By Kevin Williams
Long before Duncan and Betty crashed the kitchen, Amish cooks were creating cakes and brownies not from boxed mixes but from homemade, pre-made mixes. Often I find these mixed concoctions very laborious, but Miriam Miller, an Amish cook in Pennsylvania, fixed that! She gave me her recipe for homemade baking mix and, best of all, instructions on how to adapt it to almost any one of your favorite recipes! So you can say goodbye to pancake mixes also!
Related recipe: Colorado Homemade Pancakes
HOMEMADE BAKING MIX
Makes 13 cups of mix
This homemade mix of Miriam Miller’s has a variety of uses and saves many trips to the store. The mix is used in cookies, biscuits, cakes, gingerbread and other baking treats,following the recipe are some of Miriam’s suggested uses provided in her own words.
9 cups sifted flour
1 /3 cup baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar
1 cup nonfat dry milk
2 cups shortening
Sift together the sifted flour, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar, sugar, and dry milk. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Store in an airtight container and use as you would use a premeasured baking mix, such as Bisquick (see suggestions below). Place the mix lightly in the desired measure; do not pack it.
MIRIAM MILLER’S SUGGESTED BAKING MIX USES
These are shorthand suggestions from Miriam Miller as to how her homemade baking mix should be used. These are just guidelines, we recommend comparing your own favorite recipes to these and using the homemade mix where applicable.
Biscuits (1 dozen): 3 cups Homemade Baking Mix, ¾ cup water. Blend only until moistened. Baking at 450°F for 8 to 10 minutes.
Pancake/waffles (18 medium or 6 large): 3 cups Homemade Baking Mix, 1 egg, 1 ½ cups water. Blend completely.
Muffins (1 dozen): 3 cups Homemade Baking Mix, 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 egg, 1 cup water. Mix water and egg,blend with dry ingredients, bake at 450°F for 25 minutes.
Gingerbread: 2 cups Homemade Baking Mix, ¼ cup water, 1 egg, ½ cup water, ½ cup molasses, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, and ½ teaspoon ground cloves. Beat egg, water, and molasses. Blend in dry ingredients. Gradually add liquid. Bake in 8 by 8 inch pan at 350°F for 40 minutes.
Drop cookies: 3 cups Homemade Baking Mix, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, ⅓ water, 1 teaspoon vanilla, ½ cup nuts, and ½ cup chocolate chips. Blend and drop mixture on cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Coffeecake: 3 cups Homemade Baking Mix, ½ cup sugar, 1 egg, ⅔ cup water. Topping: ½ cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ cup chopped walnuts. Blend. Cover with topping and bake at 400°F for 25 minutes.
Yellow cake or chocolate cake:Use two 8-inch cake pans. 3 cups Homemade Baking Mix, ½ cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, (½ cup cocoa for chocolate cake). Blend sugar and vanilla into mix. If making a chocolate cake, add the cocoa here. Beat eggs and water. Add additional ½ cup water to the mixture. Beat 2 minutesand bake 325°F for 25 minutes.