Preheat your oven to 450°F.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.
If using a food processor, pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.
Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.
If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board.
Dip your fingers in flour to help keep the dough from sticking to you. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick.
Use a round cutter to cut into rounds. Do not twist cutter as you push down. This compromises the dough to it doesn't rise up as high.
You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more.
Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, place them touching each other. If you like"crusty" sides, place them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.
Bake for about8-10 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.
Do not overbake.
Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough.
The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.
A food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there's less chance of overmixing.
You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly.
Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.
Note 2: You can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month.
When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for about 15-18 minutes.