I blame my sister Bonny for this one. She was on this ‘make-a-mix’ kick for a good couple of years before we figured out how to make our own baking mix without having to purchase industrial shelf-stable shortening that we couldn’t really afford. The only drawback to it is that you have to store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Not the fridge; and definitely not the cupboard. Use it the same way you use your favorite boxed baking mix, and enjoy the savings.
Super Basic (mix up a little bit as you need it) Recipe:
1 C Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 TBSP Room temperature stable fat/oil: this can be shortening, lard, butter, coconut oil, or chilled olive or grapeseed oil, or even rendered fat*
Combine everything in the blender or food processor (or you can whisk it by hand, but that takes a very long time and a rather strong arm). Process until the fat is completely absorbed and the whole mix is a powder. Store up to 6 months in an airtight container in the freezer. I label my stuff with the date to toss so I can keep track.
Big Batch (keep it in the freezer) Recipe:
6 C Flour
3 T Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
1/3 C Room temperature stable fat/oil
The ratios do change as you increase the overall volume. Slightly less salt is required as you get larger amounts, while the fat content goes up a smidge.
The other thing to keep track of is your fat/oil. Some things go rancid faster than others, while some things have stronger or softer flavors than others.
Coconut oil has a strong scent, but almost no flavor. It is also still solid at room temperature and doesn’t go rancid very fast (one of the reasons you find it in so many products).
*Rendered fat – the fat or grease that is left in the pan after dry-cooking any meat such as pork, lamb, or duck. Bacon grease blends in to the baking mix beautifully, but will impart a very salty bacon flavor on milder recipes. My favorite coffeecake recipe came out too salty, for example. But my biscuits and gravy turned out great!
For a gluten free mix, use equal parts brown rice, tapioca, and oat flours in place of the regular flour.
For vegans, I advise the use of Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil for multiple reasons, not least of which is that it is organic and coconut oil has more nutritional value than the other non-meat options.