Boarding House Biscuits
Whisk the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly with a few pea-size pieces of butter. Stir in enough of the buttermilk to make a soft, sticky dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Quickly knead the dough just until it comes together; do not overknead. Pat or roll out the dough until it is 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Gather up the scraps, knead briefly, and repeat until all the dough has been used.
Bake until golden brown, about 18 minutes.
Biscuits with Cheddar, Chives, and Pepper
Cut up 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese into the flour mixture with the butter. Add 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives and 1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper, then stir in the buttermilk.
From Back to the Table by Art Smith