While searching through my stack of recipe ideas, I came across a newspaper recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits. That sounded interesting and a good way to use some of my sweet potatoes. Plus, the nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes are many–especially rich in Vitamin C and A. I added fresh chives and parsley from my garden for flavor. The adapted recipe turned out great, although there were a few challenges.
Read on to see a couple of suggestions when making biscuits…
Biscuits are a flaky, tender quick bread when made properly. The little bits of butter or shortening–which are cut to the size of small peas–melt between the layers of flour as it is baked in a hot oven. It works best to use a solid shortening such as butter or one of those unhealthy trans-fat solid shortenings. Oils and soft margarine don’t yield the same results. So I suggest leaving the trans-fats alone and use butter.
Differing from cakes and muffins, biscuit dough is kneaded for a minute so it has some structure as the gluten in the flour is developed. This also helps the dough rise, so don’t skip this step. Adding the sweet potato pulp made the biscuits a little more dense, but they were still tasty.
It’s important to use a good quality baking powder. Biscuits are baked in a hot oven as the leavening rapidly works. My first attempt resulted in yummy biscuits but they did not rise. After a while of sitting in a shelf, the leavening ingredient in baking powder settles to the bottom. You’ve got to stir the baking powder before measuring. Apparently, my supply was quite old. I purchased a new box of baking powder, (this one was aluminum-free), and my second batch of biscuits was much improved.
I mix the biscuit dough in a food processor. It only takes a few pulses to cut the butter to the size of small peas. Then add the buttermilk and sweet potatoes and mix in. You might need to experiment some, but is fast and works well, and you don’t wind up with sticky fingers.
The original recipe called for a 2″ biscuit. I couldn’t find my biscuit cutter, or any can of that diameter size to use as a substitute. A can of oysters came close, but my husband threw the can away after eating the oysters. A can of Vienna sausages was 2 3/8″ in diameter, and I used this can for a biscuit cutter, until I found my actual biscuit cutter which was hidden in the back of a drawer. So we had Vienna sausages with our biscuits!
Sweet Potato Biscuits
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder (aluminum-free)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, cut in chunks
2 Tbsp chives, minced
2 Tbsp parsley, minced
1 cup mashed sweet potato pulp, cooked
1/2 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, together. Place in food processor bowl.
- Add the butter and pulse a few times, until the butter is the size of small peas.
- Add the chives and parsley and pulse to mix in.
- Add the sweet potato pulp and buttermilk. On continuous setting, mix to blend in and mix about 15 additional seconds.
- Turn onto a floured board, knead 1 minute. Let rest several minutes.
- Roll out to 3/4″ thick. Cut out with biscuit cutter with edge floured.
- Place on ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake 10-12 minutes until done. Serve hot.