Preparation / Directions:
Grease a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Put shortening into small plastic bag. Flatten to a thin sheet and put it into the freezer. Tear off 2 pieces waxed paper about 15 inches long. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt into a flour sifter and sift onto the waxed paper. Put empty sifter on clean sheet of waxed paper. Lift waxed paper containing the sifted ingredients by sides and pour them into the sifter; sift onto the paper. Sift back and forth 4 more times, the last time sifting the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Remove the shortening from the freezer. Cut into small bits, about 1/4-inch square, and scatter over dry ingredients. Using your fingertips, lightly rub the shortening and flour together, occasionally tossing the flour mixture so all the particles of shortening are coated with flour. When the mixture has bits of flour-covered shortening throughout, begin adding the buttermilk, using a fork and lightly stirring, and mix with dry ingredients. Cover a board or work surface with a dusting of flour. Gather up the sticky mass of dough, and place on floured surface. Dust your hands with flour and gently knead the dough, adding enough flour only to make the dough manageable. (The less flour used, the lighter the biscuits). Pat the dough or roll with a floured roll- ing pin into a disc, about 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2-inch cutter, cut out the biscuits, invert, and place them touching each other in 3 rows in the center of the baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and serve hot or warm.
Makes 19 biscuits.