Bisquick is a commercial baking mix marketed by General Mills under the Betty Crocker brand. It contains flour, shortening, a leavening agent and small amounts of sugar, salt and preservatives. Bisquick and flour are not interchangeable, but if you have a recipe that calls for flour, and you only have Bisquick on hand, you may be able to convert the recipe to use it instead of flour. In order to do the conversion, you'll need to know that each cup of Bisquick contains 1.5 tsp. of baking powder and 3 tbsp. of shortening.
Examine the recipe you want to convert. If it calls for more than 1.5 tsp. of baking powder and 3 tbsp. of butter or oil for each cup of flour, you should be able to convert it to use Bisquick without affecting the results. Substitute 1 cup of Bisquick for each cup of flour called for in the recipe.
Determine how much baking powder you need. Multiply the number of cups of flour in the recipe by 1.5. Subtract the amount of baking powder called for in the recipe from the number. The difference is the amount of baking powder you'll need to add. If the difference is negative, the Bisquick contains more baking powder than the recipe calls for. If the amounts are close, it shouldn't be a problem, but if the recipe calls for more than a teaspoon less baking powder than the Bisquick contains, and you are baking a cake or quick bread, substituting the Bisquick for flour may cause the cake or quick bread to rise too quickly and then collapse, producing a poor result.
Determine how much shortening you need. Multiply the number of cups of flour in the recipe by 3 tbsp. Subtract the amount of shortening called for in the recipe from the number you calculated. The difference is the amount of shortening you'll need to add. If the recipe is for a cake or quick bread, and it calls for less than 3 tbsp. of shortening per cup of flour, substituting Bisquick for flour will produce a denser result that may not be satisfactory. If the original recipe called for butter, substituting Bisquick may affect the flavor of the finished product.
Bisquick also contains trace amounts of salt and sugar that may affect the flavor, but not the texture of the finished product. If you want to adjust the recipe, reduce the amount of sugar and salt called for in the recipe by 1/4 tsp. for each cup of Bisquick you use.
Susan MacDowell is a freelance writer from New England. She is a CPA by training, but has many additional interests, including history, baseball, cooking, and travel. She's a native of New York, who now lives in Massachusetts and Maine.