africans. As a result, the area's language, food, music, architecture, and literature may include one or more of these influences.  
  • The climate in the region is diverse and depends on a state's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes and tornadoes are extreme types of weather seen in the South.
  • Animals that are unique to the South include the nine-banded armadillo, the cottonmouth (snake), the roseate spoonbill (wading bird), and the American alligator.
  • Stock car racing got its start in Southern states. NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Racing) was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina. 
  • There are a wide variety of foods in Southern cuisine. Cajun and creole dishes originated in Louisiana. You can find Caribbean cooking influences in Florida, including Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican. 
  • Various types of barbecue are popular in the South, and each state has its own cooking or smoking techniques, dry rub, and BBQ sauce that make its barbecue style unique.
  • Other well-known Southern dishes are Southern fried chicken, red beans and rice, fried catfish and hush puppies, and Hoppin' John, a black-eyed pea and rice dish commonly served on New Year's Day.

Lettuce Joke Around

How do you make a biscuit warm and cozy?

Put gravy on it!

That's Berry Funny

"Knock, knock!"

"Who’s there?"

"Butter. Butter who?"

"I butter not tell you!"

THYME for a Laugh

My brother threw a stick of butter at me! 

How dairy?!

THYME for a Laugh

Why did the biscuit go to the doctor? 

It felt crumby!

THYME for a Laugh

How do you make a biscuit smile?

Put jam on it!

Lettuce Joke Around

"Gravity" is one of the fundamental forces of the universe.

But if you don't have "it," you still have "gravy"!

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