1. Preheat oven to 450'F.
2. Sift flour, salt, soda, and baking powder into mixing bowl. Cut in shortening, using 2 knives, a pastry cutteror your hands dusted with flour. Add sufficient buttermilk to make a soft dough. Knead lightly and turn out onto a lightly floured board. Roll out to 1 cm thickness and cut with biscuit cutter into rounds. Place rounds not touching for crisper biscuits or close together for softer biscuits on ungreased baking sheet. Brush with melted butter if desired and bake in preheated oven 12-15 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned.