For Something Completely Different: Baking Mixes

Life never happens in specific categories, so I thought I’d take a break from harping on my BOOK, and talk about cooking for a minute.

During our recent vacation, we stayed with relatives. I noticed the presence of the Enemy: a box of Bisquick. What is it with this stuff? Everyone seems to have a box, and seems to have no idea that there is any other way to make pancakes or biscuits.

Attention, now: I am NOT harping on any relatives, by marriage or otherwise. People use what they are familiar with. It takes a lot of time and energy to research food choices, and not everyone is as obsessed with it as I am.

That’s okay.

But while on vacation, I wondered, “isn’t there a way to make up a batch of baking mix that can be used in place of Bisquick?” A home-made mix that uses whole grain flours and organic ingredients? A mix that you know every single ingredient that’s in it?

Well as it turns out, there not only is,  I wrote about it on my own food blog back in 2007. That blog is no longer active, but here. Let me reprise it for you. No really, no trouble at all…

From September 26, 2007:

One never knows where one will find Good Ideas about food. This week, it was Mother Earth News, of all places. There were enough Good Ideas to give me a few entries, so today’s is about making up your own baking mix.

I’ve been doing this since my kids were little ones. I mean, just read the list of ingredients on the box of Bisquick or Aunt Jemima pancakes. Is this really what you want to be eating? Giving to your kids?

Everyone harps on saving time, but really and truly, how much time does it take to mix your pancakes from scratch? Five minutes, maybe? And that’s if you don’t have the mix made up ahead of time!

So mix up the dry ingredients in whatever amount works for you. To use the example from Mother Earth:

5 pounds whole wheat flour (or go half and half with unbleached all-purpose flour; but I just don’t have that stuff in my house!)
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup oat bran
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup baking powder
1 tbsp cream of tartar
3 tbsp salt

Mix it all up and store it in an airtight container. Store some in the freezer if you won’t use it within a month.

When you’re ready to make pancakes, just use your mix on a 2:1 ratio with milk and eggs and oil. (Two cups mix with one cup milk, one egg, one tbsp oil). I love nuts, so I usually add some walnuts to the batter, and don’t forget to throw in some fruit, if you want!

The same mix can be used to make biscuits.

You save time in the morning and you’re not feeding your family a factory-mixed conglomerate with preservatives. Now, don’t say anything about the mix that tells you to “just add water!” I swear, you are not saving enough time to make the health and taste trade-off worth it!

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