The key to these fluffy and layered biscuits is baking them in a hot skillet, using lard for the dough, and keeping the batter cold throughout the process--so no hand mixing or kneading! Using cultured kefir, buttermilk, or yogurt gives the biscuits a subtle tang that adds dimension to the flavor.
Leaf Lard Biscuits
2 1/2 c all purpose flour (I used einkorn flour, but regular wheat will work too)
1 T baking powder (I mix my own by using 1 part baking soda, to 2 parts cream of tartar)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
8 T cold leaf lard
1/2 c cold kefir, buttermilk, or mixed and slightly watered down yogurt
Preheat oven to 350 F and place a large cast iron skillet (or 2 medium sized skillets) in the oven with a pat of lard.
Mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or two forks. The key is to keep the batter cold, so don't use your hands to mix. Once the lard is incorporated with the flour into pea sized crumbs, mix in the kefir or buttermilk. On a floured surface, roll out the batter into a rectangle roughly 1 inch thick, and fold the batter over on itself three times. Then roll it out again until 1 inch thick. Remove the skillet from the oven and spread the lard around the skillet. Using a round cookie cutter or upside down glass, press out biscuits, and place in the skillet. For softer biscuits, crowd them in the pan. For crisper biscuits, leave space between them. Bake for 18 minutes for softer biscuits, 20 minutes for firmer biscuits.
This sausage and gravy recipe is super simple, and absolutely delicious. I get the sausages cooking, and then make the biscuit dough and get it in the oven. While the biscuits cook, I transfer the sausage to another skillet and make gravy with the sausage drippings. I like to add a dash of maple syrup to the sausages and keep them on low until everything is done. There's something about sausages cooked in maple syrup...
1 pack (about 1 lb) Pasture Song Farm breakfast links
2 t lard or butter
3 T maple syrup
Drippings from sausage
1 T butter
1/4 c flour
2 c milk
1 c chicken or pork stock (optional, if not use an extra 1/2 cup milk, and add 1 T gelatin)
Sea salt and pepper
On medium heat, add the lard and sausages to a medium sized skillet. Cook, rotating several times, for about 20 minutes or until cooked through and browned. Move to another skillet, add the maple syrup, and keep on low while you make the gravy, stirring every five minutes or so.
For the gravy, heat the sausage drippings you have left in the skillet with a tablespoon of butter. When melted add about half of the flour, whisking constantly with a fork or strong wire whisk until incorporated. Add the rest of the flour and whisk until incorporated. Slowly add the liquid, whisking all the while, until the flour mixture has soaked up all the liquid and it's nice and thick. Season with salt and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Yum!