sanity savers 9: homemade baking mixes

Even though we save our more complicated breakfasts for the weekend, it’s still nice to have a jump start on those laid-back mornings.  IMG_2938Allow me to introduce homemade baking mix.  Yes, we could (and have) just bought a box of Bisquick at the store, but making our own mix has become the preferred method around these parts.

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Some of our favorite things to pre-mix up include waffles, pancakes, biscuits, and cornbread.  We’ve also done things like zucchini bread and cobbler topping. 

Here’s our method.  When I’m making a batch of, say, biscuits, I line up five or so Ziploc bags on the counter at the same time.  As I measure out the ingredients for that evening’s biscuits, I duplicate the same dry ingredients in each bag.  For example, if my recipe calls for two cups of flour, two cups of flour go into my mixing bowl and each of the Ziploc bags waiting on my counter.  Continue in this manner, assembly-line style, until all the dry ingredients needed are in all of the bags.

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Seal your bags, label them, and store in the freezer.  I’ve done several different methods of labeling:

  • Most basic: name of food, and page of cookbook where you can find the original recipe (in the photo above, “x2” reminds me to double the recipe)
  • More detailed: name of food, wet ingredients to add, temperature/instructions for baking/cooking
  • Computer fancy: save instructions/ingredients of your most-used recipes on the computer.  When you make a new batch of mixes, hit “print”, then tape the instructions to the front of each bag.  Once I got really fancy and printed them out on large labels.
  • “Cheat sheet” method.  Use Angry Chicken’s cheat sheet method, and put all the directions/ingredients on one page and stick it on the fridge.  (This is on my to-do list.)

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The next time you want to make pancakes (or whatever), grab a bag of mix from the freezer, and your wet ingredients according to the recipe, and get cookin’.

Things to Consider:

  • Customize any recipe to meet your health needs.  Most of our basic go-to recipes come from a Betty Crocker cookbook, but we have liberally adapted them by using whole wheat flour, adding flaxseed meal, and cutting back on eggs/oil, etc.
  • Save yourself some stress: when you pull the next-to-last bag of mix out, it’s time to replenish your stock.
  • Wash, dry, and re-use your bags, and add to your savings!  (And you’ll save time labeling, too!  I moved away from using computer-printed labels because when I washed bags, the labels got wet, smearing the ink.)
  • Mixes may encourage your significant other to cook for you!
  • There are recipes out there for all-purpose baking mixes (a la Bisquick) that you can store on your counter.  We go the freezer route because we have more freezer space than counter space.

How do you streamline your time in the kitchen?

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