We’ve all had those days where, rushing around our kitchen in a panic, we realize that we don’t have all the ingredients necessary to create the culinary masterpiece we planned on making.
It’s at this moment we begin to scramble to find simple substitutions with ingredients that we can find in our fridge or pantry.
Maybe you were planning on a glorious Sunday brunch which would simply not be the same without some quick biscuits. Or possibly you have some ripe bananas begging to be turned into banana bread.
You have either Bisquick or self-rising flour, but not both – and of course your recipe calls for the one that is no longer in your pantry!
Is Bisquick self-rising flour? No, Bisquick is not self-rising flour. Self-rising flour has salt and baking soda added to it, but Bisquick also has hydrogenated vegetable shortening, which can have a big impact on the outcome of recipes.
In the rest of this article, we’ll explain exactly what Bisquick is in comparison to self-rising flour, how each is best used, and what you can substitute for each of them when you find yourself in a pinch.
What Is Bisquick?
Bisquick is an all-purpose baking mix made by the popular General Mills brand, Betty Crocker. It was originally invented in 1930 as a pre-mixed batter designed to make quick biscuits.
It was originally made with lard, which requires refrigeration. That animal-based ingredient was quickly replaced with hydrogenated oil, which can be stored safely on room temperature shelves.
The immediate popularity of this product expanded the recipe potential for the baking mix. What was originally created specifically for biscuits soon became a versatile mix for pancakes, pizza dough, dumplings, cookies, and much more.
What Is Bisquick Made of?
The original Bisquick recipe has evolved to include a collection of baking mixes that meet various dietary needs.
The original Bisquick all-purpose baking mix label includes the following ingredients:
- Enriched Flour
- Palm Oil
- Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate)
The products made to accommodate dietary restrictions or specific baking needs each have slightly different ingredients.
The buttermilk variety, of course, contains buttermilk. The gluten-free variety is made with rice flour rather than enriched flour, added sugar for flavoring, and xanthan gum and potato starch as binding agents.
The Heart Smart Bisquick replaces palm oil with soy and/or canola oil. This variety has the same amount of fat, but it is poly and monounsaturated fat rather than saturated fat and considered safer for heart health.
If you are very used to using Bisquick in your quick baked goods, you may be surprised to find out that it’s quite easy to make your own substitute from ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.
You can either make it to use for a recipe immediately or you can store it in your fridge for up 2 months.
Because most home kitchens don’t have the same capabilities as commercial manufacturing facilities, you won’t be able to make a substitute that contains oil that will remain shelf-stable in your pantry.
Though homemade Bisquick-like baking mix does need to be refrigerated, the tradeoff for this downside is the positive fact that there are no preservatives or other additives, such as sugar, unless you choose to add it yourself.
You will first need to combine the following dry ingredients into a large bowl:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
Whisk the dry ingredients together until they’re well combined. You can also replace the dry ingredients with an equal measurement of self-rising flour.
The final ingredient you will need is 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. You can also experiment with melted unsalted butter, vegetable shortening, or lard instead of vegetable oil.
The oil must be extremely well combined and a metal whisk works well for this.
If you’re not going to use your mix immediately, transfer it to a container with an air-tight seal and keep it in your fridge for up to 2 months.
What Is Bisquick Used For?
Bisquick was originally invented for making biscuits and pancakes and these are still the most popular ways to use this baking mix. However, it is remarkably versatile and can be used in a variety of different ways.
Some of the more surprising uses for Bisquick include:
- Breading meat or vegetables before deep-frying
- Churros or pretzels
- Pie crusts
- Biscuit-crusted pot pies
- Fruit cobbler or fruit dumplings
- Coconut pie
Bisquick works as a perfect base for all these recipes and more.
What Is Self-Rising Flour?
There are so many types of flour out there that it can be hard to keep track if you’re not a baking aficionado.
Self-rising flour is flour that has salt and baking powder added to it. It was created to simplify the baking process, allowing bakers to purchase one simple ingredient to create several baked goods.
Self-rising flour is particularly popular in Southern recipes, like biscuits, which is why it is often confused for Bisquick, which was also design for simply baked goods like biscuits.
The main difference between the two products is that self-rising flour does not have any oil or fat in it.
Self-Rising Flour Vs All-Purpose Flour
Self-rising flour is conventionally made using all-purpose flour, with the addition of baking powder and salt. Without these key additives, any dough made with all-purpose flour will not rise unless other ingredients are also used.
Most self-rising flours are made with enriched flour, such as the enriched self-rising flour from White Lily.
Self-Rising Flour Substitutes
If you prefer to use flour that isn’t bleached or white, you may be able to find different varieties of self-rising flour in specialty or natural grocery stores.
Even better, you can also make your own self-rising flour from any type of flour, including whole wheat, rice flour, or any other type of flour that meets your dietary preferences.
How to Make Self-Rising Flour
If you have a recipe that calls for self-rising flour or you simply want to save yourself some time in the future by making up a batch of very simple self-rising flour from scratch, it only takes a few minutes and the following 3 ingredients.
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
You can increase the size of the batch as much as you want, but you must stick to this ratio.
What Is Self-Rising Flour Used For?
Self-rising flour is used for many of the same types of recipes Bisquick is used for; it simply requires the addition of oil or a different type of fat to complete the recipe.
It is typically considered a fast alternative to goods traditionally baked using yeast.
Some of the most popular recipes that call for self-rising flour include:
- Pizza crust
- Flatbread and/or quick bread
- Rolls and scones
You many notice that there is some overlap between the uses for Bisquick and the uses for self-rising flour, but they do produce different results.
Bisquick Vs Self-Rising Flour
Bisquick and self-rising flour are very similar; both are made from all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. The main difference is that Bisquick also has hydrogenated oil, making it a more complete baking mix.
Bisquick can be used to make moist, tender baked goods. Self-rising flour will require the addition of oil or some sort of fat in order to complete any recipe.
They’re both very popular for making quick baked goods such as pancakes, biscuits, and pizza crust.
Can You Make Dumplings With Bisquick?
Yes, Bisquick is the perfect baking mix to use to make quick, easy, comforting dumplings. You’ll need to use 2/3 of a cup of milk for every 2 cups of original Bisquick mix.
To make the dumplings simply combine the 2 ingredients until you can form the dough into small balls.
Bisquick dumplings can be cooked in stew, soup, or even fruit sauces for a dessert-style dumpling.
If you have specific dietary restrictions you can try one of the specialty varieties of Bisquick and/or make your dumplings using plant-based milk.
Can You Make Bread With Self-Rising Flour?
You can make quick bread with self-rising flour, but it won’t create the high rise of traditional yeast bread. Quick bread is generally denser than yeast bread and does not rise as much.
Soda bread, biscuits, and scones are all popular types of bread products that can be made with self-rising flour.
You can also make a simple basic quick bread in a loaf pan that can be customized to be either sweet or savory, such as banana bread or tomato basil quick bread.
Is Bisquick the Same as Pancake Mix?
Bisquick on its own is not the same as pancake mix, but they do have certain similarities.
You can use Bisquick to make pancakes and you can use pancake mix to replace Bisquick in some recipes, but it will depend on the brand of pancake mix you have.
Some are nearly identical and others have significant differences that will affect recipes such as bread or even breading.
You may want to compare the ingredients list of your brand of pancake mix to the ingredients of Bisquick before using it as a substitute.