Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Biscuits and Peanut Butter BaconGravy

I had really high hopes for this peanut butter biscuits and gravy from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body. It was probably one of those cases where I just set my expectations too high.

I mean the gravy was ok.  It just wasn't nearly as good as the sausage gravy that I'm used to.  In fact, I think sausage gravy was easier to make than the peanut butter gravy was.

Strangely, the gravy improved the second time around.  Maybe because the flavors had a chance to marry as they sat in the fridge for a day?  In my opinion, the leftovers were much tastier.

Also, I tried the dish with and without a slice of cheddar cheese.  A plain biscuit and this gravy was pretty mediocre.  You gotta have a thin melty slice of cheddar cheese to make this dish sing.  Somehow the cheese brings out the meaty flavor of the bacon.  I'm not sure how that works, but more bacon flavor is always a good thing.

This was also my first attempt at making biscuits from scratch.
They aren't the best looking things ever, but fairly decent for this Yankee's first attempt.  There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to biscuit making.  And if you don't have a Southern granny to learn from, expect to have a few less than stellar attempts.

There are a ton of biscuit recipes out there and I wasn't sure which one to try first.  I settled on the recipe for biscuits from My Adventures in the Country.

I probably handled the dough too much on an overly floured surface.  I'm also fairly certain that I rolled the dough out too thin. My butter was probably too warm as well.

The biscuits didn't turn out like little bricks though, and were still fairly tender, so in my book, as a first attempt, that was pretty awesome.

I don't think I'll make the peanut butter gravy again.  We just prefer plain old sausage gravy on our biscuits.  I am going to keep trying out different biscuit recipes until I can produce that mile high, tender but sturdy biscuit.  Practice makes perfect!

Peanut Butter Gravy adapted from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body
6 strips bacon, reserve the grease
3T flour
3-4 c milk
1/2 c peanut butter
Freshly ground pepper
1 tsp salt

Brown bacon in a skillet. Once bacon is fully browned, take it out and set aside. Chop the bacon once it has cooled enough to touch. Keep grease in the pan.

Turn pan onto low/medium heat and slowly whisk flour into grease, stirring constantly until smooth, cooking about 2 minutes. Scrape all pieces stuck to bottom.

Slowly begin whisking in first 2c  milk until fully incorporated and mixture begins to bubble. Whisk in peanut butter. Continue whisking in additional milk a little bit at a time, until gravy reaches desired consistency. It will get thick! If you like it thinner, you will need more milk.

Grind some pepper directly into the gravy, add salt, and return bacon bits to the skillet. Stir to mix. Serve over biscuits with sliced apples and cheese.

Biscuits from My Adventures in the Country
 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cream of tartar (or 2 1/2 tsp vinegar)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450°.  In med bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Cut butter into pats and add to flour mix.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter til mix resembles course crumbs. Make well in mix and add  milk.  Use a rubber scraper to slowly combine.  Stir til forms somewhat slightly sticky dough.

Prepare a work surface and lightly dust with flour. Knead 7-8 times, being careful not to overwork  dough.  The less you work it, the more tender and moist your biscuits will be!

Flour your hands and pat dough out into a circle that’s about 3/4″ – 1″ thick. Using a floured biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and place on an ungreased baking sheet, 1-2" apart. A 3″ cutter will yield 9  biscuits, and 2 1/2″ cutter 15. Bake 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve warm

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