I grew up in a household where mixes were anathema. My grandmother viewed mixes as synthetic and without taste, and would have sooner gone hungry than baked anything from a mix. Her baking was superb, passed down from her great-grandmother, who had owned a hotel, two restaurants, and a coffee house with her great-grandfather, and ran them pretty much single-handed.
The reality of food allergies and working full-time have made me more pragmatic. When you can’t buy most store-bought baked goods, mixes become a practical fallback. That is, when I can find a mix that is dairy-free. Thanks to quilting friend Francine, I have become aware of the usefulness of Bisquick as an allergy-friendly base for foods whose commercial versions I just can’t eat.
Back in the day, one of my favorite snacks were these marvelous cheddar biscuits at a local bakery and sandwich shop. These simple faux cheese biscuits are outstanding as is, or can be made ever more elaborate and bakery-worthy with the suggested additions. I’m sure Grandmother would approve.
2 1/3 cups Bisquick
1/3 package cheddar substitute (Daiya is excellent)
1/2 package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1/3 cup rice milk
Cornmeal to dust kneading surface
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Chop cheddar substitute into small cubes (less than 1/2” square). In medium mixing bowl, crumble together Bisquick, Jiffy mix, and cheese. Using a dinner knife, mix in rice milk and combine until just springy. Place on counter dusted with cornmeal, and knead until still springy. Press into a rectangular shape, and using the same knife, cut into 12 squares. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Season with black pepper and add 1/3 cup chopped chives and pinch of garlic salt before adding rice milk.
Add chopped prosciutto or bacon before adding rice milk.
Add 1/4 cup of chopped scallions before adding rice milk.