As an avid biscuit maker, I enjoy eating and baking many forms of biscuits. There are fluffy, light, flaky biscuits; tender, soft, cakelike biscuits; massive country-style biscuits called catheads; and delicate tea biscuits meant for ladies’ luncheons.
I’m asked quite a bit about biscuits. Random folks hear my accent and ask about Southern biscuits. People reach out on Twitter and Facebook. I also get at least a couple of emails a week asking how to make biscuits.
Recently, it was a plea for a lost recipe: “They were very light and fluffy. I think she used lard. She cut the biscuits out and let the dough rest while we went to church. They were better than any bread or biscuits I have ever tasted.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that nothing says down-home comfort like a fluffy, buttery biscuit. This is what taste memories are made of; this is what leads to yearnings for lost recipes. These are not those obscenely large and layered fast-food monstrosities that taste of imitation fat or cans of biscuit dough that have a shelf life of 6 months. Those kind of biscuits only exist because of ingredients that end in suffixes like -ceride and -pylene. Real biscuits are made from flour, fat, liquid, leavener and salt.
Biscuits with sausage gravy are a rib-sticking way to start the day. They are a no-nonsense breakfast, the he-man of down-home comfort. They are meant to start a day spent on the farm, in the field or at the wheel. This is not a fancy brunch dish; this is an old-fashioned Southern classic.
Bon Appétit, Y’all!
Get the Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
Georgia-born, French-trained Chef Virginia Willis has cooked lapin Normandie with Julia Child in France, prepared lunch for President Clinton and harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. A Southern food authority, she is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all and Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, among others. Follow her continuing exploits at VirginiaWillis.com.