Tender and buttery shortcakes are perfectly light for summer.
4 cups (510 g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon medium-grain kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, very cold
2 cups (340 g) full-fat sour cream, cold
1/3 cup (79 ml) milk, cold, plus more for brushing
Heavy cream whipped with brown sugar and cinnamon, to serve
Fruit curds (lemon, passionfruit, etc, macerated berries or stone fruit, roasted rhubarb, preserved cherries or jam, to serve
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the butter over the bowl. Using a fork, toss the butter into the dry ingredients until coated. Freeze for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Whisk the sour cream into the milk. Pour the liquids onto the butter and flour mixture, and use the fork to stir until it becomes a wet dough, with some loose flour remaining. Turn everything out onto a clean work surface. Working quickly with a bench scraper or clean hands, knead lightly until all the flour is incorporated, the dough is fairly together, with visible butter remaining. Roll dough to a scant 1-inch thickness, dusting with flour as required.
Use a floured three-inch square cutter to cut into eight biscuits, gathering up scraps if needed. Arrange the rounds evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Chill for 10 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 425°F (220° C) with a rack in the upper third.
Brush shortcakes lightly with milk, then garnish with sugar. (TIP: For the sparkliest biscuits, use raw or sanding sugar to sprinkle on the shortcakes before baking). Bake until golden, puffed, and light for their size when lifted, 20 to 25 minutes.
Let stand on their pan until it is cool enough to handle, then eat immediately. Split, then serve, filled as desired. Enjoy!