This recipe is a widely circulated version of my friend Scott Peacock’s biscuit recipe. He’s made them in my kitchen, and it was a real treat. The trick is handling them lightly and not twisting the cutter.
5 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour (measured after sifting)
1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons homemade baking powder or purchased baking powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed lard or butter, chilled
2 cups chilled buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together flour, homemade baking powder, and kosher salt. Add lard, coating in flour. Working quickly, rub lard between fingertips until roughly half the lard is coarsely blended and half remains in large pieces, about ¾ inch.
2. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk all at once. With a large spoon stir mixture quickly, just until it is blended and begins to mass and form a sticky dough. (If dough appears dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons additional buttermilk.)
3. Immediately turn dough onto generously floured surface. Using floured hands, knead briskly 8 to 10 times until cohesive ball of dough forms. Gently flatten dough with hands to even thickness. Using floured rolling pin, lightly roll dough to ¾-inch thickness.
4. Using a dinner fork dipped in flour, pierce dough completely through at ½-inch intervals. Flour a 2 ½- or 3-inch biscuit cutter. Stamp out rounds and arrange on heavy parchment-lined baking sheet. Add dough pieces, as-is, to baking sheet.
5. Place on rack in upper third of oven. Bake 8 to 12 minutes until crusty and golden brown. Remove. Brush with melted butter. Serve hot.
Makes 12 to 16 biscuits.