Is Making Biscuits From A Mix Any Easier Than Making From Scratch?
With all the intense preparation needed for Thanksgiving dinners, a baking mix or sauce mix here and there isn't going to make or break the authenticity of your meal. The key is to use mixes that actually make life easier, rather than ones that complicate your free time. While I may not be preparing a whole meal for the holidays, the least I can do is bring a side dish, or perhaps, a bag of fresh buttermilk biscuits. So when Ed Levine handed me a pack of Organic Southern Buttermilk Biscuit Mix ($10.50 at Williams-Sonoma, at stores only) to try at home, I happily obliged and got to work.
The tools necessary: the mix, a stick of unsalted butter, and a cup of milk. Easy enough, right? My verdict, and the final biscuits, after the jump.
Of course, the dirty work still remains: cutting cold butter into the dry mixture, stirring in the milk, and and patting down the messy and somewhat sticky dough into a rectangle. I only had cookie cutters in the shapes of a heart or a horse, so I used the top of a jar of peanut butter as my biscuit cutter. While everything seemed to come out according to plan, I couldn't help but think this mix only cut maybe one or two steps: whisking together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. It also eliminated the need to buy buttermilk specifically, since the mix includes buttermilk powder.
They were baked perfectly after twelve minutes, and topped with melted butter and a dollop of honey, they tasted like homemade. However, at $10.50 for a mix that makes only 12 biscuits, you might be better off purchasing the ingredients at the supermarket for less money (Williams-Sonoma actually provides a very similar recipe for buttermilk biscuits without the need for a mix). No matter what, you'll have to leave your house to pick up ingredients, so it's up to you whether you want to try out this organic mix or simply buy organic ingredients at your own discretion.