There are three kids and one large husband in this house, so when baked potatoes go in the oven, it’s a baker’s dozen at a time. In the event that your better half brings home dinner after you’ve put a bushel of tubers in the oven, we’ve got a great way to use them up (this also works if you got over generous with roasting a butternut or acorn squash).
12ouncesSweet potatoes335g, roasted and peeled (from about 2 medium potatoes)
2ouncesButter56g, for melting
6ouncesSuper cold butter170g, , cubed
Place the butter for melting in a pot with the sage. Melt the butter over medium heat until it begins to brown. Remove from heat immediately and pour into a medium-sized bowl, reserving the sage for serving later. Using a fork, mash the sweet potatoes and salt into the browned butter.
Mix the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl. Take the cold butter cubes and toss them into these dry ingredients. Flake the butter into the flour (also called sanding) by rubbing the cold butter into a flake between your thumb and index and middle finger. These flakes are what make up the flaky layers, so keep them cold!
Pour the buttermilk over the sweet potato. Pour this into your dry ingredients and, with a wooden spoon, mix until just barely combined. A few streaks of flour is ok. Your dough should feel a little sticky but not too wet. Add a touch of milk or flour if you need to.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and hit it to flatten it with a flat, open hand a few times. Fold the dough like a letter and hit a few more times until it is 1-1/2" thick. Place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425 F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Take a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter or the top of a jar and cut out your biscuits- flour the cutter, then cut with one heavy stab of the cutter at a time, picking it up without twisting and hitting onto the cookie sheet if the biscuit doesn't come out on its own. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired, or a touch of sea salt.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how big you cut them.
The secret to biscuits is simple: the worse-looking and more difficult the dough it to work with, the better you biscuits will be. Flaky layers are created by cold pieces of butter go into a hot oven. The water trapped in the butter (butter is made up of about 81% fat and 19% water), under pressure in the oven, releases the water as steam. The resulting air pockets are what propel the biscuits to their unearthly heights.