The Best Sweet Potato Biscuits Recipe

The Best Sweet Potato Biscuits Recipe

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

Thick and mellow sweet potato purée makes these colorful biscuits tender, moist, and light. Despite their vibrant color, sweet potato biscuits have a buttery flavor that's as classic as they come—perfect to serve alongside hearty soups and stews, or with a simple spoonful of blueberry jam.

Why It Works

  • Sweet potato purée provides hydration while keeping the dough thick and easy to handle, and the biscuits light and moist.
  • Folding the dough creates layers and structure, for pull-apart biscuits sturdy enough for a breakfast sandwich.
  • Baking on cast iron ensures the biscuits are crisp along the bottom.
  • Yield:Makes about 14 two-inch biscuits
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal (about 2 cups, spooned; 255g)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes (about 8 tablespoons; 110g)
  • 9 ounces sweet potato purée, from one large sweet potato, see note (about 1 heaping cup; 255g)
  • 3 ounces milk, any percentage will do (about 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon; 85g)

Directions

  1. 1.

    Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400°F. Should your kitchen be warmer than 75°F, please see our guide to baking in a hot kitchen before getting started; the specifics are focused on pie dough, but the overall principles are true of biscuits as well.

  2. 2.

    Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl, then whisk until well combined (this may take up to 1 minute). Add the butter, toss to break up the pieces, and smash each cube flat. Continue smashing and rubbing until the butter has mostly disappeared into a floury mix, although a few larger, Cheerio-sized pieces may remain. This can also be done with 4 or 5 pulses in a food processor, just take care not to overdo it. The prepared mix can be refrigerated up to 3 weeks in an airtight container, then used as directed below.

  3. 3.

    Mash the sweet potato purée and milk together with a fork, or combine with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth. Add to the dry mix in a large bowl, and fold with a flexible spatula until fully absorbed. The dough will seem rather crumbly and dry at first, but keep mixing until it finally comes together. Once the dough forms a rough ball, turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

  4. 4.

    With your bare hands, gently pat the dough into a squarish shape about 1/2-inch thick, then fold in half; repeat twice more for a total of 3 folds, using only enough flour to keep your hands from sticking. Finish by patting the dough to a thickness of 3/4 inch. If needed, dust away any excess flour, then cut into 1 3/4-inch rounds and arrange in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Gather scraps into a ball, pat and fold a single time, then cut as many more biscuits as you can. The final round of scraps can be gathered and shaped into a single biscuit by hand.

  5. 5.

    Bake until the biscuits are well-risen and golden brown, about 25 minutes (or longer if cut thicker than 3/4-inch). Let the biscuits cool about 5 minutes to help set their crumb, then serve as desired, whether alongside soups and stews or split for shortcake or breakfast sandwiches. Leftovers can be stored up to a week in an airtight container; to serve, split the stale biscuits in half, brush with melted butter, arrange on a baking sheet, and broil until golden brown, then serve with jam.