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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sweet Potato Biscuits



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is not the food of my people. I was raised on sour dough, seeded rye and grain so whole it could crack your teeth. Biscuits, save for shortbread, were not in my purview and I was well into my thirties before I figuratively crossed the Mason-Dixon line and had a true cream biscuit. I loved it, vowed to master its making, but, instead, went home and again made cinnamon buns and kaiser rolls. The foods of a lifetime are the ones learned in the kitchen's of our childhood. Biscuit had no place in my early memories, so they slid from my culinary radar. Then fate intervened and sent a Southern son-in-law my way. Biscuits and their mastery became important as we tried to weave the traditions of his childhood into those of our table. While striving for mastery, I came across a feature that caught my eye and changed the direction in which I was heading. Adam Ried, in an article written for The Boston Globe, claimed, "The wedding of biscuit to sweet potato is an occasion of culinary bliss." Pushing hyperbole aside, I was intrigued by his claim and decided to try his recipe. It makes moist and tender biscuits with a riveting color that comes from roasted and caramelized sweet potatoes. I really like these, but they are not a mix and bake affair. Their execution requires planning and they are a poor choice for a busy kitchen with limited hands to help. If you make these at a time you are not under stress, I think you'll be delighted with the results. Here's the recipe.

Sweet Potato Biscuits...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Adam Ried

Ingredients:

1 medium-large sweet potato, about 14 ounces
1/4 cup cold buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for patting out dough and cutting biscuits
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Pinch cayenne
Salt and black pepper
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into roughly 1/2-inch cubes

Directions:

1) Set oven rack in middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet (roughly 18 by 13 inches) with parchment paper or a silicone liner, and set aside.
2) Prick sweet potato in several spots with a fork. Place it on a small baking sheet, and bake until tender, about 1-1/4 hours. Cut potato open, peel back skin (to release steam), cool it to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Peel off skin, and roughly mash flesh (you should have about 1-1/2 cups). Add buttermilk, mix very well, and set aside. Again preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
3) In a food processor, process 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until well blended. Scatter butter pieces evenly over flour mixture in food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 6 2-second pulses. Add sweet potato mixture in dollops in several spots over flour and butter mixture, and pulse until flour and sweet potato mixtures combine and just begin to come together into a light-orange dough mass, 10 to 15 2-second pulses.
4) Generously flour a clean work surface, turn out dough, and sprinkle top with flour. Knead dough gently, folding it in half and rotating it 3 or 4 times, just until it is uniform and cohesive (try to keep the kneading to a minimum). Sprinkle a little bit more flour on the work surface and dough to prevent sticking, if necessary, and gently pat the dough into a circle that is roughly 8 inches in diameter and 1 inch high (the height is more important than the shape or diameter, which may vary). Dip a sharp 2-1/2-inch biscuit cutter into flour and using brisk, decisive, straight-down punches (avoid rotating or twisting cutter in dough), cut out rounds of dough as close to one another as possible (to maximize the number of rounds), dipping cutter into flour before each new cut. Transfer dough rounds to prepared baking sheet, positioning them about 1 inch apart. Push dough scraps together and knead them gently once or twice until cohesive. Again pat out the dough until it is 1 inch high, dip cutter into flour, and in same manner as before, cut out as many dough rounds as possible, and transfer them to the baking sheet with first batch.
5) Bake until biscuits are puffed, light golden on top, and deep brown on bottom, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking time for even cooking. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack, cool for about 15 minutes, and serve warm. Yield: 10 to 12 biscuits.

Cook's note: Variations of sweet potato biscuits can be found here.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Drop Biscuits with Cheddar Cheese and Garlic - One Perfect Bite
Blueberry Biscuits - The Runaway Spoon
Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits - Salad in a Jar
Berry Biscuit Cups - Cooking Stuff
Biscuits in Sausage Gravy - Chaos in the Kitchen
Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits - Foodie Memoirs
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits - Katy's Kitchen

83 comments :

DailyChef said...

I love biscuits but have never really experimented with them. This look wonderful--I am sure to try it soon. Thanks :)

Angie's Recipes said...

Sweet potato biscuits....that sounds truly a culinary bliss. I would love to try them!

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

You are certainly talking my language now! :)

Monet said...

