My mom was the biscuit queen. She literally made her biscuits by pouring self-rising flour onto an opened sheet of newspaper -- no measuring -- and then making a hole in the middle and pouring buttermilk in the center and kneading it until it 'felt right' She would pat that down and cut the biscuits (with an emptied tomato sauce can) and place on a cookie sheet that she had melted Crisco. This morning I had buttermilk left over from making the pound cake so I decided to make a few biscuits. I was out of self-rising flour so I did an equivalent (1 cup flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt).
For THE VERY BEST BUTTERMILK BISCUITS I use the following recipe. This truly makes the best biscuits ever.
6 cups flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter cut into small pieces
3 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 to 4 cups of buttermilk
Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk until it is quite wet. Pour onto a well floured surface and incorporate some flour until it is no longer sticky, making sure not to handle too much. Roll or pat out until about 1 inch thick. Cut out biscuits and place on a 9 x 13 cookie sheet that has been well oiled. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with butter.