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- 👍 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- 🔍 Tips for Making Flaky Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits
- 🛠 Tools Needed:
- 🛒 Ingredients Needed:
- 👨🍳 How to Make Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits
- How to Store
- ❓ Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits FAQs:
- Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits
- Other Recipes You Might Like:
Tender and flaky, these Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits are a must-make fall sourdough discard breakfast recipe! They’re full of soft, pull-apart layers and are great slathered in hot honey butter.
As a native North Carolinian, I take two things very seriously- biscuits and sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are the state vegetable of North Carolina and it’s often the pie of choice at Thanksgiving meals or a popular side dish with marshmallows.
So combining mashed sweet potatoes and buttermilk biscuits is a natural match made in Southern heaven! The sweet potatoes and sourdough discard help make the biscuits extra soft. And for lots of flaky layers, I laminate or stack the biscuit dough a few times on top of each other.
The recipe includes many tips on how to make these fluffy and foolproof sourdough discard biscuits that I know you’ll love for breakfast or as a side.
👉 For more fall sourdough discard recipes, check out my Sourdough Pumpkin Waffles, Sourdough Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, Sourdough Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, and my Sourdough Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.
👍 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- They’re historic
- Sweet potato biscuits have an extended history in the United States, with a popular early version being Thomas Jefferson’s sweet potato biscuits. The biscuits were served in 1774 at the First Continental Congress!
- Made with mashed sweet potatoes
- If you have extra mashed sweet potatoes or sweet potato puree for your sweet potato pie or sweet potato casserole (make sure they’re still unsweetened), this is a great way to use it!
- Like these sourdough pumpkin scones, sweet potato adds a subtle earthy and slightly sweet flavor, natural orange color, and moisture to tenderize the biscuits.
- It’s a great way to add fruits or vegetables into baked goods like banana bread, zucchini bread, or rhubarb blondies for natural flavor and sweetness.
- Makes tender and flaky biscuits
- Like making these sourdough blueberry scones, sourdough discard helps to tenderize the biscuits and inhibits gluten development for a flakier biscuit.
- In addition, I quickly fold the dough on top of itself to create extra layers. This quick lamination process helps the biscuits rise taller, creating more layers. Sometimes, they’ll even fold over like accordions! It’s an easy technique I use for shortcakes, these sourdough cheddar biscuits, and pie crust.
- It’s a quick, foolproof recipe
- There’s no fermenting since the scones use sourdough discard. The tablespoon of baking powder does all of the leavening.
🔍 Tips for Making Flaky Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits
- Keep the ingredients and biscuits cold before baking
- The key to making great biscuits is to keep your butter and ingredients cold before baking.
- I freeze the biscuits as the oven preheats, which helps them keep their shape and creates more steam so they rise tall.
- Keep the dough dryer than you think
- When you begin mixing this biscuit dough, you might think it’s too dry. But as you fold and work the dough, it will gradually come together. Trust the process here!
- Don’t overmix the dough
- Laminate or fold the dough for flaky layers
- Lamination in baking typically refers to folding layers of butter and dough together to create many flaky layers, like in croissants or rough puff pastry.
- You can mimic lamination by cutting and stacking the biscuits a few times. This will create stacks of buttery layers of dough that will puff up in the oven.
- Cut into squares so you don’t have to re-roll scraps
- You know why those re-rolled scraps of dough never make as good of biscuits? Because all of the flaky layers get destroyed when you have to re-roll the dough!
- Instead, I cut the biscuits into squares so that you don’t need to re-roll any scraps. If you do use a round biscuit cutter, press down and don’t twist so that the biscuits will keep their layers.
🛠 Tools Needed:
Click the links below for my favorite tool recommendations.
- Baking Scale
- Flour, sweet potatoes, and sourdough starter can weigh differently from person to person, so weighing your ingredients is the best option if you can!
- Half-Sheet Pan
- This recipe makes 9 square biscuits that will fit on one half-sheet pan. You can easily double the recipe to make 18 biscuits and bake them on two sheet pans.
- Bench Scraper
- A bench scraper is one of those handy kitchen tools I always find myself reaching for. From shaping bread to picking up kitchen scraps and transferring chopped herbs, it’s a great all-around kitchen tool to have on hand.
- I like to use a bench scraper to cut the biscuits for straight sides. However, you can use a sharp kitchen knife too.
- Pastry Brush
- I like brushing biscuits with buttermilk before baking so they get slightly crunchy, brown tops.
🛒 Ingredients Needed:
Click on the links below for my favorite ingredient recommendations. Ingredient substitutions are also listed below.
🍠 Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Making mashed sweet potatoes is simple. Peel and cut one large sweet potato into one-inch cubes. Boil in a pot of water for about 25-30 minutes, or until completely tender. Drain and mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- You only need one cup mashed sweet potatoes, which you can usually get from one large potato.
- You can use canned sweet potato puree, but make sure you drain off any excess liquid and that the puree is 100% sweet potatoes with no added spices or sweeteners.
- All-purpose Flour
- All-purpose, cake, or pastry flour works best for the best sourdough biscuits.
