Preparation / Directions:
1. Mix together the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl and set aside, loosely covered, to ferment for up to 24 hours. 2. When ready to bake the shortcakes, sift together the dry ingredients in another bowl, cut in the butter until the mixtureis the consistency of coarse meal and then stir in the starter mixture. 3. When the dough is mixed as well as you can manage with a spoon, turn it out onto a floured board and IMMEDIATELY knead it. Work the dough quickly and lightly and only as much as necessary to hold it together, then shape it into a ball and flatten it out with your hands to a little less than an inch thick. Use a large biscuit cutter or a soup can with both ends cut off to cut the shortcakes. 4. Put them on a greased cookie sheet, leaving space between each one. Brush the shortcakes with melted butter and cover with a lightweight damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours, then bake in a preheated 425F oven for about 15 minutes. 5. Serve the shortcakes slightly warm, topped with cold strawberries which have been mixed with a little sugar and lots of whipped cream.