My grandmother cooked everything from scratch, but when I was growing up, she relied on those flaky biscuits in the can. I thought they were sublime and when she made me homemade biscuits, the canned variety dropped to the bottom ranking in preference. These homemade biscuits taste like my grandmother's and that's quite a compliment.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, soda and sugar together in a bowl. (*If you are making herb biscuits, add the herbs in now.) Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces with flour. Quickly, working with your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces of every size in between - and that's just right.
The original recipe is an Herbed Buttermilk Biscuit, which you can make by adding 1 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, crushed between your fingers. Serve with a beef stew or something warm and hearty.
**Another note: If you do not want to bake all of the biscuits, you can easily freeze the remaining biscuits, unbaked. Put them on a lined baking sheet or plate, freeze them for a few hours and then pack them in a ziploc freezer bag, being careful to remove all of the air. The next time you want biscuits, just pull them from the freezer and pop them into a 425 degree oven. No defrosting time needed; just bake the biscuits a few minutes longer.