Sunday, April 27, 2008

Masa Harina to Biscuit Mix

About 10 years ago I started wondering why you couldn't make biscuits with tortilla mix and vice versa. They both had flour, fat, and baking soda listed as ingredients, so why did I need two mixes?

I looked up substitute recipes and came up with these:


Biscuit Mix

Tortilla Mix

5c flour /1c shortening

4c flour/2 tbsp lard

9c flour /2c shortening

4c flour/4 tbsp lard

Approx. 20% fat

Approx. 3%-6% fat

Baking powder

5c flour /2½ tbsp powder

4c flour /1tbsp powder

Approx. 5% baking powder

Approx 3% baking powder

So it's all in the proportions. I filed the calculations away, since my curiosity was satisified.

So jump ahead 10 years and I have hungry kidlets, I want cinnamon rolls, and I don't feel like bundling them into the car and driving to the store for something that should be simple to make.

I took a cup of the tortilla mix, and added two tablespoons of butter substitute. This gave me 1oz/8oz = 12.5% fat, plus the maybe 4% already there, for almost 20%.

Next was the baking powder. I put in 1/4 of a teaspoon, which is 1/12 of an ounce, so it's 1/72 of a cup, or 1.4%, adding a smidge to the 3% there.

(It's actually a good idea to mix in the baking powder first, and blend it in. Also a good idea to have the fat you're using softened so that it mixes better)

So you've got an approximation of biscuit mix and you can proceed with whatever recipe you're after.

So far I've only done muffins and cinnamon rolls. Basic rep is the same: add 1/3 cup milk per cup mix and blend until it's a ball.

Here you have to stop if you're using double acting baking powder. The powder reacts with the liquid and therefore needs a little bit of time to rise. Let the lump sit for about five minutes.

For cinnamon rolls, roll an approximate square with a rolling pin. When it's about 3/8 inch thick, you should have a 9"x9" square. Slather on some butter (or substitute) some sugar, and some cinnamon (ok, ok, about a tablespoon of each, or more if you've really got a sweet tooth).

Roll it up and slice. This gets me about 5 little rolls in a 6" springform pan. (They won't fill up the pan raw, so prop them against the edge) I pop the pan into the convection oven at 450˚ for 10-12 minutes.

It wasn't bad. I've done it a few times more since. There's a little jiggering with the baking powder mostly, and I've got to find something better than the springform, because the bottoms don't always cook all the way through.

As always, YMMV.

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