Mary...like you, I didn't grow up on biscuits. But my husband adores them, and so I've been trying my hand at several different varieties. I love using sweet potatoes in my rolls, and I imagine they would be equally as good in biscuits. I wonder if pumpkin would work as well...

Jeannie said...

This looks really good! I am quite fearly of making biscuit in case they turned out hard from over mixing.

Pondside said...

Thank you for the warning that came with the recipe! I think that this one will take planning ahead - perhaps the morning after we've cooked sweet potatoes for dinner. They sound scrumptious!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I love sweet potatoes so one day when I am not busy will give this a try. Thanks for this one. Have a good day. Diane

Priya said...

Sweet potato biscuits looks prefect and gorgeous..

jelena said...

no sweet potato here....well potatoes were brought here around 1850 by the greatest scoolar in the country who tried to convince the people that it is a cheap, pleantifull growing vegetable but they resisted since it grew underground and it would feed them throughout the year so they won't go hungry...it was a tough battle to win the people over to grow them but now nobody remembers this...potatoes are a regular par of the diet, just nobody remembered to bring the sweet potato..pity..

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

"The foods of a lifetime are the ones learned in the kitchen's of our childhood"... what a lovely and true quote. I still cook so much food my mum cooked for the family and every year without fail at Christmas time I bake (together with my son) the biscuits my grandmother (from her recipe) used to bake at that time of the year.

These sweet potatoe biscuits do sound great, but, as you said, I would really have to find a time when I'm not pre-occupied with other things. Maybe when I'm on holiday... Love from London x

Ana Powell said...

I love sweet potato, your recipe sounds delicious.
Great work ♥

Alessandra said...

I love baking with sweet potatoes, but I never made biscuits.

In reply to your comment about the red walnuts Mary, I can tell you that they are a red variety, the shell is brown, the taste is the same as ordinary walnuts, but the kernels are a deep red radicchio colour!

FireintheBreeze (Brittany) said...

Sounds very interesting. Your introductory paragraph is beautiful by the way, I enjoy your style of writing. It's true, the dishes we eat as children stay with us forever!

Jasnas' kitchen creations said...

Beautiful blog!
Check out my attempt -www.jasnaskitchencreations.blogspot.com

belleaukitchen said...

I guess your US biscuits would be the equivalent of a UK scone... and looking at the ingredients I would say that was about right... there are so many different recipes for these, both sweet and savoury but i've never tried using sweet potato, so thanks for the inspiration x

Joanne said...

It's so sweet of you to try to take on southern cuisine in order to connect with your son-in-law! Biscuits aren't really a part of my culinary history either but I love the sound of sweet potato ones!

Pam said...

It seems that I am always under stress, so could you please make some for me?!

lisa said...

I grew up on Sweet Potato biscuits! I love them

From the Kitchen said...

Growing up, biscuits were on our Virginia breakfast table several times a week. On holidays, they usually sandwiched country ham--heaven in a biscuit! As a baker, I thought southern milled flour was a must. I've recently discovered that it isn't and we are enjoying a biscuit renaissance here! I'm anxious to try this recipe that combines two favorites.

Best,
Bonnie

Allie and Pattie said...

A sweet potato farmer introduced these biscuits to my family many years ago- I silently thank him every time I serve them :) I'm very sure your son-in-law greatly appreciates your efforts on his behalf
xoxo Pattie

Katerina said...

Sweet potato biscuits... I have never had them. I will keep this recipe for times when I will ease up from my busy week schedule. Thanks Mary!

Keeley said...

Biscuits and sweet potatoes in general are definitely part of my family culinary tradition. I love biscuits, especially with cinnamon honey butter. I use a similar recipe, but I microwave my potatoes instead of roasting (it's much faster). I use the same technique for my sweet potato pie (on my blog).

Martha said...

I've eaten thense but have never made them -- but these do look good!

Foodessa said...

Mary...this is too funny...as I was scrolling down my blogroll...I saw the title of your post...and you immediately came to mind...and yep...there it was...Mary's latest conquest. LOL
It's becoming a little weird the way I'm getting to know my favourite foodies ;o)

Ohhh...and I do love sweet potatoes. I'm bookmarking this recipe for when I have a teeny more extended time in the kitchen.

Ciao for now and have a glorious day,
Claudia

PeggyR said...

