I saw an instructable recently for sausage gravy and thought it was awesome except for the canned biscuits. It is so easy to make biscuits and they are a perfect substitute for so many other things: cobbler (add more sugar), pie crust (especially if you're no good at pie crust), pizza bottom, shortcake....And if you are, like I am, from the South (USA) you frown on things like canned biscuits- at least I do. They're OK, but if you have homemade, then you're spoiled.
So here goes my biscuit recipe-- but you'll have to understand up front, I don't measure much, just kinda know about how much you need. And I literally use my hands mostly to measure
But in the cookbook there is a recipe and this is close to what I do and of course I didn't start out without measuring, but used a recipe:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 c. vegetable shortening
3/4 c. milk
Step 1: chill the flour
I started putting my flour in the freezer because I live in Houston, TX where it is hotter than h-e- double hockey sticks (my husband grew up in Boston, so this expression is his) and very humid. Today we're enjoying a relatively mild humid day with 50% humidity, so 97 degrees Fahrenheit is 102 degrees. And after discovering bugs one time too many in my flour, I started putting the flour in the freezer.
The benefit of this is when you're cutting in your fat it is that the flour is cold which is helpful for making well distributed fat molecules. Now if you live somewhere cold, you're probably not enamored with biscuits in the first place, but obviously you don't need to keep your flour in the freezer.
Fat-- use whatever you're comfortable with- butter (luscious!), shortening, or lard. And those are really the only choices of fat. Indulge and enjoy.
Cutting in means that you distribute your fat among your flour. You can use a pastry cutter, a fork, two knives, or your hands. I started off with the pastry cutter and the two knives method and learned how visually this looks, then I began using my hands because it was one less thing to wash.