About as “big as a cat’s head,” these classics were born out of a need to make biscuits quickly, but they remain a favorite for their light and tender texture.–White Lily Flour
Cat Head Biscuits and Gravy FAQs
While this recipe is best when made fresh, leftover biscuits can absolutely be frozen. To reheat, place frozen biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with foil to prevent over-browning, and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 10 to 15 minutes. Gravy can also be frozen after preparation, but it tastes much better when it’s made fresh. To make things go more quickly on a busy morning, pre-cook your ground sausage days before and freeze it, then simply thaw and add it to your fresh gravy on the day you’re planning on serving.
This filling Southern specialty doesn’t need much to go along with it other than a fresh cup of coffee, but we love our breakfasts, so enjoy topping these biscuits and gravy with eggs in any form – scrambled, fried, or poached, and a side of home fries. A side of fresh fruit will also provide a lovely balance to the otherwise heavy meal.
Cat Head Biscuits and Gravy
For the cat head biscuits
- 5 cups self-rising flour, plus more for kneading and cutting
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter or all-vegetable shortening, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cold whole buttermilk, divided
- Salted butter, melted
For the gravy
- 8 ounces ground pork sausage
- 8 slices bacon
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh sage leaves, to garnish (optional)
Make the cat head biscuits
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the flour in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in the cold butter or shortening until it is pea-size. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk, stirring just until the flour is moistened. If the batter is dry, add up to 2 tablespoons remaining cold buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time.
☞ TESTER TIP: Skip the arm workout and blitz the flour and butter together in your food processor, then slowly drizzle in the buttermilk.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 2 to 3 times. Gently pat or roll dough to 1-inch (25-mm) thickness.
- Using a 3-inch (8-cm) round cutter dipped in flour, cut dough without twisting the cutter, leaving as little dough between cuts as possible, rerolling scraps once. Place, with sides touching, on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until tops are golden brown 15 to 20 minutes. Brush with melted butter.
Make the gravy
- While the biscuits are baking, in a large heavy-bottomed skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until browned and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving drippings in the skillet.
- Add the bacon to the skillet and cook over medium heat until browned and crispy, 10 to 20 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a separate paper towel-lined plate, reserving drippings in skillet.
- Sprinkle the flour over the drippings in the skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until slightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the milk and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken, 5 to 8 minutes more.
- Stir the sausage into the gravy. Pour the gravy over the biscuits, and season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with sage, if desired. Serve with bacon on the side.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This is a great biscuit recipe and very rich gravy recipe. Not that anyone is looking for light fare if they’re whipping up biscuits and gravy, but this recipe is particularly heavy due to the bacon drippings.
I also tried baking these from frozen–worked like a charm. Just cut them as usual, freeze on the pan, then seal up for longer storage. From fresh I baked them 16 min at 425; from frozen they needed 24 min at 425 to get a nice golden top.
Nothing says Southern more than these cat head biscuits with gravy. It’s worth the effort to make these huge biscuits if for no other reason than to see the reaction on your families faces when you bring them to the table. They come out of the oven tall, golden and tender just waiting to be topped with sausage gravy (and a fried egg).
The thought of using a pastry blender to incorporate 10 tablespoons of cold butter into 5 cups of flour seemed like a lot of work. I prepped the biscuit dough in my food processor, pulsing the flour and butter together until it resembled very coarse cornmeal then drizzled in the buttermilk until the mixture just came together. After turning the dough out onto a lightly floured board for finishing, I folded it in half, four times before patting it out into the suggested 1-inch thickness. The folding resulted in beautiful flaky layers that puffed up into a 2-inch-high biscuit during baking. My other suggestion is to taste before adding the salt due to the variation in saltiness of both the sausage and bacon. I only needed 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt to adjust for our tastes.
I served one-half of a biscuit covered with peppered sausage gravy and a slice of bacon topped with a fried egg for scrumptious homemade breakfast love!
These cat head biscuits and gravy made a wonderful “breakfast for dinner”. The gravy was rich and creamy, with bits of crispy sausage in every bite. I took a shortcut and made the bacon on parchment in the oven. I then transferred the bacon drippings to the skillet. This made much less of a mess for me to clean up later, always a plus!
The biscuits came together quickly and were light, fluffy, and tender. There were extra biscuits so I had one with butter and raspberry jam for dessert. Delicious!