I wanted to try to develop a nice, flaky, tender, biscuit with a golden brown, crisp bottom. I started with a generic buttermilk biscuit recipe and tweaked it to achieve the results I wanted. It didn't take much, but it makes quite a difference. I usually make drop biscuits because I don't think the rolled ones are as tender. These came out perfectly and Hubby says they are the best biscuits he has ever tasted. Pretty high praise in my books. :)
1Preheat oven to 425 to 450 degrees. (425 for convection, 450 standard) and place rack in center of oven.
In medium mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients to blend. Remove shortening from freezer and "shred" on the large holes of a box grater into dry mix. Bring the flour mixture over the top of the shortening several times to coat shortening somewhat before cutting in.
2Cut in the shortening with pastry blender or forks until it forms medium to large pea sized lumps. Add buttermilk and blend gently with fork until liquid is mostly absorbed and you can see streaks of the yellow shortening throughout the dough. There will be some dryish flour mixture in the bottom or around the edges of the bowl. Dump the dough/flour mix onto a floured counter and bring all together gently. This is a wet dough and may stick to your hands. Sprinkle a little flour over the dough or on your hands to help keep it from sticking.
3Knead three or four times until all the flour is mixed in and cover with plastic wrap, let rest for 5 minutes to even out moisture. Uncover and pat into a square about 8x8 or 9x9 and about 3/4 inch thick.
4Flour a 2 to 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter and cut as many as will fit on the dough. Move to pan sprayed with non stick oil about 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Gather the remaining dough, pat together again to 3/4 inch thick and cut as many as remaining dough allows. Place those on baking pan with others as before.
5Brush the tops with a tiny bit of butter and bake for 10 to 17 minutes until medium golden brown. Time depends on the temperature of your oven. If they start to brown unevenly, turn pan to brown all equally. When done, brush tops again with a tiny bit of butter and let cool enough to handle. Split and enjoy with butter, jam, or sausage gravy.
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