Saturday, June 1, 2013

All-Purpose Gluten-free Baking Mix

I've discovered the most wonderful gluten-free thing EVER - Bisquick!  Well, not really the name brand ... but a homemade version that will totally knock your socks off!

My parents have been visiting from Kansas City for the last little while and my mom brought a couple packages of the gluten-free Bisquick for us to try.  IT WAS SO GOOD!!  We made pancakes and shortcakes and pie crust and pizza ... but my joy and excitement was short-lived when I learned the product was not available in Canada.  WHAT??!!

I scoured Pintrest for an alternative and guess what?!  I found one!  AND IT'S EVEN BETTER than Bisquick.  We tried it ... we tested it - pancake for pancake, shortcake for shortcake ... and the winner EVERY time was the homemade mix.  It was so much fluffier the the Bisquick, surprisingly.  I was able to find everything I needed at Bulk Barn here for a fraction of the cost of the name brand.

On top of it being extremely versatile and so stinkin' delicious, this mix has another thing going for it - no preservatives or modified, processed ingredients.  That's HUGE!  I can actually have a say in the quality of ingredients I make it with - love it!  Every recipe I've tried, I've made with Trader Joe's Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk ... yes, my friends, that means many of the recipes can be made dairy-free and soy-free as well!  I even converted my dad to the almond milk ... and for those of you who know him, pigs must be flying ...

1 1/2 cups rice flour - brown or white (I prefer brown)
1 1/2 cups potato starch
3 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or sugar (I haven't tried xylitol, but maybe?)
1 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons fine sea salt

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients; sift the mixture four times.
Double, triple, quadruple the recipe so you can have it on-hand, store in an air-tight container and use as a substitute for any recipe calling for gluten-free Bisquick.  My mom even uses it in place of flour, depending on the recipe ... like in her Crustless Coconut Custard Pie ... but that's a post for another day. :)

Need recipe ideas for the baking mix?  Not a problem!  Betty Crocker has a huge recipe portal that include a variety of options calling for gluten-free Bisquick. Check it out and become a member - it's free!  There really are a million ways to use this mix.  Here are a few of my favourites ...

Strawberry Shortcakes
Pancakes and Waffles (made with melted butter instead of oil)
Ultimate Chicken Fingers
Cheeseburger Pie
Easy Taco Pie
Chocolate Chip Scones
Snickerdoodles (made with all butter)

2 cups gluten-free baking mix
1/3 cup butter (or Earth Balance)
2/3 cup milk (or almond milk)
3 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut butter into flour using a pastry cutter or fork until ingredients look grainy ... like extra course corn meal.  Mix in the remaining ingredients until a soft dough forms.

Drop by the spoonful onto a greased baking sheet.  I honestly prefer a greased muffin tin, as the biscuits don't spread so much.

Bake 13-16 minutes, or until golden.

Makes 10 biscuits.  If you want a dinner biscuit, add in some cheese and roasted garlic!

Just check out the texture ...

There are so many ideas and ways to use this mix ... so get creative!  But of course, you must first make the biscuit recipe and enjoy a delicious, fluffy, buttery treat - something I thought I would never be able to do again (and yes ... that is homemade Ontario blackberry jam on top - heaven!).

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