This recipe is a handy little money saver for those of you who use it often to make biscuits, pancakes, waffles or little shortcakes to heap with sugared strawberries. Baking mix can be found just about everywhere - there are two well-known national brands and a bunch of knock-offs. This recipe is a very close approximation and it's been around for years: you can find it in every single church cookbook that's ever been published, I imagine. "Time honored" would be a good way to describe it.
I really love the biscuits this baking mix makes. They're light and fluffy and EASY, especially if you make the "drop" variety. If you add a teaspoon of garlic and a handful of shredded cheddar to the dough and then BATHE THEM IN VERY GARLICKY BUTTER as soon as you slide them out of the oven, you have a pretty good cover of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay biscuits. Which, you know, I could eat my weight in, which is not an inconsiderable amount.
8 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
8 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1 cup shortening
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Store sealed in pantry or refrigerator.
BISCUITS - add 2/3 cup of milk to 2 1/4 cups of baking mix in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
For rolled biscuits, turn dough onto a floured surface and knead or fold about four times (do not overwork dough). Roll out to half-inch thickness and transfer to lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
For drop biscuits, stir milk and baking mix until combined. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold the dough inside the bowl three or four times. Drop onto lightly greased baking sheet by well-rounded spoonfuls. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
PANCAKES - 3/4 cup milk to 1 cup of mix; stir in one egg. Drop onto hot, greased griddle with a 1/4 cup measuring cup.
For pancake mix - Add a one quart envelope of powdered milk, or 3/4 cup powdered milk to the whole batch when making the mix. Add 3/4 cup water to the mix when making pancakes.
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