Oh we love sweet potatoes and those sound really good!

Pierce said...

The sweet potato gets overlooked a bit and it is one of the finest additions to recipes...love them baked, love them included as an essential ingredient. Very nice looking biscuits!

Jenn said...

I had not had a sweet potato biscuit until I was well into my 20's...but once I took my first bite, I was in love! Thanks for sharing your recipe..I'll be definitely making these when it cools off and I'm back in my baking mood!

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Oh, its been so long since I've have a sweet potato biscuit! This is a must make!

Joe Ambrosino said...

I will make these, Mary. We love sweet potato. Thank you so much for your culinary curiosity!

marthaandme said...

I've made sweet potato muffins, but not biscuits! I will definitely try this!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Homemade biscuits were never on the menu for me growing up either..however I have always had a spot for KFC's biscuits in my life. So good! When I used to work there, I would take some home all the time.

Aunt Snow said...

I have childhood memories of my father (Texas raised) making biscuits and cornbread, and they were quite unusual in our Illinois small town. These sound good. Maybe to make it easier, they'd be good if you made an extra sweet potato for dinner some night, and used the leftovers the next morning for breakfast biscuits.

Pam said...

Woo hoo! What great looking biscuits, they sound delicious, Mary! Nothing quite beats a good biscuit and thanks for the recipe!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Oh interesting! I have this bookmarked. Will try this with a dish that I have in mind. :)

pigpigscorner said...

What a great idea! Must be so fragrant and sweet with the sweet potatoes!

Vegetarian Yogini said...

I did not even taste a sweet potato until I relocated to US at the age of 25, so I join your club, but once tried, they became a favourite! Excellent recipe and the outcome looks great- will try it- I have an e-book for entering recipes and yours is certainly on the list top! Now I have to find good, no stringy potatoes and convince myself biscuits are not cookies, as known in Europe:)

Tasha said...

I am not usually a biscuit maker, but I love baked goods with sweet potatoes. I'm sure these are just wonderful!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I didn't grow up with biscuits either but I must try this culinary bliss!

Sushma Mallya said...

Very interesting one, never thought of using sweet potato for doing biscuits..

Susi said...

Biscuits and sweet potatoes are two things I'm not terrible familiar with (like you it was more about rye bread and Kaiser rolls) but these look delicious and maybe it is time for me to step out of my comfort zone :o0

Suman Singh said...

biscuits with sweet potatoes..oh my..what could be better than this..would love to try out this recipe..thanks for sharing..I hope you having a great day ahead..tk care!

We Are Not Martha said...

I love love love biscuits! And I love love love sweet potatoes! So, I have a feeling this recipe would be my idea of heaven. Must try!

Sues

Annie said...

I love biscuits and I am going to make them because they seem to be delicious.
Have a good day

Lynda said...

I adore buttermilk biscuits and love making them. I haven't tried the sweet potato version, but I will try them soon as I also love these orange tubers.Thanks for the recipe Mary-have a wonderful day!

Mariana said...

Mary, I appreciated your words and support in my blog, Thanks for your visists and comments.
This recipe looks prefect and sounds delicious, kiss....

SnoWhite said...

we don't have biscuits often... but these - oh. my. I think they'll make our list :)

gnee @ Singing With Birds said...

Mary these look divine and they add some color to the plate too. It's a win-win!

Pam said...

I'll take a few of these slathered in butter please.

alwayswinner786 said...

Sweet potato biscuit sounds so mouthwatering! Love to have it!

Jess--Sugar High said...

Sounds wonderful!!
Have you ever tried pumpkin biscuits? Talk about tasty!

A Hopeful Heart said...

My daughter, who is 20 and aspires to go to culinary school, makes the best biscuits I have ever eaten. SO light and fluffy!! Hubby can eat a dozen of them in a sitting.

I think she would be very interested in trying these. And if she's not...I am. They look and sound wonderful.

Blessings to you,
Patti

zurin said...

What lovely golden biscuits. It must be good with the sweet potatoes in them. Sometimes marraige brings in new people and food into our lives.:) .

Gulmohar said...

That's a nifty idea..They look fabulous, Mary

The Blonde Duck said...

I've always wanted to try whole wheat biscuits. But these look yummy too!

RamblingTart said...

