A prepackaged dry mix for making biscuits, pancakes, and other baked goods from, to which you only have to add liquid ingredients such as milk and/or eggs to. For people who can't be bothered to keep separate packages of flour and baking soda and other dry ingredients around the kitchen. Though belgand points out to me that the version which comes in a plastic bottle to which you add the other ingredients and shake to make batter can come in handy on camping trips. However, this still leaves the uses of the version sold in cardboard boxes in question.

Bisquick is a combination of hydrogenated fat, powdered milk, bleached white flour, baking powder and salt (Betty Crocker, the manufacturer of Bisquick, declines to list the exact ingredients on its website). The problem is that Bisquick, despite its name, makes pretty lousy biscuits. It makes perfectly okay pancakes and such, but only if you don't compare them to ones made from scratch, which are a thousand times better.

It's really easy to make your own homemade version of Bisquick (this recipe courtesy of Kristi Gross):

5 pounds all purpose flour
3/4 cup baking powder
3 T. salt
2 cups powdered milk
1 T. cream of tartar
4 cups shortening = 2 lbs.
1/2 cup sugar (optional -- I would leave it out.)

Sift all dry ingredients together 3 times. Cut in shortening until mix is consistency of corn meal. Store in covered container at room temperature. Try to use up within six months or so.

You could also make this with butter instead of shortening. If you do, store the mix in the refrigerator and try to use it up within a few weeks.

To Use:
1 cup mix + 1/2 cup water or milk = pancakes for 2 people
1 cup mix + 1/4 cup water or milk = biscuits for 2 people (knead, roll, cut, bake 450-10 min.)

This will work okay. However, I prefer to make real baking powder biscuits.

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