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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Homemade Baking Mixes = Quicker Baking

I love to bake, but I don't always love to drag out all of the ingredients needed to bake. This is especially true now that I'm baking everything from scratch rather than from boxed mixes. To solve this problem, I started making my own ready-made baking mixes.

As I was making cornbread last week, I realized how many different ingredients I had out to make a little 8x8 pan of cornbread for one meal. To maximize my efforts, I decided to mix up the dry ingredients for five batches of cornbread while everything was out. I mixed one batch in a bowl and the other four in Ziploc freezer bags.

I then labeled the outside of the bag to show what the mix was, what needed to be added, and the baking temperature and time. (Yes, I should have labeled these ahead of time. Live and learn!)

Here's what went into the bags:
3/4 c. corn meal
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar (Okay, it was more like 1/2 cup. Hubby likes sweet cornbread!)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. powdered milk*

Here's what I need to add before baking:
1 scant c. warm water
1 egg (or 1/4 c. Egg Beaters)
1/4 c. canola oil

*If you prefer, you can skip the powdered milk and warm water and use 1 c. of milk before baking instead.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. I make this in my toaster oven (which is also a convection oven), and it's delicious!

We were having Crock Pot Black Bean Soup tonight, and it just cried out for cornbread to go with it. I was able to grab a bag of mix, add three ingredients, and have cornbread ready in no time. I'm thinking about doing this each time I make a batch of any baked goods. Then I'll have mixes on-hand the next few times I want to bake each item. This definitely works for me!

Do you have any good ideas for DIY baking mixes? I'd love to have them!

For more ideas that work, stop by Works for Me Wednesday hosted by We Are THAT Family.


Half-Assed Housewife said...

I bake bread from scratch and buy my supplies at costco. I will divy up a 25 pound bag of flour and fill 40 or so ziplocks with bread mix. All I have to do is add water, oil and yeast to my premeasured mix and throw it in the bread maker.

I might look like I made love to the Pillsbury Dough Boy by the time I am done, but I only have to do this every couple of months and the bulk ingredients keep the cost per loaf down to about 40 cents.

I have a hankering to make pancake mix next. Can't wait to check out everyone else's great ideas!

Leslie said...

Such a great idea! My sister told me she does this with her whole wheat bread and I love the idea. Can't wait to try it. One of the reasons I never make cornbread is because I don't want to drag everything out so now I'm feeling like this would help with that.

Nikki said...

I love to make baking mixes too. My main one is bread kits. But I've also done brownie kits & dinner roll kits. Never even thought of doing cornbread mixes! My hubby will love that. I might just have to try adding more sugar too. lol

One thing I discovered with the zipper bags that have the slider is that mine sometimes came open. So I switched to the regular zipper bags for a while until I discovered using Ziploc qt. containers or qt. glass jars.

I have a good supply of the Ziploc qt. containers now since buying several after Christmas with coupons. They're red, but who cares!

Thanks for posting this. I'm going to give your recipe a try.

Kristin K. said...

This is a great idea! I will try this next time I am making bread.

Sherry said...

Great idea for all those things I make all the time like bread! :D

Bonita said...

Question: Do you store the mixes in the pantry or can you freeze them until you're ready?

Full Contact, Savior-centric Livin said...

Great reminder--I used to do this!

heather said...

I am trying to begin making my own mixes too. Thanks for the great recipe!

Jennifer said...

You all have some great ideas. I plan to mix up some bread mixes the next time I bake bread. Not sure I'm up for the 40 bags that the HAHousewife did! Wow!!

Nikki - Thanks for the heads-up about the zip bags. I've only done cornbread so far, and they're sitting upright in the freezer. But there's a possiblity that they could end up laying down if I make other types of mixes. I'll have to switch to the regular zip kind or plastic containers. Containers are probably more frugal since I already have them.

Bonita - I put my mixes into the freezer to keep them fresh. I usually store my cornmeal and whole wheat flour there too. I don't have the pantry space to store them, so the freezer also solves my storage issues.

Heather - Let me know if you have another mix idea I should try.

Mum in Bloom said...

Great tip! I saw this on Martha Stewart and have made a few. I like to make them for mom's with new babies when I deliver meals to them.

The Saved Quarter said...

This is a great idea! I've been comparing scratch vs. store bought products on my blog, and found that home made cornbread was about 1/2 the cost of Jiffy mix! I like the idea of making mixes ahead of time for even easier baking.

Jennifer said...

Mum in Bloom - I just KNEW that Martha & I had a lot in common! :)

Saved Quarter - I hadn't done the math on it, but I'm glad to know that homemade comes out cheaper. My husband can't eat the Jiffy mixes (hydrogenated oils/cholesterol issues), so we have to go homemade. At least now I know that I'm saving money at the same time!

Brenda @ Tie That Binds Us said...

Great idea! I'm making some today. : )

Anonymous said...

At LifeasMom, she has a list of other types of mixes she makes in her OAMC - biscuits, pancakes, muffins, scones.

I think it is a great idea.


RLR said...

I started scratch baking b/c of my daughter's food allergy issues, and I also prep my mixes ahead. It's a great way to save time - and I just save the bags to reuse the next time I prepare my baking mixes.

Dede said...

I do a premade pancake "bisquick" mix, but I never thought of cool! I have the opposite problem as you; I have no freezer space. I'm gonna try this mix and store it in the pantry, and hopefully it will still work!