These biscuits are lightened by yeast and made flaky with lard. The recipe makes a large batch, so once the rounds are cut you can bake some and freeze the rest. The biscuits can be baked from frozen.
2 t. active dry yeast
1-1/3 c. buttermilk, warmed slightly
4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t. cream of tartar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 c. chilled lard (or half lard, half butter), cut into bits
In a small bowl, stir the yeast into the buttermilk and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add the lard (and butter, if you’re using it) and use a fork, pastry blender, wire whisk or the “pulse” motion of the food processor to blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal, with lumps of fat no bigger than small peas. If you used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Add the buttermilk yeast mixture and stir until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball, then knead it a couple of times. Roll the dough about 1/2-inch thick and cut it into small rounds using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, cover them with a tea towel and let them rise for an hour or so. (They will puff slightly, but not double in size.) When you’re ready to bake the biscuits, preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake them for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Makes 3 dozen biscuits.