Southern Biscuits, Shortbread, and Pastry

Genuine southern biscuits start by blending 8 Tbs. of the best lard into 2 cups flour. Stir in 1½ cups butter-milk and 1 tsp. salt. If the flour is not self rising, add 2 tsp. baking powder or 1 tsp. baking soda. Roll out 3/8 in. thick on a floured board. Cut out circles (a drinking glass dipped in flour is traditional), and bake at 425deg F for 15 min. Other biscuits contain milk, eggs, and yeast; cream, butter, lard, or shortening produces a richer taste. Mix the dough with cream instead of milk and add sugar for shortbread. Pastry is made with 1/3 cup lard or butter blended with one cup flour plus a few drops of water; baked pastry sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon has long been a favorite for children.