2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. white sugar (optional)
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp. milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the milk and slightly beaten egg and stir until just combined. The texture should be sticky, moist and lumpy.
Place mixture on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently until it comes together smoothly.
Roll out the dough to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out biscuits with a lightly floured round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. Place on prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash mixture.
Bake for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a biscuit comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm with butter.