Sweet Potato Biscuits

These biscuits appeared in the November-December 2011 issue of Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass Region.  Author, Tomese Buthod.

Prepare the sweet potato purée a day or so in advance.
1 or 2 sweet potatoes (about 8 ounces) to make 3/4 cup purée
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and rolling out
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoon unsalted butter, very cold, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan and brushing on biscuits
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind (optional)

1.  Peel the sweet potato and cut into chunks.  In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water; bring to a boil.  Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain very well.  Purée the chunks in a food processor or blender.  Measure out 3/4 cup for biscuit recipe and chill thoroughly.  Any leftover purée can be frozen for a later use.

2.  Preheat oven to 425°F., with rack in bottom third of the oven.  Butter a baking sheet.  Using a food processor, mix together the dry ingredients.  Add the butter and pulse in quickly, until the mixture looks like coarse corn meal.  Separately, stir together the sweet potato, buttermilk and orange rind if using.  Add buttermilk to dry ingredients, and then quickly pulse that mixture into the flour mixture.  Do not over mix.

3.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently until dough holds together.  It will be slightly lumpy.  You are only going to knead it about 5 times to get it to hold together; again, do not overwork it and add only the tiniest bit of flour-the dough will be sticky.

4.  Pat the dough into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.  Use a biscuit cutter to cut the dough into 2-inch biscuits.  Gather scraps and re-pat.  Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife to cut the dough into small squares and then you won’t have to fool with scraps.  If you want bigger biscuits, roll the dough thicker.  The larger the biscuits, the thicker you should roll the dough.

5.  Place the cut biscuits on the buttered sheet, and brush with a little melted butter.  Bake about 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve as quickly as you can!  Makes about 18 2-inch biscuits.


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