Heat oven to 450°F.
Grease baking sheet with vegetable shortening.
Measure flour by spooning flour lightly into measuring cup.
Using a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingertips, cut the shortening into the flour until the pieces are about the size of peas.
Stir in the buttermilk until the flour is moistened. Do not over-mix. Add enough buttermilk so the dough is slightly sticky, but not wet, when touched. You'll know you have it right when the dough will come away from the bowl mostly without sticking to it (don't get the dough too wet).
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a ball using floured hands. Handle the dough as little as possible. The more you work it, the worse your biscuits will turn out. Press dough to flatten slightly and fold in half. Repeat 4-6 times.
Lightly roll the dough using a floured rolling pin to ½-inch thick.
Cut biscuits using a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter, without twisting the cutter.
Place biscuits on the pan so that each biscuit is touching for soft biscuits (Peggy style) or slightly apart for more crisp biscuits.
Put into oven and bake just until dough has started to rise (but before they've started to brown). Remove from oven and butter the tops of the biscuits.
Return to oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned.
Remove from oven and butter tops again (optional).