Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
Cut in shortening with 2 knives or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add milk and mix lightly and quickly to form a ball.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead 8 to 10 times.
Roll out 1/2 inch thick and cut with a floured 1 1/2 inch biscuit cutter.
Press dough trimmings together, re roll and cut into biscuits.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet and, if desired, brush tops with milk or melted butter or margarine.
Bake in a preheated 425Â° oven 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.