I’ve been on the road lately.
I had a sausage biscuit for breakfast from McDonald’s in Hermitage, Tennessee, on Wednesday. It was hot and freshly made. I like McDonald’s sausage biscuits a lot, especially with a spongy layer of uber-golden scrambled egg.
I had a sausage biscuit for breakfast from Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, on Friday. The biscuit was warm and soft; the sausage was house-made. Blackberry Farm was recently named to Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s Gold List 2013. It’s topped all the world’s best travel lists for years. Experiencing the food and place is like a preview of what heaven must be like.
Guess which sausage biscuit I liked best?
Here it is.
Buttermilk Biscuits, adapted from the recipe for Peppered Buttermilk Biscuits in Good Mornings by Michael McLaughlin, © 1996 by Michael McLaughlin, published by Chronicle Books.
2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring your work surface
1 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces (Chilled is best, but if you didn’t think that far ahead, go ahead and use it at room temp, or chill it quickly for 10 or 15 minutes in a freezer.)
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450°F. Position oven rack in center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add cold pieces of shortening and butter, and cut into the flour with a pastry blender until the fats are distributed evenly and bits form that are the size of corn kernels. Make a well in the center, and pour in the cold buttermilk. Stir together quickly with a fork, so that everything is moistened. Finish forming the dough by kneading gently with your hands, pushing the ingredients together in the bowl until they form a mass, and then turn it out onto a lightly-floured surface. Sprinkle the top with flour, and continue to shape the dough by hand into a flat disk about 1-inch high. Cut out rounds with a floured biscuit cutter. (I use one that’s 2 1/4-inches in diameter, but you can go bigger if you want.)
Place on prepared baking sheet, an inch apart. (I brushed the tops of these with melted butter, but I don’t always. Your call.) Bake until tops are golden brown, taking care not to scorch the bottoms, about 12-15 minutes.
Transfer from oven to a cooling rack. Split a biscuit in half, and insert a piece of cooked breakfast sausage, warm from the skillet. If photographing your sausage biscuit in front of a window for your blog, watch out for predators…