Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put self-rising flour in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until it is the size of grains of rice. Add buttermilk and toss gently with a fork until the mixture leaves the side of the bowl ? mixture should be very wet and sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until the mixture holds together. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and round into a ball. Dip each biscuit into melted butter then into one of the desired coating mixtures below. Place in an ungreased 12 ? inch round pan. Once all of the biscuits are in the pan, press the tops slightly so that they spread and are just barely touching. If there is any coating left over, sprinkle it evenly on top. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.
Cinnamon/Sugar Coating: In a small bowl combine 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup unbleached flour.
Herb Coating: In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, ? cup finely chopped fresh basil, 2 tablespoons unbleached flour, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
Spiciy Coating: In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup finely chopped Cheddar cheese and 3 tablespoons unbleached flour.