What Is Bisquick, And Why Are Southerners Obsessed With It?

No kitchen is complete without the big yellow box.

Bisquick box with biscuits
Photo:

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

For decades, home cooks have been using Bisquick for sweet and savory kitchen confections, from pancakes to sausage balls . While Southerners are fiercely proud of their homemade biscuits and baked goods, nothing beats a shelf-stable and versatile baking shortcut. Enter Bisquick.

This article will explain what Bisquick is, the history of the product, how to use it, its different uses, and classic recipes that require Bisquick.

What Is Bisquick?

While there are many versions of Bisquick, the original baking mix combines flour, vegetable oil, corn starch, dextrose, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Add eggs and milk to whip up a variety of baked goods, from pancakes and muffins to fritters , savory apps , and biscuits.

How Was Bisquick Invented?

Inspired by the speedy preparation of fresh and hot biscuits, General Mills executive Carl Smith is credited with pitching the idea for Bisquick. Smith was traveling by train in 1930 and had a hankering for biscuits. While the dining car and finished serving dinner, the cook quickly sent out the baked good. When he asked how the biscuit had happened so quickly, Smith was shown a pre-made mix containing flour, baking powder, lard, and salt.

While the original Bisquick blend needed to be chilled, General Mills eventually developed a shelf-stable formulation. Bisquick went on sale in 1931 as a ready-to-bake biscuit mix and was, and still is, extremely popular.

The product has been updated since its launch, adding buttermilk and more shortening, to create a fluffier and lighter texture. The brand also launched Bisquick Shake ‘n Pour to further simplify the shortcut. Add water, and shake the container for pancakes, dumplings, or batter to deep-fry.

Recently the brand has launched a health-conscious version called Bisquick Heart Smart Pancake and Baking Mix, which contains no trans fats.

Box of Bisquick

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

How Do You Use Bisquick?

Initially created to make quick and easy pancakes and biscuits, Bisquick can be used to make a variety of sweet or savory goods. Popular uses for the baking mix include breakfast goodies like pancakes, waffles, muffins, and quick bread. Biscuits and dumplings were the original intentions, and topping cobblers and making scones are other inventive ways to use the product. Less well-known uses for the product include breading for deep-fry, donuts, pie and quiche crusts, and pretzels.

Is Bisquick Just Pancake Mix?

While pancake mix and Bisquick share many ingredients, the two are not the same.

The main difference is that the pancake mix is sweeter. Most pancake mixes can be used in place of Bisquick and vice versa in sweet recipes. Compare your pancake mix with Bisquick’s ingredient list before swapping.

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