Preheat the oven to 500°. In a bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Work the butter or lard in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and stir until the dough forms a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over onto itself 10 times. Pat the dough out to an 8-inch square. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, stamp out 12 biscuits; reroll the scraps and stamp out more biscuits.
Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 8 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot.