Down South, biscuits are powerful symbols of culture as well as calling cards for cooks who know that regardless of what you've got in the pantry, technique holds sway. The combo of AP and whole wheat pastry flour gives these biscuits both a tender texture and nutty flavor. Though cold shortening or supermarket lard can be used, I prefer leaf lard rendered from the abdominal fat around a pig's kidneys. This recipe first appeared in EveryDayCook.Photo by Lynne Calamia
Heat oven to 450°F. Coat a 9-inch straight-sided aluminum cake pan with 1 teaspoon of lard.
Whisk the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Quickly cut the lard until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk using a large, wide spatula until the dough just comes together. The dough will be very loose and shaggy.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter, fold it over onto itself 6 to 8 times and pat to 1/2-inch thickness. Dip a 2-inch biscuit cutter into flour and cut biscuits. Press the cutter straight down and do not twist. Place the biscuits in the prepared pan so that they are just touching each other and the side of the pan. Fold together the remaining dough and repeat cutting. Press down lightly in the center of each biscuit with a fingertip.
Set the pan on the middle rack of the oven and then boost the oven to 500°F. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool for 3 minutes in the pan before devouring.