2 cups sifted pastry flour (cake flour may be substituted, in either case, "soft wheat" flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (raw sugar with large, rough crystals)
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using bacon grease)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup of butter chilled (can substitute 2 tablespoons of bacon grease for 2 tablespoons of butter)
3/4 cup whole fat butter milk, room temperature
Sift flour, baking powder, turbinado sugar, salt (if used) and cream of tartar together into large mixing bowl. With pastry knife, cut in butter (and bacon grease if used) until bits of butter are size of rice grains. Mix in buttermilk, only until ingredients are blended.
Do not overmix, do not let be too wet or too dry
Form into a ball; pat out on floured board to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut biscuits using a round cutter (I use a drinking glass dipped in flour). Place on baking parchment on cookie sheet. Bake at 475 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Others have suggested lard, goose fat or duck fat as the shortening. Experiment to taste. My next step is to slightly up the leavening to see if I can achieve a lighter density.