Sift dry ingredients together; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine egg and milk; add to flour mixture all at once. Stir until dough follows fork around bowl. Turn out on lightly floured surface; knead gently with heel of hand, about 20 strokes. Roll dough to 3/4 inch thickness. Dip 2 inch biscuit in flour; cut straight down through dough. Place on ungreased baking sheet, 3/4 inch apart for crusty biscuits or close together for soft sides. If desired, chill for 1-3 hours. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Increase milk to 3/4 cup , omit kneading and drop dough from tablespoon to make drop biscuits.
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