Biscuit or All/Purpose Mix is a very handy thing to have in your kitchen. I have so many recipes that call for this kind of mix that I have a whole file on my computer. One can, of course, purchase Bisquick or other commercial mix. However these are expensive and have chemical and additives many people would prefer to avoid. The alternative is a homemade mix.
There are a couple of ways to make homemade biscuit/all-purpose mix. One way is to combine the dry ingredients for a recipe, put that in a zippered storage bag; and add the remaining ingredients when the recipe is made. This can be repeated as many times as you want. The advantage of this method is that you do not have to use shortening if you object to that ingredient. The disadvantage to this is that the mix is restricted to being used in a specific recipe.
To have the mix be truly “all-purpose”, it is usually necessary to have some fat in it. Over the years, shortening has been the fat of choice to make all-purpose mix shelf stable. (Although, if you look at the label on Reduced-Fat Bisquick, it says to refrigerated it after opening.)
Years ago, county extension services provided directions for a all-purpose mix called Missouri Mix. The directions for Missouri Mix can be found here. There is a link to a PDF version in the upper left corner of the page. Included are directions for the Missouri Mix in small and large quantities and recipes for using the mix. Missouri Mix made with half white and half whole wheat flour was my all-purpose mix of choice for many years. With the addition of the whole wheat flour came the necessity to keep the mix in the refrigerator or freezer.
Now, many people are concerned about the use of shortening. Missouri Mix uses 1 1/2 cup shortening to 8 cups of flour. King Arthur put out a Baking Mix that has a slightly smaller ratio of shortening to flour. Their mix uses 1 cup shortening to 9 cups of flour. There is also information in this article on making self-rising flour and corn meal and recipes for using the Baking Mix.
If you want to avoid shortening completely, this is a mix that I now make which uses vegetable oil. It is successful in most recipes This recipe seems to have come from Weight Watchers, but I don't know that for sure.
WW Master Mix
5 pounds all purpose flour (about 20 cups) I use half whole wheat flour
2 cups instant non-fat powdered milk
3/4 cup baking powder (preferably sodium free)
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup Splenda or other sugar substitute (I leave out)
1 cup oil
In large bowl, combine all ingredients except oil. Mix together until very well blended, at least 2 minutes so baking powder is well incorporated. Cut oil into flour mixture until consistency of cornmeal. Store tightly covered in refrigerator or freezer. Stir well before using.
No matter what recipe one chooses, a homemade all-purpose mix is very handy to have in the kitchen.
Here are a couple of quick recipes using all-purpose mix:
Canton Crispy Chicken Stir Fry
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 c. all-purpose mix
2 c. diced uncooked chicken breasts (about 3/4 lb.)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 red or green pepper, cut in thin strips
1 small onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits or chunks, drained (I prefer the tidbits as they are smaller)
Mix pepper and all-purpose mix in large plastic bag. Stir chicken into beaten egg, remove with slotted spoon. Shake in bag until coated, remove chicken and set aside in single layer. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry carrots 2 minutes; add red pepper and stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove from skillet. Heat remaining oil. Stir-fry chicken until golden. Add vegetables. Stir-fry until heated through. Stir in pineapple. Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 2 3 Cookies
1 cup peanut butter (I like crunchy)
1 cup sugar or 1 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups all-purpose mix
Combine peanut butter, sugar and water blending well. Stir in all-purpose mix. Drop by small spoon fulls on to lightly greased baking sheets. Flatten cookies with a fork dipped in flour. Bake at 400 for 8 to 10 minutes.
Makes about 6 1/2 dozen.
Tomorrow-Cooking with the Journal-Potato Chip Cookies