Who doesn’t love to start a weekend morning with a tall stack of pancakes? In our rush to get out the door for Saturday morning sports practices or Sunday church, however, the weekends don’t always start as lazily as we envision. As a result, the special breakfast doesn’t always happen.
But if the dry ingredients for pancakes were pre-mixed in just the right quantity, and the container doubled as the mixing bowl, that syrupy stack would suddenly seem effortless. Of course, you could buy a store-bought version of what I’m describing, so why bother doing it yourself?
A better price, healthier ingredients and avoiding allergens are a few worthy reasons to replicate a convenient store-bought product. It’s an added bonus when the homemade edition is easy and at least as good (dare I say better?) than a name-brand option.
What’s more, a bow tied around a Mason or other glass jar creates a pretty package and a practical gift. It can be so hard to think of a present that a special teacher, co-worker, or neighbor might really appreciate. Pancakes hold universal appeal, and the homespun touch adds a little something extra.
What follows is my version of Bisquick. My husband happens to be an ardent devotee of this well-known biscuit mix, but he has flipped many a pancake using my copycat recipe—with full approval. Use it as you would any commercial biscuit mix. Make a big batch to have ready when needed.
When I first deconstructed this mix, it became readily apparent how easily the recipe could be tailored to meet a variety of dietary needs. For example, using butter or coconut oil in place of shortening eliminates trans fats and swapping a trusted gluten-free blend for the all-purpose flour provides a worthy option for those who must avoid gluten. I’ve even experimented with “neat egg,” a locally made egg replacer consisting of two wholesome (perhaps unexpected) ingredients–ground garbanzo beans and chia seeds. This product works beautifully in pancakes, cookies, quick breads and more.
Yields 3-1/2 cups.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (or your favorite gluten-free blend*)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter, coconut oil, or vegetable shortening **
Food Processor Method: Add the flour, followed by the baking powder and salt to the work bowl. (Make sure the blade is already in it.) Measure whichever fat you are using. If using butter, dice it into 1/2-inch pieces. Add it to the work bowl. When using coconut oil or shortening, evenly disperse small pieces over the surface of the flour mixture. Pulse a few times, and then process for about 10 seconds or until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to a jar or airtight container and store in a dark, cool place for up to three months. When using butter, store the mix in the refrigerator.
Combining By Hand: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt three times into a large bowl. Cut in the cold butter, coconut oil or shortening with a pastry blender (two knives may be used instead, although I think it’s easiest to use your clean fingers) until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a jar or airtight container and store in a dark, cool place for up to three months. When using butter, store the mix in the refrigerator. Use whenever your recipe calls for biscuit mix.
For gift giving: Add 2 cups of the mix to a one-quart mason jar.*** Add a label or gift card including the basic instructions: “Add 1 cup milk and 2 eggs and stir until the ingredients are just incorporated.” For more detailed instructions, you could include a second line: “Heat a greased skillet over medium-high heat, and pour slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls for approximately 12 pancakes.” (For smaller batches, add one cup of the mix to a sixteen-ounce jar with instructions that note to add 1/2 cup of milk and 1 egg.)
- *When substituting a gluten-free blend, I can vouch for my all-purpose gluten-free flour blend or another trusted brand like Bob’s Red Mill. For this type of recipe, a mix that includes xanthan gum as one of the last ingredients is desirable.
- **When using butter, the mix will require refrigeration.
- ***This measurement will fill the jars halfway, leaving room to mix in the milk and egg. If you prefer to give a full jar, the contents will simply need to be transferred to a mixing bowl later. Additionally, you could cleverly name the pancakes after the name brand “Shake-and-Pour” variety.” Just be sure to note that some stirring should occur to make certain the egg yolks are fully incorporated. In a test batch, my son shook the jar long and hard and one stubborn yolk refused to break!
Use Homemade Bisquick in any recipe calling for biscuit mix. By deconstructing the ingredients, the mix can easily be made without trans fats and/or gluten while tasting every bit as good–even better!–that store-bought.
For “Shake and Pour” pancakes, make sure the dry ingredients fill the jar no more than halfway, leaving space for the milk and eggs with room to shake. It is also helpful to stir into the jar to be certain the yolks have broken and there are no dry ingredients sticking to the bottom of the jar.