1cupvery cold buttermilk(or substitute by stirring 1 tablespoon white vinegar into milk to equal 1 cup of liquid, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes)
Melted butter for brushing
Fresh herbs or shredded cheese(optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the lard and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork (you can also pulse it with a food processor) until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cold buttermilk and stir it until just barely combined (a few little lumps are fine), be careful not to over-stir. (If adding any herbs or cheese, add them in with the buttermilk.) The dough will be fairly wet, this is normal.
Flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto the surface, using floured hands to very gently pat the dough until it's uniformly 1 inch thick. Gently fold the dough in half, turn it 90 degrees, then fold it in half again. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
On a floured work surface, gently pat out the dough to 1 inch thick again and use a 3" round biscuit cutter (lightly floured) to cut out rounds, pressing straight down and pulling straight up without twisting or wiggling the cutter. Gather up the scraps, gently knead them together and pat the dough out to 1 inch thickness. Cut out the remaining rounds.
Place the biscuits on a lined sheet pan and bake for about 12 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown. Brush the hot biscuits with butter (the biscuits will readily absorb it) and serve the biscuits immediately while warm.