7tbsp.butter: 6 tablespoons cut in small cubes, at room temperature, and 1 tablespoon melted
½ to ¾ cup whole milk
1tsp.pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Incorporate the butter into the flour until there are no large lumps, so it resembles grated Parmesan cheese.
Mix in the white sugar. Add the vanilla to the whole milk.
Add the milk mixture in parts, until the dough is sticky and wet (but not sloppy), and all of the loose flour has been collected from the bottom of the bowl.
Use a bench blade or spatula to separate the dough from the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle flour in between the sides of the dough and the bowl.
Sprinkle the work surface and the top of the dough liberally with flour.
Inside the bowl, cut the dough in half and scoop out one half of the dough onto the floured surface. Roll the dough out to about 2 inches thick.
Use a 1½-inch biscuit cutter. Dip the cutter in flour and then, starting around the outside edge of the dough, stamp out biscuits working your way around the outside edge, ending in the center of the dough.
Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined sheet pan, very close together. There should not be any room between the biscuits and the edge of the pan. Shortcakes need to touch each other to rise properly.
Once you have stamped the first round, gently bring your dough back together (do not knead the dough at this point).
Continue rolling the dough and stamping until the dough is gone. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake the shortcakes for 10 minutes, then check after 10 minutes and rotate the pan.
Set your timer for 5 more minutes and keep checking the shortcakes until they are golden brown on the top. Makes 12 (2-inch) shortcakes.