- White Lily is a popular flour for making biscuits in the South. However, it’s typically self-rising flour and this recipe calls for baking powder. If you do use White Lily, use either their all-purpose flour that’s not self-rising or remember to leave out the baking powder in the recipe!
- Baking Powder
- Unsalted Butter, cold
- If you’d like to substitute with vegan or plant-based butter, you absolutely can!
- Light Brown Sugar
- Brown sugar provides a little sweetness that complements the sweet potatoes.
- Substitute with granulated sugar or another sweetener.
- Sourdough Discard
- There’s not that much liquid in this recipe, because the mashed sweet potatoes and sourdough discard all have moisture that will help bring the dough together.
- However, you do need a little bit of buttermilk or another liquid to bring it all together. I like the classic flavor of buttermilk in biscuits, but you could substitute with heavy cream, whole milk, or plant milk.
🍯 Hot Honey Butter
- Unsalted Butter, softened
- Hot Honey
- I’m such a fan of hot honey, that I even created a sourdough bread that tastes like it!
- If you don’t have, you can quickly substitute with honey and a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes to taste.
- Alternatively, if you’re spice-adverse, use honey or maple syrup.
- Pinch of salt
👨🍳 How to Make Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits
Follow this visual and detailed recipe guide as you make the best sourdough sweet potato biscuits.
Note: If you haven’t already done so, make the mashed sweet potatoes before starting this recipe and let the potatoes cool completely.
See the ingredients section for instructions on how to make mashed sweet potatoes.
1. Mix the Wet Ingredients
Prepare a half-sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper and set aside while you make the biscuits.
Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl, including:
- 232 grams of mashed sweet potatoes (one cup)
- 1 TBS of light brown sugar
- 100 grams of sourdough discard (or active starter, about 1/2 cup)
- 61 grams of buttermilk (¼ cup)
Because of the starch from the sweet potatoes, the sweet potato mixture will be quite thick and a little stiff. I usually use a whisk here, but you can easily use a fork.
Set aside or refrigerate.
2. Mix the Dry Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients, including:
- 280 grams of all-purpose flour (2 ¼ cups)
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons of Kosher salt
3. Add the Butter
Cut 113 grams (one stick) of cold unsalted butter into cubes. Toss them in the bowl of dry ingredients until coated completely in the dry ingredients.
Smash the butter cubes into pea-sized pieces.
You can use a pastry cutter to do this, but I find that your hands do just as good and fast of a job.
Note: Keeping the butter cold is important to make the biscuits flakier. If it’s a warm day, I recommend refrigerating the bowl for 10 minutes or so before moving onto the next step.
4. Mix the Sweet Potato Biscuit Dough
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl and use a fork to bring the biscuit dough together.
The dough will be very dry, but it will hydrate some as it’s mixed. If the sweet potato mixture isn’t distributing or remains in large clumps, you may need to get your hands in the bowl and help it incorporate into the mixture.
If needed, pour in a couple of tablespoons of cold buttermilk (or milk or heavy cream) into the dough at a time to bring it together.
There should still be quite a bit of dry flour and visible pieces of butter in the dough.
The biscuits will hydrate more as we laminate it in the next step, so don’t worry if it seems too dry right now.
5. Laminate, Cut, and Freeze the Biscuits
Sprinkle a work surface with a generous amount of all-purpose flour to prevent sticking.
How to Laminate Biscuit Dough
- Dump the dry sweet potato biscuit dough out onto the floured work surface and use your hands to pat it into a rectangle, about a ¾-inch thick. At this point, the dough is still really dry and will hardly stick together. But trust me! It will come together as you manipulate it.
- Use the bench scraper or a knife to divide the dough into four quadrants, or pieces.
- Then, stack the four pieces on top of each other.
- Use floured hands (or a floured rolling pin if you prefer) to pat it back down into a rectangle.
Repeat this lamination process two more times (a total of three times).
This step will bring the biscuit dough together and create many layers for the flakiest biscuits!
How to Cut the Biscuits
After stacking the quadrants a final time, pat the dough into a square, about 1-inch high. Try to keep the corners and sides square so that you’ll get equal-sized square biscuits.
Use the bench scraper to divide the square into nine squares (thirds in one direction and thirds in the other).
Cut out the biscuits straight down, without twisting, which will help them retain the flaky layers. If you decide to cut out the biscuits into circles, use a biscuit or cookie cutter and re-roll the scraps and cut out more.
Transfer the square biscuits to the prepared half-sheet pan.
Then, move the pan of biscuits to the freezer for about 15 minutes (or longer) as you preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC).
Freezing the biscuits before baking has many benefits. It will help the biscuits retain their shape, cool down the biscuits after being manipulated, and create more steam between the layers of butter so that they rise taller in the oven.
Note: At this point, you can freeze the biscuits until solid, at least an hour, and then place them in freezer-safe bags to freeze for up to a couple of months. This way, you can prepare them ahead of time.
Before baking, brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk. Optionally, sprinkle flaky salt on top.
