Sweet Potato Biscuits
Chunks of baked sweet potato enhance warm, tender and flaky biscuits, which also get a savory lift from sliced scallions. To achieve distinct biscuit layers, an integral characteristic of this quick bread, keep your butter cold and work quickly when folding. You can chill the dough in between steps if needed to keep the butter solid, because cold, hard butter will help the dough maintain its layered structure in the oven. Serve the biscuits piping hot right out the oven, broken open and slathered with a generous smear of the spiced honey butter. The sweet potato can be baked in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The spiced honey butter can be prepared up to a week in advance.
- Serves: 12 persons
- 1medium sweet potato (11 to 14 ounces), scrubbed
- 4cups/526 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
- 1tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- 2 ½teaspoons baking powder
- ¼teaspoon baking soda
- ¾cup/170 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (1/3 cup)
- 1 ¼cups buttermilk
- ½cup/114 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- ¼teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- 2tablespoons honey
Step 1Make the biscuits: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Wrap the sweet potato tightly in foil and bake until tender enough for a knife to go in with no resistance, 45 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Scoop out 6 ounces/175 grams of cooked sweet potato flesh (about ¾ cup). (The sweet potato can be baked in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.) Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Step 2In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Working quickly, rub or cut the cold butter into the dry mixture using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the butter pieces are the size of peas. (Alternatively, use a food processor and pulse the dry ingredients with the butter to cut in the butter.)
Step 3Add the scallions and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Cut the cooked sweet potato into ½-inch chunks and drop into the bowl, tossing gently to coat with flour so that the pieces stay separated. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. Use a wooden spoon to stir until a shaggy dough forms. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface.
Step 4Roll the dough into an 11-by-7-inch rectangle. Use a floured spatula to lift one end of the dough and fold over one-third of the rectangle. Fold the other end over the top as if folding a letter. You should end up with a rectangular piece of folded dough. Lightly flour the surface of the dough and roll again into a 12-by-6-inch rectangle. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 12 (2-by-3-inch) rectangles. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 ½ inches apart.
Step 5Bake until biscuits are golden brown and cooked through, rotating the pan about halfway through, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving warm.
Step 6While the biscuits bake, make the honey butter, if you like: In a small bowl, combine the butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper and salt. Add the honey, and use a fork to cut the ingredients into the butter until incorporated and smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with the warm biscuits. The butter can be covered and refrigerated for up to 7 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.