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Convenience and good taste are rarely found together. Like tuna salad in a gas station, a party dress at the Dollar Store, or jewelry at Walgreens, store-bought baking mixes are very high on the list of things I will never buy. When I was a kid, all of our pancakes and waffles were made from the yellow box of baking mix that Mom kept under the counter. I didn’t know the difference and it didn’t really matter since I was drowning everything on my plate in Aunt Jemima.
These days though I am fairly conscious of what my family is eating and the list of ingredients on the back of that yellow box is a little scary. But, as a mother, convenience will win out on a morning when the kids are screaming for pancakes and my mind is screaming for coffee. So, for the last few years, I have my own baking mix standing at the ready and it gets rave reviews every time.
This mix is simple to put together, holds in the pantry for 3 months, and costs about $.25 per cup ($.03 per ounce), which beats the pants off ol’ yellow box.
- In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mix resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Store in an airtight container up to 3 months. Makes 12 cups.
- Pancakes: 2 cups baking mix + 1 egg + 1 T sugar + 1 ½ cups milk. Mix well. Drop ¼ cup fulls of batter onto hot griddle. Flip when bubbly. Finish cooking on the other side. Remove from griddle. Makes about 12 pancakes. (Add in ½ cup frozen blueberries if you like!)
- Waffles: 2 cups baking mix + 1 1/3 cups milk + 1 T sugar + 2 T vegetable oil + 1 egg. Mix well. Pour the batter into the center of the hot waffle iron (how much depends on your iron). Close the lid and cook until the steaming stops. Makes 4, 5 inch waffles (Make a double batch a freeze the leftovers for an even quicker breakfast!)
- Biscuits: 2 ¼ cups baking mix + ¾ cup milk. Mix well, then knead briefly on floured surface. Cut out biscuits. Place on baking sheet and bake in a 450 degree oven until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Makes 12 biscuits. (Add ½ cup shredded cheddar and 2T green onions for yummy cheese biscuits!)