Bake for 20-23 minutes or until the biscuits have risen tall and the tops lightly brown.
It’s normal for some of the biscuits to rise like accordions and fall over some. That’s because of the many flaky layers!
7. Make the Hot Honey Butter (optional)
The sweet potato biscuits are delicious when served with hot honey butter for a sweet-and-spicy kick.
To make the hot honey butter, combine 4 TBS (½ stick) of softened butter, 2 teaspoons of hot honey, and a pinch of salt to a small bowl.
Mix together with a fork until fluffy. Add more hot honey or salt to taste.
If you want to make it whipped butter, you can use a stand mixer or hand mixer to whip a lot of air into the butter. In that case, you may need to double the recipe so that you have enough butter to whip.
Split the biscuits with a fork and serve them warm with the hot honey butter. Drizzle more hot honey on top if you’d like!
How to Store
Sourdough biscuits are best served fresh and warm.
If making ahead of time, you can store them at room temperature in an airtight container for about three days and reheat them in a toaster oven before serving.
Stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, they’ll keep for about five days. You’ll definitely want to reheat them beforehand.
Hot honey butter can be made and stored for a couple of months in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before serving. You may want to whip it up before serving so it’s lighter.
How to Freeze
I wouldn’t recommend freezing baked biscuits because they come together so quickly and taste best fresh.
However, freezing the biscuits before baking is a great make-ahead option that I highly recommend so you can quickly have biscuits in the morning!
Freeze the unbaked biscuits on the sheet pan for at least an hour and then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag for a few months.
To bake, follow the same instructions! They may take an extra couple of minutes in the oven since they’re frozen solid.
❓ Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits FAQs:
Can I use active sourdough starter to make sourdough discard biscuits?
Yes, you can use active sourdough starter or sourdough discard to make these sourdough biscuits. Use the same amount of active starter as discard.
Can I double the recipe?
Yes. Double all of the ingredients and divide them between two sheet pans to make 18 biscuits.
Can you use yams or ube instead of sweet potatoes?
While similar, yams and sweet potatoes are not the same. The flavor of yams is more neutral compared to the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes. If you do use yams, increase the amount of brown sugar- and if you want the orange color, add a bit of turmeric to the dry ingredients.
If you’re interested in using purple sweet potatoes, or ube, you should be able to substitute 1:1.
Can I substitute the sweet potato with pumpkin puree?
You can make sourdough pumpkin biscuits by substituting the sweet potatoes with 100% pumpkin puree.
However, pumpkin is slightly less starchy and holds more moisture. So if you’re substituting, I recommend holding back on the buttermilk and only adding splashes at a time to bring the biscuits together.
Can I add whole wheat flour to the biscuits?
You can, but the best biscuits are made with lower protein flours like all-purpose, cake, or pastry flour. If you decide to add some whole wheat flour, I recommend only adding ½ cup or less at a time.
Additionally, note that whole wheat flour will soak up more liquid, so you may need to increase the amount of buttermilk slightly.
How can I make vegan sourdough sweet potato biscuits?
Substitute the butter with vegan butter and use plant-based milk.
Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits
Sourdough Sweet Potato Biscuits
- Line a half-sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper and set aside.Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl. The sweet potato mixture will be quite thick. Set aside.232 g Mashed Sweet Potatoes, 1 TBS Light Brown Sugar, 100 g Sourdough Discard, 61 g Buttermilk
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.280 g All-purpose Flour, 1 TBS Baking Powder, 1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- Cut the cold stick of butter into small cubes. Toss them in the dry ingredients and smash into pea-sized pieces.113 g Unsalted Butter
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and use a fork to toss until clumps form and the mixture is distributed throughout. Use your hands to break up any large clumps.Drizzle more buttermilk if needed into the mixture. At this point, the mixture will still be quite dry but will come together in the next steep.
- Sprinkle a work surface with a generous dusting of flour.Dump the dry dough out onto the work surface and pat it into a rectangle about ¾-inch thick. Use a bench scraper to divide into four pieces, or quadrants, stack them on top of each other, and then use your hands to press down and pat back into a rectangle. Repeat two more times. This will create lots of flaky biscuit layers and the dough will hydrate.
- After the last stacking, pat the dough into a 1-inch thick square. Use the bench scraper to cut 9 equal-sized squares. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.Then, freeze the biscuits for at least 15 mins while you preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC).
- Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk and sprinkle on flaky salt if desired.Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until the tops brown. The biscuits should rise tall and it's normal if some fall over like accordions due to all of the flaky layers.
- To make the optional hot honey butter, mix the softened butter, hot honey, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl with a fork. To whip it, you may need to double the amount of ingredients in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.Slather the warm biscuits with the hot honey butter and enjoy!4 TBS Unsalted Butter, 2 tsp Hot Honey, 1 Pinch Kosher Salt
- *At this point, you can freeze the biscuits for at least an hour to make ahead of time and transfer them to a freezer-safe bag for up to a couple of months.
- Follow my guide for more detailed instructions and photos to make this recipe step-by-step.