Keep your mixing hand light but thorough (DO NOT kneed or squeeze the dough, rather fold and press).
3 cups/15 oz flour (up to 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup/1 1/8 oz shortning
1/2 cup plain yogurt (not non-fat)
3/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 450-degrees. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk together the yogurt and milk. Cut or rub the shortning into the flour until it is in petite pea-sized pieces. Pour the yogurt mixture over the flour mixture and fold the two together with a spatula or wooden spoon just until a dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold over itself four to five times. You want the dough to be relatively homogenous and not crack but you do not want to work the gluten. Press the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut into squares (easier than circles with less waste). Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
VEGAN NOTES: Use 1 1/2 cups non-dairy soy milk and create buttermilk by adding 1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar and letting it sit for several (5-10) minutes.
GLUTEN NOTES: Use all-purpose flour substitute (you can make your own by combining 2 parts rice flour, 2 parts potato starch, 1 part millet flour, and 1/2 part tapioca flour) and be sure to weigh this because it is denser than the all purpose flour--you will probably need only 2 1/2 cups or so but I have not weighed this for precision. Add 1 Tbsp xanthan gum with the flour. Be sure to use gluten-free baking powder.
© Katherine C. Otterstrom, July 2012