Place flour in large bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or 2 knives until crumbs are the size of peas. Add buttermilk, stirring with fork just until flour is moistened.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently 5 to 6 times, just until a smooth dough is formed. Roll dough into a 7-inch circle that is 3/4- to 1-inch thick. Cut out 7 to 8 biscuits using a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on baking sheet, about 1-inch apart. (For softer biscuits, arrange so that edges almost touch.) Shape dough scraps into a ball. Pat out until 3/4-inch thick. Cut out additional biscuits.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Brush with butter, if desired.
Substitution: You can substitute 2/3 cup milk for 3/4 cup buttermilk.
Garlic Cheese Drop Biscuits:
Stir in 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese before adding milk. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Bake as directed above. Combine 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Brush on warm biscuits.