They do have a splendid color, Mary. :-) Sometimes I like labor-intensive recipes, especially in the midst of stressful times. They relax me and help me work through things in a healthy way. I think these would be that sort of recipe. :-) Delicious!

Bella said...

These look delicious. I love sweet potatoes, but have never heard of sweet potato biscuits. Looks like a recipe for one of those days when I have nothing else to do.

Chele said...

Mmmmmm, I love sweet potato and as I have never tried a 'biscuit' before I think I'd like to experiment!

redmenace said...

I am a bigtime biscuit lover. These look just lovely! I love sweet potatoes so I'm quite sure this is a great combination. You always nail it!

Katherine Aucoin said...

These look like something to keep me busy when everyone is out and I need something to keep me busy. I'm priting it out to save for that special day!

Mary, I made the Kuchen yesterday and used fresh strawberries...to put it mildly, my eyes rolled to the bakc of my head. i was thrilled with everything about it!

I will post it soon and link back to you.

Melissa and Zack said...

okay, I think you need to make these for Zack (and me!) when we come :)

Sook said...

Sweet potato biscuits sound heavenly! What a great recipe!

Indie.Tea said...

I dont think I've had had one of those...it sounds intriguingly delicious though.

Emmalene said...

Oh wow- these look and sound GREAT! Thanks MAry. They look quite 'scone' like...

Cheryl said...

I adore Adam Reid, and I cannot wait to make these. I have only recently learned to make biscuits!

RV said...

Wish I can have that right away.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Being a north easterner, biscuits were not my purview either ... but I love them just the same. And, I especially love sweet potato biscuits!

I've always want to make them, and will do so, but wait until cooler weather arrives. I appreciate your warning about the process - good to know.

They're gorgeous! :)

The Words Crafter said...

Biscuits completely defeat me. I'm wondering which family member or co-worker I can inspire with this recipe-probably the only thing I love more than a sweet potato is pumpkin...mmmmmmm!

Biren said...

These look delightful and must be delicious! Sweet potatoes are so good in baked goods.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Mary, you write so well! Love to read your posts.

Have Sweet Potato Biscuits on my 'to do list'. When I bake these, I'll link back to your post.

Thanks for your wonderful blog!:)

Carmen

bellini valli said...

I'd have to say this is definitely culinary bliss:D

Judy said...

We love biscuits but I'm guilty of making the instant variety. (Yikes, I know.) This looks like a recipe I should definitely try.

Gloria said...

Dear Mary I really,really love these sweet potato biscuits! just lovely! x blessings, gloria

Julie M. said...

Mary, your recipes never disappoint. These look so light and delicious. I will definitely add it to my recipe list!

Design Wine and Dine said...

I love the story and the recipe! It's great when people enter our lives and expand our culinary horizons! While these look amazing, I still want to try your sourdough and rye! Thanks Mary!

Pacheco Patty said...

Thanks for this recipe, I have often wanted to make biscuits like this with my leftover baked sweet potatoes. I made biscuits today too! I will probably post my recipe next week or so:-)

Kerstin said...

Definitely looks like bliss to me - what a fantastic idea!

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

These are similar to my dads or Grandmas pumpkin scones. Even though they make them effortlessly now, I didn't really eat them as a kid and the thought of me making them always makes me tremble a little as they can so easily be stodgy little bricks compared to light delectable morsels.
Yours however look delicious!

MaryMoh said...

Aha...sweet potato...my favourite! This just looks so good. I would love to try. Thanks very much for sharing. I think making and eating it is an antidote for stress :D

Dave said...

Yum, I love pumpkin scones. Will have to try them with sweet potato as I love sweet potato too!

Terrianne, Call me Ree said...

I bet these were just delicious, and the sweet potato makes them sort of a potato bread? Dense and chewy. That's how I imagine them, and the surprise pinch of cayenne is a great compliment to the sweet potato. Yum-Me!

scrambledhenfruit said...

When I was growing up, my mom made biscuits nearly every day. While we did eat a lot of sweet potatoes, she did not use them to make biscuits. I'll bet these are delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

Lucie said...

Mary, I really love your writing. And those bicuits! Yummmm!

Baking Barrister said...

this is so interesting. i've never seen such a combo before. we don't eat biscuits really in the west, so i don't have much practice either.

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