Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Sift flour into a large bowl, 1 big enough to get both hands inside. Cut the shortening into the flour with a fork until it becomes the texture of moist meal. Add buttermilk and stir it in with a fork. Add another dash or two if dough isn't sticky. The trick is to get dough just as moist and sticky as possible, but not too sticky to work. Work dough into a ball in the center of the bowl and sprinkle lightly with flour so it won't stick to your hands. Lift ball of dough out and knead gently on a floured dough board or smooth surface. Fold the dough over in a clockwise manner with one hand and press it out with the other hand. Don't over knead ? just to the point where the dough is soft and consistent. Pinch off a golf ball size ball and press out between the palms to about a quarter to 1/2-inch thickness and lay out on a slightly greased (with shortening) bread pan. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes. The secret here is to learn, through trial and error, how to get the dough as full of buttermilk as possible and yet keep it manageable. The nostalgic, real homemade taste comes from the buttermilk-soaked dough. Biscuits can be served with butter or a ladle of gravy.
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Nancy Thomas