Photo by Farideh Sadeghin
While this dough is similar to the dough used in your basic cookie, I like to use the French lamination technique for mine. By folding the dough over itself over and over, you can easily make a lot of flaky, super-thin layers. And the effect is like one of those towering Pillsbury Grands cookies, except it doesn’t come from a can! To reduce your efforts in the morning, prepare the cookie dough the day before for the last folding step and let it cool overnight.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
for the cookies:
2 cups|454 grams (4 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen
2 cups | 280 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups|240 grams Wondra flour (see The Wonders of Wondra (below) for substitutes)
¼ cup | 50 grams of granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups|500ml buttermilk, chilled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
for the sausage gravy:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 ounces | 345 grams of ground pork
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried Italian spice blend
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
¼ teaspoon caraway seed (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup|30 grams Wondra flour
3 cups|750ml whole milk, plus more if needed
- Make the biscuits: Grate the butter into the large holes of a grater or with the grating disc of a food processor. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze or refrigerate before proceeding.
- In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, Wondra, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking soda, and salt to combine. Add the frozen butter and stir with your fingers to make sure each piece is well coated (work quickly so the butter doesn’t heat up too much!). Using a silicone spatula, fold in the buttermilk until just combined.
- Invert the dough onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, wax paper, or foil (it will help move it later). Gently press and pat the dough together and roll out into an even rectangle about 12 × 18 inches. Place the dough on the parchment paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Slide the parchment paper and dough back onto a flat work surface with the long side closest to you. Lightly dust the top of the dough with a pinch of flour, then fold the two short sides toward the center until they meet (like a set of double doors), then fold the left side over the right side (like a closed book).
- Center the folded dough on your parchment paper and re-roll the dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle, rubbing flour on your rolling pin if dough sticks. Repeat the book folds again, this time rolling the dough into a 12-inch square. Return the dough to a baking tray and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in center position. Slide the dough back onto your work surface and use a sharp knife to cut the dough into approximately 2-inch squares. Line the baking sheet with a new piece of parchment paper and align the cookie dough squares on the baking sheet, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Return the sheet to the refrigerator and allow the cookies to cool for another 10 minutes before baking.
- Place the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for about 20 minutes, turning once halfway through, until the cookies are puffed and deep golden brown. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and honey. Remove the cookies from the oven and brush with the honey butter. Let cool while you make the sausage gravy.
- Make the sausage gravy: Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the minced meat and season with a few good pinches of salt and a good pinch of pepper. Sear the pork, stirring occasionally, and break with a wooden spoon until well browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in brown sugar, sage, Italian seasoning, nutmeg and maple syrup, and caraway (if using). Boil for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the butter and sprinkle the Wondra evenly on top (it should look like a nice snowfall). Stir everything together to form a roux. The fat in the pan should no longer be visible and the mixture should have a slight sheen. If liquid fat is still visible, add another teaspoon of Wondra to soak it up.
- Gradually pour in the milk, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan; the gravy becomes looser and smoother. Bring to a gentle boil and season with more salt and pepper. If the gravy is thicker than you’d like, add a splash of milk or water before serving.
- To serve, divide the biscuits and top with warm gravy. The leftover biscuits can be used to make panzanella and the leftover gravy can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
For the gravy, you can use uncooked spiced sausage or breakfast patties instead of ground pork, and remove the spices, sugar, and syrup. Crumble and cook until browned, then add the butter and flour.
If you don’t feel like making gravy at all, the biscuits are delicious on their own, slathered with a little melted butter and honey right after baking.
THE WONDERS OF WONDRA
This “instant” low-protein flour is finely ground, precooked and dried so that it can quickly dissolve in hot liquids to make sauces or gravies without clumping. If you don’t own Wondra, you can make a homemade version by combining 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, then sifting it a few times to aerate and lighten it.
reprinted from Sunday best† Copyright © 2022 Adrienne Cheatham with Sarah Zorn. Photos copyright © 2022 Kelly Marshall. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.”
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