4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 stick frozen margarine or butter
1 1/2 to 2 cups cold buttermilk
Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease cookie sheet or old pizza pan with shortening, margarine or spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Mix well. I use Robin Hood flour as that is what is readily available in my area.
Pour buttermilk into flour and butter mixture and mix well. Dough will have consistency of maybe a thick cottage cheese. This will make a very moist dough! Do not over mix.
Flour surface and turn dough onto flour and knead 5 or 6 times. Again do not over knead. Biscuits take a very light hand. Shape dough into rectangle about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Use floured biscuit cutter or glass to cut into round biscuit shapes.
Notice I just put a small hand full of flour on counter and knead right on counter.
You can see the small flecks of frozen margarine in the dough. This is what helps to make your biscuits light and flaky.
When you use your cutter go straight down, do not turn the cutter. If you turn it will make the sides tough. You can reshape and use the extra dough just remember not to work the dough too much.
Place on greased cookie sheet or pizza pan almost touching and brush tops with melted butter.
(When I was a kid my mother kept a tin of strained bacon grease next to the stove. She topped her biscuits with that bacon grease to help with browning . Sometimes she even used that solid bacon grease to make her biscuits instead of margarine or butter. Waste not want not : )
A few biscuit making tips:
* Use a light hand and don't overwork your dough or you will make it tough
* Bake quickly in a very hot oven
* When cutting bring the cutter straight down in to the dough do not turn the cutter or you will make the edges tough.
* How much liquid you use can vary from winter to summer and even by the type and quality of flour used. These measurements are a guideline only. Remember practice makes perfect. Once you make these biscuits often you will find the right measurements for your flour. Practice really does make perfect.
* Try the frozen margarine trick with your pie crusts too. It works great !