- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 to 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, or shortening at room temperature
- 3/4 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Thoroughly combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Using a pastry blender, a fork or 2 knives, cut the butter or shortening into the dry ingredients, tossing the fat pieces with the flour as you work. For fluffy biscuits, continue until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. For crunchy biscuits with a layered structure, continue only until most of the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, but a few pea size lumps remain.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk all at once. Mix with a wooden spoon or fork, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Don't stir too much - it will toughen the biscuits.
- With lightly floured hands gather the dough into a ball and knead it against the sides of the bowl 5 to 10 times.
- Transfer dough to lightly floured cutting board, and pat out or roll with a rolling pen until the dough is about 1/2-inch thick.
- Cut into 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter or edge of a drinking glass dipped in flour.
- Place biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet, spaced 1 inch apart if crusty sides are desired, or close together for biscuits that are joined and remain soft on the sides. Brush the tops with melted butter, if desired.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Yields: 20 2inch biscuits