These “angel” biscuits owe their light, airy texture to the use of multiple leaveners in the dough. Make a big batch — the dough can be refrigerated for a couple of days, so you can bake fresh biscuits, a few at a time, whenever you want them. Cutting the dough into squares instead of rounds eliminates scraps.
Buttermilk Angel Biscuits
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz./390 g.) all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. quick-rise yeast
1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g.) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, chilled, plus room temperature butter for serving
1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g.) vegetable shortening, cut into cubes, chilled
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) buttermilk
Honey or jam for serving
In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the yeast. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture just until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork or rubber spatula just until combined.
Shape the dough into a ball. Lightly butter a large bowl. Add the dough and turn to coat with the butter. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking. After the dough is made, shape into a thick disk, close in a zippered plastic bag, and refrigerate. Punch down every 12 hours or so. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before patting it out.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down the dough, then turn out onto a floured work surface. Pat into a 10-by-5-inch (25-by-13-cm) rectangle about 3/4 inch (2 cm.) thick. Cut into ten 2-inch (5-cm.) squares. Place 1 inch (2.5 cm.) apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 17-20 minutes. Serve the biscuits warm with butter and honey. Makes 10 biscuits.