I’m a self-employed, stay-at-home mother of three boys and our family lives on a remote, rural island in the Northwest. We can’t order takeout here and time always seems to be too short, yet I want to provide my family with healthy, homemade foods. I’ve discovered what I think is one of the best kitchen shortcuts.
I use organic flour, wheat germ and non-aluminum baking powder (Rumford — most traditional brands contain aluminum) to make a healthier alternative to Bisquick baking mix, which has several ingredients I choose to avoid such as cottonseed oil, aluminum and preservatives.
Once a month or so I make a batch from which I can quickly and easily throw together a large number of different dishes: biscuits for a last minute finish to a soup or stew; Sunday morning breakfasts of pancakes, waffles or muffins; and quick breads with dried fruits and nuts to satisfy a sweet tooth for dessert or to give as a gift.
I keep the mix in a large wide-mouth jar on the counter and just scoop out of it whenever it’s baking time. Buying in bulk saves money, and having the ingredients pre-mixed saves me hours over the course of the month.
The Dobra Baking Mix
3/4 cup Rumford baking powder
1 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cream of tartar
3 tbsp salt
5 pounds all-purpose unbleached flour
(You also could experiment with whole wheat or other whole-grain flours in this mix. —Mother)
Using a wire whisk, stir together all the ingredients except the flour. Add this mixture to the flour and sift several times, making sure everything is evenly distributed. You could store half in the fridge or freezer if you don’t think you’ll use it up in a month.
Saturday Morning Pancakes
1 cup milk
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 cups baking mix
Optional: frozen blueberries or cherries or chunks of peaches or bananas
In a pint-sized measuring cup, beat together the egg, milk and oil. Add to the baking mix and stir until just moistened. Pour one-half cup at a time onto a hot, oiled griddle to make one large pancake. If desired, add fruit.
Flip when golden brown or when small bubbles form around the edges.
3½ cups baking mix
1 stick softened butter
1½ cups milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl or mixer, incorporate all ingredients until just moistened.
Drop one-half cup of mixture for each biscuit onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Fully cooked biscuits should have a hollow sound when tapped.
Makes 8 to 10 biscuits.