I'm sorry, I didn't see you there. I was busy getting involved with these biscuits -- and once you're in their buttery, flaky clutches you really can't be distracted by things like work or friends or vegetables.
You see, these are almost too easy to make. So easy, in fact, that after you bake them once, you will forever be thinking: Oh, I have a spare 10 minutes, I guess I could sort through the mail or call my mother or do a quick 7-minute New York Times calisthenics workout...or make some biscuits.
And wisely, you'll choose biscuits. You'll whisk together salt and flour and baking powder. You'll add some cold butter and shortening (and shh, don't tell, but you can even use all butter). You'll add milk and an egg. You'll roll out the dough and freeze it for a bit while you flip through back issues of Canadian House and Home and idly wonder if your apartment wouldn't look nicer decorated in aquamarine and cowhide, and then you'll slice your dough and bake your biscuits.
Before you know it, you'll be sitting cross-legged on your couch: a plate of warm butter-topped biscuits in your lap, watching an episode of the Great British Bake-Off, and thinking about how sometimes life is just so right. And also about how much nicer the word "scone" sounds when pronounced in an English accent. And about how lucky we are that on any given day we can bake and eat and make ourselves so happy.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
**I suggest weighing your flour if you have a digital scale. Too much flour can result in dense biscuits, so it is very important here to make sure you are using the correct amount. Use any kind of milk you like, or use cream if you want a richer biscuit.**
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons very cold butter
1/4 cup cold shortening (or swap in butter)
1/2 cup milk
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Using a fork, pastry cutter, or your fingers, cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture is crumbly and the fat is in small coarse lumps the size of peas.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Pour this into the dry ingredients and stir with a fork to combine. The dough should be shaggy and still dry in spots. Turn the messy dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Using a very gentle touch, fold the dough over onto itself a few times until it comes together in a cohesive dough. You should still see chunks of butter -- that's a good thing. It shouldn't be too smooth.
Pat the dough into a 6x6-inch rectangle and wrap it in plastic wrap. Freeze the dough for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour. You don't want it fully frozen but it should be chilled.
Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and remove the dough from the freezer.
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice the dough into square (whatever size you want). Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you want them to be glossy, brush the tops with an egg wash or milk (I did not do this).
Bake the biscuits for about 15 minutes, or until just golden brown on the edges.