Happy New Year, everyone. How about we start with a delicious treat for breakfast? These lovely biscuits, with a touch of natural sweetness from sweet potatoes, are no harder to make than any other biscuit – once you have the sweet potato prepared. Roast an extra one or two for dinner the night before, and you are good to go. I do recommend that you roast the sweet potatoes, and don’t cook them any other way. I’m calling for more sweet potato than most recipes for these, and for them to succeed it needs to be quite dry. My sweet potatoes were the easily grown Georgia Jet, which are an uninspired dull yellow inside. If you use orange fleshed sweet potatoes, the biscuits should have an attractive orange shade to them. You should need to add very little milk to pull these together, maybe even none if your sweet potato is on the damp side.
12 biscuits 30 minutes – 15 minutes prep timeNOT including roasting the sweet potatoes
2 cups roasted, peeled, and mashed sweet potatoes 2 cups whole spelt flour1 tablespoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt1/3 cup cold unsalted butter1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk or milk, as needed
The sweet potatoes should be peeled and thoroughly mashed. If you want really smooth biscuits with no lumps, you should put them through a food mill or food processor. Measure and put into a mixing bowl.
Preheat the oven to 425°F, and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Measure the flour and mix in the baking powder and salt. Add to the sweet potatoes, but don’t mix yet. Grate in the cold butter.
Mix, using a thin, flat spoon to make chopping and turning motions, until the flour is well distributed throughout the other ingredients and nothing looks particularly dry. You may wish to use a pastry cutter for this if you don’t have a spoon that works well. If it becomes clear that this won’t happen without overworking the mixture, add a bit of buttermilk or milk to help bring it together, but the dough should not become at all soft, just workable and cohesive.
At this point press it into a ball with your hands. Pat it out to 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick, and cut it into biscuits. I tend to save all the tedium of cutting out round biscuits, re-rolling and cutting, etc., by cutting them into squares and either leaving them square or patting them into a disk (keeping the same thickness). Use a little flour or keep your hands cold and wet to prevent the dough from sticking to them.
Place the biscuits spaced an inch or two apart on the prepared baking tray, and bake on the top rack of the oven at 425°F for 14 to 16 minute. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then serve. Last year at this time I made Broiled Pork Tenderloin.