Folks in the South L-O-V-E their biscuits. Sadly, this is something that escapes me entirely (such blasphemy!). I have only made biscuits a handful of times in my life, but this recipe inspired me to try, try again. I saved a bit of mashed sweet potatoes from our Maple-Pecan Sweet Potato Mash the other night to add flavor and serve as a natural sweetener. Remember that when handling bread and pastry the rule is always ‘Less is More’. You should cut in the butter and shortening until the pieces are about the size of a pebbles. If you work the mixture too much the biscuits will become dense and lose their light, fluffy texture. Make sure that you turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Too much flour will cause the dough to become too dry, and your biscuits will crumble and break apart. These biscuits come out a beautiful golden color with a delicious, slightly sweet flavor — a perfect compliment for country ham, homemade jelly or maybe just a drizzle of honey. Served here with ham and Pimento Cheese.
SWEET POTATO BISCUITS (Serves 4)
- 5 cups self-rising flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
- Parchment paper
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter cubes and shortening into flour mixture with pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and chill 10 minutes.
- Whisk together buttermilk and sweet potato. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
- Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, reshaping scraps once. (Do not twist cutter.) Place rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 425° for 18 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush tops of biscuits with melted butter. Serve immediately.