Biscuits are pastries. They are not bread. We don’t want to roll, knead, or punch down the dough or beat it up in any way.
If you don’t need an entire batch for one meal, flash freeze raw, cut biscuits on parchment paper. When they are frozen solid, place them in a plastic bag and freeze them. Cook them for 3-5 extra minutes from frozen.
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar
2.5 cups all purpose flour plus more for surfaces.
4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt. Note: if using salted butter, .75 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter. I have used 50% butter and 50% cold bacon grease with good results.
Pour milk in a separate container and stir in lemon juice or vinegar and set aside. This mixture creates a homemade buttermilk. The acid in buttermilk reacts with the baking powder to help it rise. Just like mixing vinegar and baking soda causes a fizzy reaction.
Beat egg in separate bowl and set aside.
Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Cut in the butter (fat) into the dry mixture with a pastry cutter or alternatively pulse a few times in a food processor. It is important not to over-mix. We just need to get the fat cut into bb sized chunks and coated with flour. There is a good guide, here.
Stir in the liquid ingredients with a fork. Do not over-mix. Stop when the flour has Incorporated all the liquids.
At this point, you could wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or proceed to the next step.
Drop the dough out on to a floured surface.
Gently Pat the dough in a 1″ thick rectangle. Cut it in half with a floured knife. Stack the two halves. Pat down a second time. Cut and stack it a third time.
Place the dough in a large floured bowl. Lay a kitchen towel over the top.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Let the dough rest for 30 minutes while the oven is heating.
After the dough has rested, roll it out on a floured surface and pat it into an 8 x 10 rectangle a little over an inch thick.
Cut the dough into squares with a sharp, floured knife. Clean the knife periodically so the dough does not stick to the knife. If the dough smashes instead of cuts, it will not rise on the edges.
Move the biscuits onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes or until slightly brown on top.