Monday, December 28, 2009

sweet potato biscuits

since she is a loyal follower, (if not my most loyal) visits to my mom result in her request for me to cook. which is exactly why i got so excited when i saw this recipe in bon appetit on the plane, on my way to visit. what's more, they even seemed like they would be the perfect accompaniment to solstice dinner. i admit that i was a little intimidated by the term biscuit. after all, i hear homemade biscuits and i think of someone's grandmother somewhere (preferably in a southern state) taking all day to roll out dough with lard. i decided to take a more rustic biscuit approach. i also skipped the ham component of this. but that goes without saying.

sweet potato biscuits (originally sweet potato biscuits with ham, mustard, and honey)
from bon appetit
  • 1 3/4-pound red-skinned sweet potato (yam), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (i used spelt)
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup chilled buttermilk *NOTE: begin my rustic approach...i didn't have buttermilk so i added some lemon juice to regular low fat milk and allowed to sit for a few minutes.
  • cook sweet potato in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. drain, cool, and mash.
  • position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 425°F. butter bottom and sides of 9-inch cake pan with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.
  • whisk flour and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. add cubed butter to flour mixture; toss to coat and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • whisk 3/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes and buttermilk in medium bowl. add to flour mixture; toss with fork.
  • gather mixture in bowl, kneading until dough comes together. turn dough out onto floured work surface and pat into 1-inch-thick round. Using 1 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits, flouring cutter after each cut. gather scraps; pat into 1-inch-thick round. cut out additional biscuits (do not reuse scraps more than once). *NOTE: continue rustic approach...i didn't roll out or cut my biscuits, i just grabbed pieces of dough and gently shaped them and patted them down.
  • arrange biscuits side by side in prepared cake pan. brush with melted butter. bake until puffed and golden on top and tester inserted into center biscuit comes out clean, about 22 minutes. cool 10 minutes in pan. turn biscuits out and gently pull them apart.
  • makes about 24 biscuits

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