You can keep this dough in the refrigerator for up to a week.
1 package dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water, 110 to 115 degrees F
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup shortening or lard, chilled
2 cups buttermilk, divided
Melted butter (optional)
Dissolve the yeast in warm water and let it stand 5 to 10 minutes.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing
Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until it looks like
Add 1 cup buttermilk and stir with a fork until it is mixed in.
Add the yeast and the remaining buttermilk and mix thoroughly.
Turn dough out onto a lightly flour work surface and sprinkle with a little more
flour if needed to handle it. Knead three or four times, pressing it together and
turning over. (It should still be a little sticky.)
Put dough into a large, airtight
container with a lid and place in refrigerator up to one week.
Take the amount of dough needed and place on a floured surface. Roll or pat out
to 1/4-inch thick, sprinkling with a little flour if needed. Cut out rounds with
a floured biscuit cutter and place in a flat baking sheet. (For higher biscuits,
place them tightly together with edges touching; for flatter, crisper biscuits,
leave space between them.)
Brush tops with melted butter if desired.
Bake in a 425 degrees F oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown on top.