Let’s be clear: There is no one perfect homemade biscuits and gravy recipe. The Southern comfort food, typically served at breakfast, comes with a hefty dose of nostalgia and controversy. Many folks from the American South will attest that their family makes the best biscuits. Some swear only White Lily flour can be used as the base of the flour mixture; others have strong opinions about butter versus lard and how the dough should be shaped. And there are those for whom only Jimmy Dean pork sausage will do in their gravy. In short: biscuits and gravy is personal. Our recipe turns out warm flaky biscuits and a rich creamy gravy.
If it’s your first time making biscuits, don’t let all this scare you off. The technique is simple: Repeatedly folding and rolling the biscuit dough yields lots of flaky individuated layers that pull apart neatly when you eat them. While buttermilk biscuits may be the most iconic variety, this recipe replaces the buttermilk with a mixture of sour cream and whole milk, which means it’s easy to throw together on a whim, even if you don’t keep buttermilk on hand.
As for the homemade sausage gravy (sometimes called sawmill gravy), breakfast sausage adds flavor and its fat helps bring the gravy together on the stovetop. While you can store leftover gravy in an airtight container and reheat it, it’s best the day it’s made, so don’t hold back when serving.
Watch Bon Appetit food director Chris Morocco try to reverse engineer Edna Lewis’s buttermilk biscuits and gravy from taste and find more breakfast recipes like hash browns and a no-flip blueberry pancake made in a large skillet.
cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
tsp. baking powder
tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces; plus 2 Tbsp., melted
cup sour cream
cup whole milk
Gravy and Assembly
oz. breakfast sausage, crumbled
Tbsp. unsalted butter
cup (31 g) all-purpose flour
cups whole milk
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
A 2¼-inch-diameter biscuit cutter
Plack rack in middle of oven; preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, and 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a large bowl to combine. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Using a wooden spoon or fork, mix in ½ cup sour cream and ½ cup whole milk until a shaggy dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times just to bring together. Roll out until ¼” thick, then fold in half. Roll dough out again until ¼” thick, then fold in half again. Repeat once more, rolling out to a ¾”-thick round.
Punch out biscuits as close together as possible with cutter. Pat scraps together and punch out more biscuits; repeat until you can’t cut out any more (you should have 12 total). Transfer biscuits to a prepared baking sheet, spacing 1″ apart; bake, rotating sheet once, until golden brown and baked through, 10–12 minutes. Brush biscuits with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.
Gravy and Assembly
While biscuits are baking, cook 8 oz. breakfast sausage links, chopped in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and starting to brown, 5–8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl with a slotted spoon.
Add 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter to drippings in pan and melt over medium. Whisk ¼ cup (31 g) all-purpose flour into butter mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until roux is very smooth and starting to bubble, about 2 minutes (don’t let it color; this is a white gravy).
Gradually add 2½ cups whole milk, whisking until incorporated. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook gravy, still whisking, until thickened, 8–10 minutes. Stir in cooked sausage; season with kosher salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
Serve hot biscuits with gravy alongside for spooning over top.
Do Ahead: Biscuits can be cut out 1 day ahead. Cover and chill, or freeze up to 1 week.
Editor’s note: This biscuits and gravy recipe was first printed in our October 2015 issue. Head this way for more brunch favorites →
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