1 1/3cupsall-purpose flourplus more for rolling out dough
6Tbspunsalted butterchilled and diced
1/2Tbspheavy creamfor brushing on top of biscuit dough
1/2Tbspgolden sugarfor sprinkling on top of dough
1cupheavy whipping cream
Stir together all ingredients for the macerated strawberries in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking tray with a silpat baking mat or parchment paper.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda to a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Add the diced butter and cut it in with a fork or pastry cutter until it looks crumbly. You should still have some pieces of butter the size of small peas.
Stir in the buttermilk a little at a time until it’s all incorporated. The dough will be shaggy and a bit crumbly at this point.
Turn the dough (including the crumbles) out onto a clean work surface. Flour your hands and rolling pin. Press the dough together, and then continue pressing it out until it’s a circle at about 3/4-inch thick.
Fold the top 1/3 of the dough over onto the center, and then fold the bottom 1/3 over onto the center, like you’re folding a letter.
Rotate the dough 90 degrees clockwise. Lightly flour the dough and use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Again, fold the top 1/3 of the dough over onto the center, and then fold the bottom 1/3 over onto the center, like you’re folding a letter. Repeat this step 2 more times.
For the last time, roll the dough out to a rounded rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 2 1/2-inch circle biscuit or cookie cutter to stamp out circles, being careful not to twist the biscuit cutter as you stamp them out. Gather the scraps, reroll them, and stamp them out again. You should end up with 6 dough circles.
Arrange the dough circles so they’re touching in the center of the prepared baking tray. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle them with golden sugar.
Bake until the biscuits are puffed and golden, about 16 to 20 minutes. Cool.
Once the shortcakes are cooled, slice each in half horizontally.
To make whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream to a large bowl and whip with a hand mixer until medium peaks form, around 3-5 minutes. For sweetened vanilla whipped cream, add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar (or powdered sugar) and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Spoon on some of the macerated strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream onto the bottom half of the shortbread. Place the top half of the shortbread on top, and add another dollop of whipped cream and a whole strawberry. Serve.
To make the tallest shortcake possible, be sure to use chilled butter and buttermilk. Also, be careful not to twist the biscuit cutter as you stamp out the dough circles.
Instead of cutting the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter, you can do this in a food processor. After that, transfer the dough to a large bowl and gradually stir in the buttermilk.
Try to store each of the ingredients separately so leftover shortcakes don't get too soggy. Store the biscuits at room temp in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. The strawberries can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 4 days as well. The whipped cream will likely only last 1-2 days in the refrigerator before it falls flat.