Tuesdays with Dorie: Sweet Potato Biscuits

sweet potato biscuits in basket_thumb.jpg
Homemade biscuits are an uncommon treat at my house.  If we have biscuits, they usually come from a can.  Hate to admit it but it’s true.  Something about peeling those layers.  It’s a childhood behaviour I’ve been unable to outgrow.  Right up there with splitting oreo cookies and licking the icing, v-e-r-y slowly.  I have given up making little balls out of fresh white bread though.  Just so you don’t think I was totally raised in a barn.

These colorful, flaky biscuits will perk up any buffet or holiday table.  They beg for a piece of ham and mustard to make a mini sandwich. Or go the sweet route and spread honey or jelly on a split biscuit.

I’m always looking for an easier, quicker way of cooking or baking that doesn’t compromise flavor and gives predictable results. Call it a “short cut” if you want, but I prefer to call it progress.

Here is my method for mixing and kneading biscuits. I use the same process with pie dough.

  1. Cut the fat into the flour with a pastry cutter.  A fork will work too.  I’m not so good with my fingers but I’m not averse to the food processor. Just don’t like to get it dirty for a small batch.
  2. Use a fork to lightly blend in sweet potatoes but not too much.
  3. Pour very crumbly mixture onto well floured cloth tea towel or pastry cloth.  (Avoid terry cloth towels.)
  4. Put  hands underneath the towel and wrap it around the mixture pressing it together into a homogeneous ball. Warm hands need never touch the dough which equals a flakier end product and no sticky mess.
  5. Leaving the dough ball on the towel, roll or press it out.  After cutting the biscuits, it’s easy to lift up the cloth and flip the biscuits into the hand and  quickly onto a cookie sheet.
  6. Shake the towel out and throw it in the washer.  Your counter is clean with very little mess to clean up.

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I wish these would have been more homogenous.   Didn’t want to overmix. Perhaps a slight brush of butter on top would have helped. My mama always said, “Looks aren’t everything,” but when it comes to food, it’s close to the top.

Curious to try them for yourself? Get the recipe here from www.prudencepennywise.

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Trish November 16, 2009 at 10:39 am

Okay, found it! 😀

Trish November 16, 2009 at 10:20 am

These biscuits look really good, and I would love to try them, but I don’t see the recipe or the ingredients listed. Can you please post, or tell me where to find?

Ann Hastings October 27, 2009 at 9:52 am

These look wonderful!

April October 26, 2009 at 9:32 am

Thanks again for the towel suggestion, it worked perfectly for me. Your biscuits look like they belong on the cover of Southern Living!

Jeannette October 22, 2009 at 9:16 am

i happen to think you did a great job!!

and that trick is very appreciated here!! i have such a hard time cleaning and flouring my small kitchen counter after rolling out dough. i’d rather avoid it all together. thanks!

Leslie October 22, 2009 at 9:15 am

I love your technique tips. Your biscuits look WAAAY better than mine did!

Mommas Soapbox October 22, 2009 at 2:29 am

I love sweet potatoes and we love biscuits! Thanks for the recipe, I will be giving these a try!

steph (whisk/spoon) October 21, 2009 at 4:09 pm

they look fantastic! i loved that these could go either sweet or savory as well. i think brushing them with butter before baking would have given them nice color, too…next time!

Wendy October 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Your biscuits look perfect!

Emily Rose October 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I loved these biscuits! I am also a pastry cutter person- I make biscuits all the time but I never use my fingers (I think I just don’t have the right touch for it). Beautiful pictures!

Mimi October 21, 2009 at 10:16 am

My biscuits have flour spots too, it just add to the character. When I make these again, I ‘ll do them as a drop biscuit.
Mimi

Lydia October 21, 2009 at 9:09 am

I used plastic wrap to gather the dough, too – pretty biscuits!!

Margot October 21, 2009 at 12:39 am

Your dough looks amazing, love the process photos. And the finished product? Beautiful!

Steph October 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I know what you mean about not overmixing. I have flour spots! Thanks for your tips.

Megan October 20, 2009 at 8:06 pm

I’m with you – I hate to dirty the food processor for a small batch of something. Love your idea for the towel – I’ll have to try that sometime.

Sarah Galvin October 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Hi Romaine,
I love your tea towel idea. Biscuits look great, especially in the pic on the bottom of the page. Also like the ‘step by step’ pics. Great idea.

Sarah

Valerina October 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm

You always have useful tips! And your muffins look perfect, Beautiful pictures!! 🙂

Michelle October 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I love the step by step photos and your biscuits came out looking wonderful!

mike October 20, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Funny – I KNOW I overmixed mine… but they still were good. Yours look like true biscuits! Very rustic looking – and that first photo is for the magazines. Nicely done!

Clivia October 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm

I love that you can see the bits of sweet potato in your biscuits. They look delicious!

amanda October 20, 2009 at 11:58 am

Glad I discovered your blog, it’s lovely! The biscuits came out great. I think they’d make a nice breakfast sandwich with egg and ham MMMM

Kim October 20, 2009 at 11:36 am

Your biscuits look wonderful. I’m going to have to try your tips next time I make biscuits. Love your photos.

AmyRuth October 20, 2009 at 11:19 am

Romaine, ya know I basically did the same thing only I just used waxed paper to gather up the dough enough to pat out with my hands. So we think alike there.
You can do the same thing with saran wrap when making a shortbread crust floury and loose. Thanks for the advice and I love your photo of your biscuits in the basket. I also like the idea of putting ham in them. yumm
Thanks for stopping by.
AmyRuth

Amber Marie October 20, 2009 at 10:37 am

I like the towel method. Easier clean-up is always a good thing!

Spike October 20, 2009 at 10:36 am

Love the color of your biscuits!

isabelle October 20, 2009 at 9:40 am

wow ! qu’est ce qu’ils sont beaux ! tes photos sont superbes aussi !

Jules Someone October 20, 2009 at 8:55 am

That’s a great idea about the towel! Didn’t try these this week. I may need to now!

Prudy October 20, 2009 at 6:46 am

Wow! Your blog is just gorgeous! That last pic of the biscuits is really beautiful! Thanks for baking along this week.

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