My husband jokes that biscuits are my nemesis. I must have tried to make them a dozen times with a bunch of different recipes and they always come out denser and flatter than I have hoped. I attribute this to my genes being totally devoid of any “Southerness.” However, I finally had success with this recipe despite it being more complicated than plain biscuits due to the addition of sweet potatoes. Perhaps I have lived in Florida long enough where the Southern has rubbed off on me. Does Miami count as the south?
So why sweet potato and saffron? Because my husband would be freaked out by sweet potatoes so I thought I would blame the yellow-y orange color on saffron but I don’t think he bought it. Either way, a pinch of saffron can’t hurt right.
First, bake a potato at 425. Just put it in the oven no foil or oil or anything. Mine took about 45 min it really depends on the size of your potato. If a knife slides through it then it is done. Once you let it cool for a few minutes the skin should come off easily and you can mash it with a fork. This potato produced about a cup of mashed sweet potato.
Next, warm up 4 tablespoons of milk and put in a pinch of saffron and stir. Let it sit for a few minutes.
Put the milk, sweet potato, and shortening in the fridge or freezer to get cold.
Meanwhile, measure two cups of all purpose flour and add 1 tsp of salt (I know the picture shows 1/2 tsp but I used two) and 1 tb of baking powder. Whisk to aerate.
Then add 1/3 of a cup of the cold shortening and cut it in until it is in very small pieces. I usually use butter but shortening has less water so I thought I would give it a try and see if it helped my biscuit woes.
Add the sweet potato and stir it in as quickly as possible with the least amount of mixing.
Then add the milk until the dough just holds together. I ended up using maybe 3 out of the 4 tablespoons of milk I prepared. Isn’t saffron such a pretty yellow color?
Then put the dough on a floured surface and fold it over a few time to create layers.
Pat it out to about 3/4 inch thick. Dip a cookie cutter in flour and go straight down to cut the biscuit. Smoosh together the leftovers and cut again. They will be uglier as you can tell from the bottom right hand corner of my pan. The top left is much prettier.
Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes.
Look it rose! and it has layers. Hallelujah.