This is a very special recipe. It's my Granny's classic biscuit recipe straight from the hills of Tennessee. The trick, she says, is to put a thumb print in the top of every biscuit. It helps them rise and creates a nice little spot for butter or honey.
This is a picture of my sister and Granny right before we put the biscuits in the oven:
from Helen Hart
yield 3 dozen
5 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening/butter
2 cups buttermilk
1. Sift dry ingredients - really do this! It is what makes them fluffy. You can buy an old fashioned sifter with a hand crank, or you can toss the flour through a strainer, or even fluff with a fork, but get some air in there!
2. Thoroughly blend in shortening - the trick is to keep the shortening cold while blending. I'll tell you why - when the shortening melts in the oven it creates steam and gives the biscuits their lift and their moistness. My sister (who has tried this recipe several times) cuts the butter into tinsy tiny little cubes to reduce the amount of mixing she does with her hands.
3. Add buttermilk, blend in - keep this cold too.
4. Roll on floured bread board, cut - no need to roll too thin. The thicker biscuits the better, right? If you don't have a biscuit cutter, you can use the rim of a glass.
5. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees until golden brown.
Really, this was easy! One mixing bowl, one measuring cup, a baking sheet, and 15 minutes!