Place self-rising flour (sifted) and COLD shortening in a large bowl. Combine with fingers OR cut in shortening with a fork until mixture forms pea-sized chunks.
A fork or pastry cutter or more effective when using cubed or shredded COLD butter.
Pour buttermilk over the pea-sized chunks. Stir until well-blended and a soft, sticky dough is formed. Avoid over mixing (causes tough biscuits).
To form each biscuit, scoop a small round of dough. Roll into a ball (size of tennis ball). Flatten into a small circle. Repeat 10 times or until all dough is used.
Place biscuits in prepared baking dish, leaving about 1" between them for crisp biscuits. OR arrange biscuits so they're barely touching for soft-sided biscuits. Brush with melted butter.
Bake the biscuits for 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. For dark brown biscuits, brush with buttermilk and place under broiler for 1-2 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
Remove from oven. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes before serving.