1/3 cup cold butter
1/3 cup shortening, cut into small cubes
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon of fresh baking powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Pinch of salt, pinch of sugar
Extra flour for kneading
- Pre heat an oven to 450f.
- Cut the butter into small cubes, then place it in a bowl and into the freezer while you prep the remaining ingredients.
- Put the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder into a bowl. Stir with the biscuit cutter to roughly combine.
- Toss in the shortening cubes, and add the chilled butter from the freezer. Working quickly, use the pastry cutter to incorporate the fat into the flour mixture. Instead of just rocking the cutter back and forth, I prefer using a twisting motion. So, I cut down into the flour, and do a quarter twist at the bottom, then repeat. Keep going until you have small pea sized chunks of butter in the flour mix.
- Stir in 3/4 of the milk until the mix just comes together. It should appear quite crumbly still. Tip out the dough onto a floured surface. If the dough is too sticky or wet, scatter more flour over it.
- Knead lightly a few times to bring it all together. Sprinkle on a little more flour as required to stop it sticking. Press dough out gently with your hands then fold it in on itself – bring the right hand side into the middle, then bring the left hand side over the right. Press down gently and repeat. This helps form the layers. Quickly shape into a rectangle, making sure the dough is at least 3/4 inch thick.
- Use a sharp knife to cut away the very edges of your rectangle (similar to cutting away the crust on a piece of bread). Now, cut the rectangle into square biscuits. Try to get as many biscuits out of this step as you can. Gently re-knead the extra dough to cut more, but the biscuits from the second pass will never be as high or as pretty as the first.
- Arrange the biscuits on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with remaining buttermilk. Place the tray into the oven and cook 7 minutes. Rotate the tray and cook a further 7 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.