Better Than Store-Bought: Multi-Purpose Baking Mix

By , Bryn Mooth
Baking mix is an easy pantry staple—because it includes leavening and shortening, you can quickly transform the mix into pancakes, biscuits or quick breads by adding liquid (usually milk and/or eggs).
Did you know how simple it is to make your own? This Homemade Multi-Purpose Baking Mix incorporates whole-wheat flour and costs about the same (about 15 cents) per serving as the national brand. It has about 15% fewer calories and 70mg less sodium per serving, as well. It is sugar- and dairy-free.
Keep this Homemade Multi-Purpose Baking Mix in a plastic container or bag and refrigerate it up to 6 months. Substitute this in place of the name-brand store-bought baking mix. For example, it works well in a classic streusel-topped coffee cake.
Here's how to use your baking mix!
To make pancake batter: Stir together 2 cups baking mix with 1 cup milk and 2 large eggs.

To make biscuits: Stir together 2 1/4 cups baking mix and 2/3 cup milk; knead the mixture together. Drop spoonfuls on a baking sheet (brush with melted butter if desired) and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until tops are golden.
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat flour (see Note)
1/3 cup baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups vegetable shortening (organic if you prefer)
Note: White whole-wheat flour and regular whole-wheat flour are nutritionally comparable: Both contain additional protein and fiber that comes from the bran and the germ of the wheat kernel. White whole-wheat flour is made from a variety of wheat that's lighter in color and milder in flavor than regular whole-wheat flour. The two can be used interchangeably. Use regular whole-wheat flour if you prefer a heartier, nuttier flavor and slightly denser texture.

In a very large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat or white whole-wheat flour, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar. Use a wire whisk to very carefully incorporate the dry ingredients fully by gently sweeping the whisk along the inside of the bowl to the bottom, then up through the middle in a folding motion. Cut the shortening into chunks and add them to the flour mixture. Use your fingertips to knead the shortening into the dry ingredients, working the mixture as you get smaller and smaller clumps. Be sure to incorporate the flour at the bottom of the bowl. You'll end up with a fully incorporated mixture that resembles slightly damp sand.
Transfer the baking mix to a large plastic container or gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. Store the baking mix in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Serving Size: 12 cups, about 36 servings
What is your favorite use for baking mix? Use it in any of these recipes!

Bryn Mooth is extending her 20-year career in publishing as an independent journalist and copywriter. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog