Sweet Potato Biscuits

  • 3 cups biscuit flour (all purpose flour is fine to use, too)
  • 6 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2 cups boiled mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup melted shortening (the original recipe uses lard )
  • ½ cup sugar ( or less )
  • butter or margarine (about ½ stick) for rubbing on the tops of the hot biscuits

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

You’ll also need two mixing bowls and a lightly greased baking sheet.

This recipe makes a larger batch that is a little larger than a standard biscuit recipe; unused dough can be refrigerated for 4 days or so, or frozen for later use.

  • 1. Mix first three ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt ) thoroughly.
  • 2. In a separate bowl, using a large fork, mix the second group (mashed sweets, shortening, sugar) together thoroughly.
  • 3. Mix the dry mixture into the sweet potatoes, adding about a third of the flour at the time.
  • 4. Stir mixture, work dough like regular biscuits. You’ll want a dough that is a bit on the moist side. It should almost stick to your hands.

REMEMBER : Do not stir or knead too much, as it cause the dough to get tough and will result in tough chewy biscuits.

  • 5. On a well floured surface, roll out or pat out the dough AT LEAST ½ INCH THICK. Don’t go thinner than ½ inch.
  • 6. Cut like biscuits. ( Hint: dip the cutter in reserve flour between cuts so it cuts clean.)
  • NOTE: Any unused dough can be refrigerated for use later (up to 3 days or so).
  • 7. Dip the bottom of each cut biscuit into reserve flour (this prevents sticking and burning; see note below)
  • 8. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet (vegetable oil spray is fine).
  • 9. Prick the tops of the biscuit with a fork to form a diamond shape
  • 10. Bake at 425 degrees for about 6 to 8 minutes until the biscuits “puff”, then
  • 11. Turn down to 350 degrees and and let them ‘coast’ another 10-12 minutes, or until done. I usually add only about two minutes or so at a time The sides should be firm and the bottom will be a honey-colored orange brown.
  • Be careful; the sugar in the dough makes them more susceptible to burns.
  • 13. Remove from oven.
  • 14. Brush / rub tops of biscuits with butter.

Serve hot or cold. They reheat in an over wrapped in foil or reheated in a microwave like bread.

Storing: never bag or box up warm biscuits. Let them get to room temp. Otherwise they don’t keep as well. Sweet potato biscuits hold their moisture well, and can be stored for 2-3 days at room temperature, or refrigerated, and they freeze well. Unused dough can be refrigerated, or even frozen.

Dough Mixing Hint: if the flour isn’t all absorbed in a few stirs, let it sit for 10 minutes then stir some more; this way, the moisture in the dough works to help get the flour

Baking Hint:

By starting on a higher heat and turning it down, you actually recreate the way the fire would burn in a wood cookstove. Since this recipe dates from the time of wood-fired cookstoves, ironically, they turned out better, because the kindling wood fire would start out hot, and then drop in 8-10 minutes as the wood burned down, thereby decreasing the risk of burning. But since a modern oven tries to maintain a constant heat, these biscuits burn easily at 425 degrees

Leftover candied sweets can be used, just omit the sugar—but they don’t compare to fresh boiled sweet potatoes.

If dough is too dry, add milk, no more than a tablespoon at a time. In general, this dough is fairly forgiving; the recipe doubles easily, but

Low salt—salt can be omitted

Low fat—shortening can be reduced (I’ve accidentally left out shortening and the biscuits weren’t all that bad.

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