These biscuits are feathery, light, and sinfully delicious right from the oven, either topped with butter and jam for breakfast, used to mop up cream gravy, or sitting under strawberries and whipped cream in a shortcake. The biscuits are best if baked right before serving. However, they can be kept at room temperature on a cookie sheet up to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Cut the shortening and flour together with your hands until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Add the milk, adding more if necessary so the dough is pliable but is still wet. Turn the dough onto a heavily floured work surface and knead it lightly until it is no longer sticky, but do not overwork the dough.
Roll the dough to an even thickness of 3/4 to 1 inch. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch round cutter (the diameter of a juice can), dipping the cutter into flour between biscuits so they do not stick.
Place the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.