1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or 2 cups if not using cake flour), plus extra for dusting
½ cup cake flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch pieces
¼ cup shortening, chilled
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined.
Using your fingertips, lightly cut in the butter and shortening, mixing gently until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir in the buttermilk, working it gently until a loose, sticky dough is formed. With your hands, gently knead the dough until all the flour has been absorbed.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Fold the dough over onto itself about 5 or 6 times, and gently knead until the dough is soft and smooth.
Use your hands to gently press the dough into a circle about 1-inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter (2 to 2 ½ inches) to cut out the biscuits. Be sure to press all the way through the dough and then give it a little twist to release the biscuit. Repeat around the surface of the dough, keeping your cuts as close together as possible to eliminate waste.
Place the biscuits on a baking sheet, ungreased or lined with parchment paper, close together but just shy of touching. Form any leftover dough into another 1-inch thick round and cut out as many biscuits as possible; repeat as necessary until all dough has been used.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, until they are tall and golden brown. Transfer biscuits to a wire cooling rack and cool if desired or serve immediately with butter and jam.
To store: Store at room temperature in a metal tin or airtight container for several days.
To freeze unbaked biscuits, place them on a sheet pan in a single layer, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours. Place frozen biscuits in a resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake frozen biscuits at 475 degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 425 and bake for 15 minutes or until tall and golden brown.
To freeze baked biscuits, place in resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw at room temperature and warm in the oven or microwave.