Thursday, May 20, 2010

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Biscuits

Tips for making light and fluffy biscuits:

- Do not overwork the dough and do not knead. Kneading creates gluten, which act like elastic bands, if you over work you will get a small, unrisen, chewy biscuit.

- Don't puree the sweet potato in a food processor, which can cause the potato to become gummy, use a fork or potato masher instead

- Add about 1/2 tsp vinegar to the sweet potato as you mash it. You won't taste the vinegar. It will just help the baking powder do it's job.

- Use fresh baking soda.


1 3/4 cups all-purpose or self-rising flour, plus more for kneading and shaping ( I used white whole wheat)
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder(if you are using self rising flour omit the baking powder)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter,cut into pieces, (I used only 3 tablespoon non-hydrogenated organic shortening )
plus 1/2 tablespoon melted butter and more for pan (optional)
3/4 cup Sweet-Potato Puree, chilled
1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
1/4 tsp cream of tarter (optional)


1.Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with some pea-sized lumps of butter remaining.

Cutting in the butter makes for flaky, delicate biscuits. Be sure to stop cutting in the butter while there are still pebble-sized pieces. If you work it longer, the biscuits will be tough.

In a small bowl, whisk together sweet potato puree and buttermilk; stir quickly into flour mixture until combined (do not over mix).

2.Shape the biscuits: Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead very gently until dough comes together but is still slightly lumpy, five or six times. (If dough is too sticky, work in up to 1/4 cup additional flour.) Shape into a disk, and pat to an even 1-inch thickness. With a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits as close together as possible. Gather together scraps, and repeat to cut out more biscuits (do not reuse scraps more than once).

3.Bake the biscuits: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. with rack on lower shelf. Butter an 8-inch cake pan. Arrange biscuits snugly in pan (to help them stay upright). Brush with melted butter (I skipped this step). Bake until golden, rotating once, 20 to 24 minutes.

Serving Suggestions:

You can flavor your sweet potatoes with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla while they are boiling  or add herbs or raisins. I am planning to add fresh chives to the dough next time I make it because I like them savory. You can also serve them with honey/maple butter, or basil butter. I think it can be great as chicken pot pie topping too.
(Recipe is adapted from Everyday Food, November 2003)

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