Substituting Bisquick for flour
I was looking at this recipe http://food.southernliving.com/southe... and in the comments someone said they didn't have flour, baking soda/powder and substituted Bisquick low-fat pancake mix.
Now, I rarely bake and have a very small kitchen ATM, and don't have any flour. I do, however, have lots of Bisquick, as DH loves biscuits and I use it for breading in chicken fried steak.
Is it feasible to substitute Bisquick for flour and/or baking powder/soda? What IS Bisquick anyway? If I have to go out and buy baking powder I might as well buy flour, so I'm looking for something that would sub for all three. . .
It really will not work that well. I tried it once when I ran short of flour. Things were pretty heavy and did not come out the way I anticipated. If you don't want to buy flour and baking powder you might get a package of self rising flour. Just be sure it is well within the sell by date and fresh. The baking powder in it won't rise if it is too old. Bisquick has baking soda in it but self rising flour will not and if you are going to use the buttermilk in the recipe you will need to buy baking soda too. If you use regular milk instead of the buttermilk you can omit the baking soda.
If you do buy baking powder look for Rumford. Quite often grocery stores stock it is the organic section. It has no aluminium in it and tastes better. It also has the highest CO2 yeild for a better rise too.
I believe Bisquick has shortening as well, so you just add milk and voila, biscuits. Muffins and biscuits incorporate the fat differently, so I'd agree that it's not a good substitute for your muffins.
I heard that this sort of baking mix was originally developed as a consumer item by the Shakers, who produced other products such as brooms, seeds and dried herbs.
Bisquick is basically flour, raising agent (baking powder and or soda), salt, and shortening. I.e. everything you need for biscuits except the water. This should be evident from the ingredients list. You can also compare the recipe for biscuits from scratch with the recipe using the mix.
When you use it for breading, you are mainly using the flour. The other ingredients are incidental.
The mix should also have recipes for making richer and sweeter items like scones and shortcake - by adding eggs, sugar, and maybe more fat.
The mix probably won't work as well for pancakes and cakes. I wouldn't expect the results to be a total flop, just now quite as good as if you started from scratch or used a mixed intended for that purpose. But I haven't experimented with this.
Now if you had plain all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, one or more types of shortening (oil, butter, etc), eggs, and sugar, on hand, you could make all these items: breading, biscuits, muffins, cakes, pancakes, shortcake. Adding baking powder and salt to flour is a trivial task. About the only real effort that bisquick saves is cutting shortening into the flour when making biscuits.
"Now if you had plain all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, one or more types of shortening (oil, butter, etc), eggs, and sugar, on hand, you could make all these items: breading, biscuits, muffins, cakes, pancakes, shortcake. Adding baking powder and salt to flour is a trivial task. About the only real effort that bisquick saves is cutting shortening into the flour when making biscuits."
You've convinced me, Paulj. I think I'm gonna have to break down and get some flour. :-P Thanks everyone for your responses!