Some products are marketed as baking mixes and some as pancake mixes. And quite a few are labeled as all-in-one pancake and baking mixes. However they're labeled, these mixes already include many of the multiple ingredients needed for cooking all sorts of things. This, of course, means less work for you. So, can you make biscuits from pancake mix? Of course you can!
Pancake Mix or Baking Mix: What's the Difference?
The next time you're in the supermarket, take a look at the ingredients lists of pancake and baking mixes. You'll most likely see that they share many of the same ingredients: flour, some sort of shortening, baking soda, salt and sugar.
Products specifically labeled as pancake mixes tend to have a higher sugar content and might also add in buttermilk solids and a bit of egg. Even taking into account the extra sugar, rest assured that you can make both sweetish and savory biscuits from these mixes.
While you're comparing different products at the supermarket, take special note of sodium, fat and other components. As you go through the list of ingredients, bear in mind that the list begins with the ingredient in largest proportion and goes down from there.
Biscuits Need a Little Something Extra
Most of the major pancake mix brands have their own recipes for biscuits. Among Krusteaz pancake mix recipes, for example, you can find instructions for making buttermilk biscuits using its "complete" buttermilk pancakes mix. But whereas the mix requires only some water for basic pancakes, biscuits need milk, shortening and egg.
Garlic-Cheddar Hungry Jack biscuits can be made from the brand's "complete" buttermilk pancake mix, but they're a little bit more complicated. You'll be adding milk, butter, seasonings, shredded cheese and egg to the mix. Less complex are Hungry Jack's savory biscuits, which just call for sour cream, butter, a sprinkling of paprika and a smattering of water.
In general, biscuits need some form of dairy product and (usually) more shortening added to the pancake mix. Some cooks suggest adding a touch more baking powder to what's already in the mix to produce light and flaky biscuits.
Strawberries and Biscuits
Few desserts are better than strawberry shortcake served up on fluffy biscuits. Forget those little sponge-like cakes in the supermarket; nothing can beat an old-fashioned biscuit as the foundation of a perfect summery strawberry treat. The recipe provided by the Krusteaz company begins with its buttermilk pancake mix and adds flour, sugar, butter, heavy cream and an egg. You can take it from there with fresh, ripe strawberries and whipped cream. Yum!
Armed with your choice of pancake mix and a few extra ingredients, you'll be turning out superb biscuits in no time at all!
Judith Tingley is a writer, editor and multi-media artist based in Louisville, Kentucky. The many articles she has written for online publications reflect a broad range of interests, including international travel, cultural history and cookery. She loves finding adventures along the back roads of America. Judith was educated at the University of Chicago. Visit her website at heyjudetheobscure.com.