There sometimes seems to be as many different recipes for biscuits as there are cooks. I like my biscuits to be fluffy inside with a crunchy crust softened with melted butter. The flour is important and I prefer soft red winter wheat to produce the proper texture. If you cannot find this type of flour, substitute ½ all purpose mixed with ½ pastry flour.
Note: If you are using self-rising flour, skip the salt and baking powder as they are already included in the flour.
2 cups soft red winter wheat flour (I prefer White Lily Brand)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp. cold shortening
1 Tbsp. cold butter plus 2 extra Tbsp. melted
Cold mixing bowl
Add the pizza stone to the top shelf of your oven and preheat to 425° F. Sift the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a chilled mixing bowl and stir to combine. Chill the shortening and butter and cut into small pieces. Using your hands, quickly work the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles a course pea meal. Stir in the butter-milk just until the mixture comes together. If you want to add any cheese, herbs or other flavorings, do it now. Let the mixture rest for five minutes to hydrate. Flour your work surface and fold the dough over six times, and roll out to a rectangle ¾ of an inch thick. Lightly dust the top with flour. Fold in half and roll to a rectangle ¾ of an inch. This trick will create a biscuit that can be easily opened in half. Using a biscuit cutter, punch out the biscuits straight down, without rotating the cutter. Gather up the scraps, roll out the dough and punch out some more.
I like to brush the tops with liquid bacon drippings, or you can use melted butter or cream. Bake on a pizza stone until nicely browned. When done, brush with melted butter and optionally a grind of pepper and let cool on a raised wire rack. Some people like to brush the tops with cream instead of butter.
Makes 6 to 12 biscuits depending on size. Serve immediately.