Homemade ‘Bisquick’

There’s no shame in making your life easier.

From simple home organization to major changes (like moving closer to your work and social activities), most of us try hard to make life a little less crazy/time-consuming/chaotic. Bisquick, the beloved baker’s shortcut, was created in the 1930s and is still used. The problem: hydrogenated oils, pricey for what you get, etc. If you make a big batch of homemade ‘baking mix,’ you can use a cup here and two cups there in all sorts of ways for meal/snack shortcuts. Here is how I use it:

  • Garlic cheese biscuits
  •  Pancakes
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Breading for chicken or shrimp
  • Pies
  • Muffins
  • Scones
  • Etc, etc, etc…

 So here are the ingredients in the big Yellow box:
Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Dextrose, Salt.
 (courtesy of http://blog.fooducate.com/2010/08/29/bisquick-a-shortcut-loaded-with-trans-fat/)

Ick. But here are two homemade recipes:

Homemade Bisquick Mix 
Thanks to Pennies & Pancakes for her recipe

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter 

 Combine the first three ingredients in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or the back of a fork, chop up the butter in the same bowl and combine it with the flour mixture.

Transfer to an airtight container and keep in your fridge for up to 4 months. Scoop out the mix as needed.

Homemade Wheat Bisquick Mix
Thanks to Thrifty Housewife for her recipe

  • 4 Cups unbleached flour
  • 4 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 Cup baking powder
  • 4 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Cup shortening or oil
  • 1 1/3 Cups dry powdered milk

In large bowl, blend unbleached flour, salt, and baking powder. Add shortening (or oil) and mix until crumbly. Stir in powdered milk, and then the whole wheat flour.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months; refrigerate if made with the oil.

***USE BOTH OF THESE MIXES AS YOU WOULD NORMALLY USE BISQUICK.

 And, on that note, a simple Bisquick recipe…that I’ve been making since high school.

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits (like from Red Lobster)
Makes 8, but easily doubles
2 cups Bisquick mix (either regular or wheat version)
3/4 cup milk (or 1 cup milk for wheat version)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 t. garlic powder
2 TB butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except butter.

Spoon out small ‘biscuit-sized’ portions of dough on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden on top.

Once you take the biscuits out of the oven, quickly brush the melted butter on top of them. Serve warm or at room temp. 

*These go great with anything, but we usually serve them with pork, ribs, stew, or something hearty. If you’re serving with fish, you might want to add 2 dashes of dill to the dough.

Happy eating!
Laurel

~Laurel~

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Monday!

Okay, so Mondays usually remind me of the Boomtown Rats song that Tori Amos later covered. I (usually) don’t like Mondays. It is the death of the weekend and all of that. But I made cookies on Sunday and, seeing them on the kitchen counter the next morning, I instantly felt like today would be good. What can be bad when you have cookies with sprinkles!?

Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 20 cookies

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
1 TB sprinkles (optional)

You’ll need: 2 medium bowls, 1 large spoon, 1 teaspoon, baking sheet, nonstick spray/baking mat, oven

step one: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine first four (dry) ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In the second bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. 

step two: Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Using both spoons, form balls about the size of a golf ball and set on the cookie sheet. Repeat until 12-15 dough balls are formed. 

step three: Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from oven, let sit for 1-2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack or a cool plate. Yummm. 

By the by, check out my Recipage (link at the top right) to see some of my recipes by category/ingredient/etc. I’m adding more each day! Happy Monday!

~Laurel~

Honey wheat apple crostata

It is so rewarding when I am feeling a little brave and try to make a bread for the first time. Baguettes were a big deal the first time, and bagels were fun, too. In the upcoming year, as I am choosier about eating breads, I hope to make breads more and start a bit of a collection of tricks I can store in my baking bag. Today, we will share a crostata.

This is not a difficult pastry to make. It’s rustic, warm comfort food. In case ya didn’t know, a crostata is a rustic Italian pie, usually filled with fruits like cherries or peaches, sweet ricotta cheese or anything else you like. It’s pretty but not perfect. It’s humble but beloved. Let’s make one!

I learned the basic way to make the crostata dough from Joann from Alforno Restaurant via Martha.
Then, thinking a little more fiber and all of that would be helpful, I’ve changed it up a little using whole wheat flour. Here we go.

Honey wheat apple crostata
This crostata is rustic, hearty and Italian comfort dessert at its best. The baked apples and wheat flour dough bake to a golden brown, giving off a “honey” taste in each bite. Enjoy on a cold winter night or a snowy morning in.
Makes 2 small (7-inch) crusts or 1 large crust

Dough
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 sticks butter, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup cold water

Step one: In a food processor, pour in flours, salt and sugar. pulse a few times to combine. Then, add the butter and pulse until crumbled. Next, add cold water while pulsing. Dough will be very crumbly.
Step two: Lay down flat a piece of plastic wrap. Pour dough onto the plastic wrap and wrap up. Push dough together into a disk shape. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to 3 days). 
 Step three: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the dough out of the fridge and lay on a floured surface. Roll out to a large circle or square. (Remember, this is rustic. Put your perfectionist hat aside and have fun!) Transfer dough to a nonstick baking sheet.
  
Filling   
2 apples of any variety, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
1 TB flour

Step four: In a  medium bowl, combine the apples, cinnamon, sugar and 1 TB flour. Pour the filling onto the center of the crostata dough, leaving 1 to 1 1/2 inches of dough clear around the edges. Starting with one side, roll up and over, folding the next side over the former side (see photo). Be sure at least half of the fruit is exposed.
Step five: (optional egg wash: Beat an egg in a bowl and use a brush to lightly brush all areas of the dough exposed.) Bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Serve warm for breakfast or dessert (with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream).


Happy eating!
Laurel

~Laurel~

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