Friday, September 05, 2014

VEGAN MOFO 2014: Biscuits and Gravy

Before I post too many more gravy recipes, I feel it's probably time to share my recipe for BISCUITS. 
Because gravy. ....Biscuits. ....Gravy.
Food of the gods. The main reason to have gravy.
My family's favorite breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner.
(Sorry to confuse my British friends, but we aren't making crisp, little tea cookies... This is an "American" thing.)
American English and British English use the word "biscuit" to refer to two distinctly different foods. 
The "biscuits" in this recipe are the fluffy, soft, savory, scone-like breads originating in the Southern U.S.
Most cultures and cuisines have "gravy" in one form or another, but the idea of a cream-style gravy over biscuit-type-bread, served as a breakfast entree can be credited to the American South.
Accounts track the dish to early Colonists during the Revolutionary war; cheap, fast and filling food was a necessity and they demanded something that was definitely not British. 

A little meat, water or milk, a bit of flour and a person could make a whole skillet of food over a campfire. Add a quick-cooking bread raised with yeast, sourdough or baking powder and it stretched the bit of meat even farther, and becoming a quick, but filling meal.
If you're looking for something to put gravy ON (and haven't come up with enough ideas from my previous posts) by all means try this American breakfast classic!
While biscuits are usually just leavened with baking powder, the addition of yeast in this recipe makes these very light and fluffy! 

Classic "Buttermilk-Style" Biscuits

1 cup plain (unsweetened!) plant milk
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 pkg dry yeast (I use the "Rapid-Rise" or "Pizza-Crust" version, which seems to work best here)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
3 1/2+ cups all-purpose white flour, (plus more as needed to flatten dough)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick cold vegan margarine, cut into small chunks
3 Tbsp coconut oil, chilled slightly (firm but not rock hard)
(*Optionally, you can add 1/4 cup chopped herbs or chives,  or 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese if you want)

-- Mix plant milk and vinegar in a small bowl.
-- Set it aside for a few minutes to thicken.
-- Mix the yeast, sugar and warm water in another bowl. Set aside.
-- Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
-- Add the margarine and coconut oil
-- Using a pastry blender, or two knives, cut the butter and coconut oil into the flour until the butter is about the size of peas/grains of rice.
-- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture all at once.
-- Add the yeast mixture.
-- Gently combine the flour and liquids with a fork just until it is absorbed into the flour.
-- The dough should be fairly sticky. (Add a little more liquid if it's too dry. Add a little more flour if too soft.)
-- Stir as little as possible to avoid tough biscuits.
-- Spread 1/4 cup flour heavily on counter surface.
-- Dump the dough out onto the flour and knead /work flour in a bit - JUST until it's not too sticky to handle.
-- It should still be very soft and squishy.
Biscuits and jelly on the porch 
-- Pat the dough (do not roll) about 1/2-inch thick (or slightly thicker).
-- Cut it into about 9 (3-inch) rounds using a biscuit cutter, canning jar ring or drinking glass. Cut STRAIGHT DOWN. DO NOT TWIST the cutter. (Super important!) Use scraps to form another biscuit or two but don't over-handle.
-- Place the biscuits on a baking stone or cookie sheet, just barely touching.

-- Preheat oven to 425°F.
-- Let biscuits sit for 1/2 hr. to 45 min. while you make the gravy or prepare the rest of breakfast.
-- Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400°F.
-- Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15+ minutes or until a toothpick comes clean out of a center biscuit .

Top with Cream/White Gravy or Sausage Gravy (recipe coming soon!).
Or jam or syrup or apple sauce or fresh fruit ... or whatever you want!!


MeShell said...

I really love biscuits. And I really love Gravy. When I saw your theme I thought to myself... Must make biscuits. Must make gravy. These look awesome. said...

I love biscuits, I eat the every time I come to the US but I've never made them at home. I need to fix that ASAP!!

Panda With Cookie said...

You are fancy with your yeast biscuit! These look super.

Amy Kolasa said...

Whoa. My husband is king of the biscuits, but this look amazing. I might just have to try my hand at these!

Kendy P said...

those look really good! i remember biscuits and gravy on sunday mornings as a kid. such a classic that makes me feel warm inside!

Fiery One said...

I can't begin to explain how excited I am to try your recipes out! One dish that I adore is biscuits & gravy yet I've never attempted either. Can not wait to see more!

Southern Purple Veggie said...

I love biscuits, I am always in search of new recipes to try out on my non vegan fiance to see what he likes. Love your picture of the biscuits on the porch with jelly.