Cut in shortening with two knives or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Make a well in the centre and add liquid all at once. Stir vigorously until dough comes freely from the sides of the bowl.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and roll or pat to 1/2-inch thick.
Cut out 2-inch biscuits with a floured water glass or biscuit cutter.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
Serve immediately with butter, jam or honey.
Variations: Cheese Tea Biscuits Use only 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 cup shortening.
Add 3/4 cup shredded cheese (yellow or marble) to dry ingredients.
Buttermilk Tea Biscuits Use only 2 tsp baking powder Add 1/2 tsp baking soda Replace milk with 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk.
Raisin or Nut Tea Biscuits Add to dry ingredients 1/4 cup sugar; and 3/4 cup seedless raisins or chopped nuts Use only 7/8 cup milk Whole Wheat Tea Biscuits Replace 1 cup of white flour with 1 cup whole wheat flour.