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6 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup shortening
1 cup milk

First, a word about the flour that you're using. Different type of flours are milled from different wheats, and are said to be "hard or soft" according to the amount of protein present.

If you do not have a soft flour such as Martha White or Aunt Jemima available to you, use pastry flour, or substitute 2 cups of cake flour for 2 cups all purpose flour. Do not use bread flour for this recipe, because too much gluten will develop and make the biscuits tough.

You may substitute self-rising flour - if you do, eliminate the baking powder and salt.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl or in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

Add the shortening and cut in or process until the mixture is the consistency of large walnuts.

Pour in the milk and stir or process just until the dough holds together. If it is dry or crumbly, add more milk. If it is too wet, add more flour.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and beat 1,001 times with a rolling pin. Yes, that's right, 1,001 times.

When it's ready, the dough should "snap" when you hit it, be shiny and silky, and have tiny blisters. Fold it in half. Roll out the folded dough until it is 1/2 inch thick.

Cut with a 1 1/4" biscuit cutter into small rounds.

Prick each round with a fork, making two side-by-side sets of holes in the biscuit.

Continue to roll the dough out, folding before cutting, until all scraps are used.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the biscuits on a lightly greased pan.

Bake 30 minutes, until crisp and lightly golden (not browned).

They should split easily with a fork into halves.

They will keep for weeks tightly covered in a tin or store in a ziploc in the freezer.

Can be substituted for common crackers and served with New England style seafood chowders.

Makes about 90 buscuits.

Submitted by: CM
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