sweet potato biscuits

Makes 12-15 Large Biscuits

The biscuit is an undeniably southern staple, but this fresh take by chef Melissa M. Martin from her book Mosquito Supper Club might well be a new favorite. Adding local sweet potatoes gives a delightfully subtle taste, perfect for serving with honey and butter.

Melissa shared her recipe with Garden & Gun Magazine, saying “When making biscuits, you will know if the dough is good from the way it feels between your fingers. If it feels light and airy while you’re mixing it, then you’re on the right path.”

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup freshly milled flour, preferably Ruby Lee
2 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 tbsp. leaf lard, cut into small pieces
½ cup mashed cooked sweet potato, chilled
2½ cups buttermilk
Heavy cream and raw unrefined sugar, for topping

Image by Denny Culbert

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (if your oven runs hot, go for 375° to 400°F). Put a pizza stone (or a couple of cast-iron skillets) in the oven and let it preheat for 1 hour or so—you want it superhot.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and leaf lard and cut it in with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse sand. Some big chunks of butter are fine. Put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the bowl from the freezer and cut in the mashed sweet potatoes with a fork until just incorporated. The mixture will be lumpy.
  4. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the buttermilk. Mix together with your fingers just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix—you are not looking for a highly cohesive, smooth dough.
  5. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and use your hands to shape it roughly into an 8 by 8-inch square about 2 inches thick (do not knead or fold the dough). Use a 2½-inch biscuit cutter to cut out rounds of dough. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet and freeze for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Transfer the biscuits to the preheated pizza stone (or cast-iron pans). Brush the tops with heavy cream and raw sugar. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the tops are browned. Remove from the oven and let the biscuits rest, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

 

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