Pan Biscuits & Gravey

I’m sure this has been invented a thousand times before. There’s no big leap here. Yet it was new to me, so…

A couple of days ago I made a big batch of pan fried chicken. To “clean the pan”, I made a roux out of the stuff in the pan. (Pour off any excess oil if you deep fried it, leaving about 1/8 inch in the pan. To roughly room temperature pan oil, add flour to form a stiff paste. If it is too bland, add chicken bullion to improve the flavour. Salt and pepper to taste.) Then turned that into gravy. (Add milk or 50/50% milk and water while heating. Keep adding liquid as is thickens until it’s about the consistency you like. It ought to simmer about 5 minutes to cook the flour. Stir a lot, a whisk helps, and get the “goodies” off the bottom of the pan.)

Well, the extra was put in a tub in the refrigerator. Time passes.

This morning, I’m wanting breakfast. “Biscuits would be nice, and I have some gravy” thinks I. Those are American Biscuits, or what I think are called a “Savory Scone” or maybe “Plain Scone” in British. Not the cookies that the British call biscuits…

BUT, it has been very hot and we’re running the AC first thing in the morning to keep the house cool. Not wanting to add a whole oven load of heat to the house for 2 biscuits….

Then I wondered how I’d make them if camping, and without a Dutch Oven. (French Oven or Casserole Dish in British… wonder why we don’t speak the same language?… ;-) Hmm…. Maybe use pancakes? But they are just not right. They have sugar in them and are a higher protein flour that makes them chewy not bread like. Hmmm….. So why not fry biscuits in a pan?

I decided to try making a biscuit like thing from a batter instead of just cooking dough disks. Real Biscuits are very thick so would cook a long time in a frying pan. Besides, I knew the cooking behaviours for batter in a frying pan. “Some other day” I’ll try the whole rolled out dough thing. But for camping, batter would be easier anyway.

To 1/2 cup (125 ml) of Self Rising Flour, I added about a teaspoon (5 ml) of olive oil (just because it is in a dispenser on the stove – butter would likely be better or coconut oil too) and mixed it in until the flour was crumbles again. Along with that, I sprinkled over a few shakes of salt (maybe 1/8 to 1/16 tsp?). That’s your basic biscuit mix. To this I added cool water to about the consistency of a very thick pancake batter.

Fried in a cast iron skillet on medium, they didn’t brown up like a pancake (sugar increases browning) but did cook up nicely. Made 2 pan biscuits about 4 inches in diameter each. (10 cm) Microwave warmed a good dollop of gravy and that was spread in about a 1/4 inch (nice and thick) layer over each pan biscuit. YUM!

Not quite the same texture as an oven biscuit. A bit more bread like and not as ‘just flakes’. BUT, just dandy flavour and very tender crumb. Very much like real oven biscuits and gravy. I’d be very happy with this any time, camping or not. Plus, the heat load to the house was very low (or camping fuel used would be very low). AND, not a big sugar spike / crash as from sweeter pancakes smothered in high fructose imitation syrup.

Why self rising flour? Aside from convenience, it also makes a better biscuit. Details here:

Subscribe to feed

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Emergency Preparation and Risks, Food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pan Biscuits & Gravey

  1. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    On Saturday I made drop biscuits in the usual way.
    For milk I had one cardboard container (1 cup) of a school lunch 1%.
    The recipe calls for 2/3 to 3/4 cup. That from an old Better Homes
    and Garden book about 50 years old. Adjustments needed,
    ’cause I neither wanted to drink or throw out the milk.
    Your efforts sound more interesting.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    Different goals. I was interested in “what can I do for biscuits without an oven?” and you were interested in “how can I use up this milk?”.

    I’m, frankly, thrilled at the idea I can fry some meat “on the road” in some random camp grounds, and yet make a biscuit like thing and gravy instead of just flushing it all down the outhouse. Yeah, I need 2 pans, but that’s fine with me!

    I really like Drop Biscuits. I may well try that as the next step in the Pan Biscuits. Do the drop, then when 1/2 done, flip and press down to the pan. Nicer solution that rolling and cutting.

    Biscuits, it’s a thing. I’m totally hooked on biscuits. Given a choice of biscuits or bread, it would be hard to decide, but biscuits would likely win. Especially if gravy were involved ;-)

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    I made these as drop biscuits today. Worked well.

    1/2 Cup self rising flour.
    1 Tbs powdered milk
    1/16 tsp salt (aprox.)
    1 TBS oil ( I used coconut this time)
    about 1/4 cup water.

    Mix to thick paste consistency (think peanut butter). Drop by large spoonfuls onto greased cast iron skillet on medium. About 4 minutes later, when cooked about 1/3 through, turn over and flatten. Yes, that isn’t quite the rough drop biscuit texture. It flattens to about like an English Muffin, but without the sourdough aspect. Fry another 4 minutes.

    Much more biscuit like texture.

    FWIW, I started on medium high and it was too hot. These need a modest but slow heat. After turning them, I inverted a frying pan over the top as an ersatz lid. I think this isn’t strictly needed, but would be helpful in a windy environment. So, bottom line, I think this would work better with a small Dutch Oven or with a frying pan lid, or cooked longer as just fried as long as there is not strong or cold wind.

    I’m very happy with the ability to make a fresh biscuit / bread with only a mixing cup and a frying pan (maybe lid…). I’m now very ready to make biscuits while camping ;-) I’m likely to make ahead a jar of the flour / salt / dry milk mix. Add a bottle of Olive Oil or a jar of coconut oil for general cooking, and good to go.

Comments are closed.