1 package (1/4 oz.) (2 ½ tsp.) yeast
¼ c. warm water 105-110 degrees
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. (8 T.) shortening or butter (1 stick)
1. Dissolve 2½ t. yeast in 1/4c. warm water(warm to arm- too hot will kill yeast) and 1 t. sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.
(If your yeast is too old, it won’t be expanding in 5 min.)
2. Add buttermilk to yeast mixture, and set aside. (If you don't have buttermilk, Add 1 tsp. vinegar to milk.)
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in yeast mixture until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead 6 to 8 times. Over kneading makes tough.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ½ -3/4 inch thick (This is a lot thicker than pie dough)
Cut out biscuits with cutter or cut in squares. Place on lightly greased baking sheets, barely touching each other for softer biscuits or slightly apart for crisp edges.
Cover lightly to keep tops from drying, and let rise in a warm place free from drafts for 20-50 min. or until almost doubled in size. (To help rising, you can turn oven on lowest setting for a few minutes then TURN OFF the oven, open the door and set biscuits on the oven door OR inside with a pan of hot water underneath.)
5. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until browned. Butter tops if desired.