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Save time and money with this homemade baking mix.

I'm a self-employed, stay-at-home mother of three boys and our family lives on a remote, rural island in the Northwest. We can't order takeout here and time always seems to be too short, yet I want to provide my family with healthy, homemade foods. I've discovered what I think is one of the best kitchen shortcuts.

I use organic flour, wheat germ and non-aluminum baking powder (Rumford--most traditional brands contain aluminum) to make a healthier alternative to Bisquick baking mix, which has several ingredients I choose to avoid such as cottonseed oil, aluminum and preservatives.

Once a month or so I make a batch from which I can quickly and easily throw together a large number of different dishes: biscuits for a last minute finish to a soup or stew; Sunday morning breakfasts of pancakes, waffles or muffins; and quick breads with dried fruits and nuts to satisfy a sweet tooth for dessert or to give as a gift.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I keep the mix in a large wide-mouth jar on the counter and just scoop out of it whenever it's baking time. Buying in bulk saves money, and having the ingredients pre-mixed saves me hours over the course of the month.

The Dobra Baking Mix

3/4 cup Rumford baking powder

1 cup wheat germ

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp cream of tartar

3 tbsp salt

5 pounds all-purpose unbleached flour
(You also could experiment with whole
wheat or other whole-grain flours in this
mix.--MOTHER)

Using a wire whisk, stir together all
the ingredients except the flour. Add this
mixture to the flour and sift several times,
making sure everything is evenly distributed.
You could store half in the fridge or
freezer if you don't think you'll use it up
in a month.

Saturday Morning Pancakes

l egg

1 cup milk

1 tbsp cooking oil

2 cups baking mix

Optional: frozen blueberries or cherries or
chunks of peaches or bananas

In a pint-sized measuring cup, beat
together the egg, milk and oil. Add to the
baking mix and stir until just moistened.
Pour one-half cup at a time onto a hot,
oiled griddle to make one large pancake.
If desired, add fruit.

Flip when golden brown or when
small bubbles form around the edges.

Drop Biscuits

3 1/2 cups baking mix

1 stick softened butter

1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large
bowl or mixer, incorporate all ingredients
until just moistened.

Drop one-half cup of mixture for each
biscuit onto a greased cookie sheet and
bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden
brown. Fully cooked biscuits should have
a hollow sound when tapped.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Makes 8 to 10 biscuits.

SOPHIA DOBRA

Guemes Island, Washington

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Title Annotation:country lore: Readers' tips to live by
Author:Dobra, Sophie
Publication:Mother Earth News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:457
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