Some of our readers might have been excited by the news in this post from Anne Steib about the introduction of gluten-free Bisquick. I know I was as excited as anyone and I never even used regular Bisquick when I ate gluten. Finally, the new Betty Crocker mix arrived in my area. When I read the ingredients on the box of the much anticipated gluten-free Bisquick, I was somewhat disappointed. The first ingredient is rice flour and the second one is sugar. Generally speaking, something with a lot of rice flour doesn’t appeal that much to me. At least, it doesn’t when it comes to baking mixes. I decided that I’d just make biscuits with the new Bisquick because I could not imagine that pancakes made with it could compete with my three favorite pancake mixes.
The pancake mixes from Gluten-Free Naturals, Pamela’s Products and King Arthur Flour all make excellent pancakes. Even though all of those mixes contain rice flour, there are enough of other types of flours to counteract the negatives of rice flour. There is nothing wrong with rice flour, of course. I just personally tend to like things that are lighter on it than other flours. The Gluten-free Naturals mix contains soy flour which I think mimics gluten flour very well. Pamela’s mixes are heavy on almond flour. The King Arthur mix must contain enough tapioca starch and potato starch to keep the pancakes from tasting grainy or bland.
Even though I’d originally planned to wait and make biscuits with the new Bisquick, I decided that making pancakes with it was the most important test I could do with the new mix. The 16 oz. box sells for $4.19 at Publix in the Atlanta area. There are only about 2 ¾ cups of flour in the small pouch inside the box so it’s a fairly pricey mix. With two strikes against it (ingredients and price) I tried to be hopeful about how pancakes made with the gluten-free Bisquick would taste.
I mixed up the batter very quickly. You add an egg, some milk and some canola (or vegetable) oil to the flour and that’s it. The batter seemed thin but I wanted to follow the instructions to a ‘t’ so I did. The amount of batter the recipe on the box yields is supposed to make 10 pancakes. Apparently, I poured too much batter out for mine (it called for ¼ cup each), since I only got 7 pancakes out of it. As they cooked, bubbles formed just like with other pancakes. The pancakes turned golden brown and were easy to flip. They seemed a bit heavy on the spatula as I moved the cooked pancakes to our plates. I hoped I was imagining that part of the experiment.
Unfortunately, the pancakes were very heavy in terms of texture – unlike all the gluten-free pancakes we make with the brands noted above. They had a bit of a grainy taste as well. However, the worst part was the fact that they had a “skin “on them. My husband actually came up with that term. He said “I don’t remember the pancakes we usually eat having a thick skin like these do”. No, he wouldn’t because none of them have any type of “skin”. I might be able to overlook that weird aspect of the pancakes if they tasted good. They were much too dense for pancakes and tasted rather bland. I was so disappointed in the taste and texture of the pancakes that I didn’t finish eating mine.
With any new product, there are usually some pros and cons. I listed what I thought those were regarding pancakes made with the long awaited gluten-free Bisquick from Betty Crocker (a General Mills company).
Bisquick Gluten Free – the good and the bad (my personal opinion).
- Pros: sold in mainstream grocery stores; easy to mix; manufactured in gluten-free facility; made by a respected mainstream (Big 5) food company.
- Cons: grainy texture; thick “skin”; too heavy; not enough pancakes per batch of batter (only makes 10 if pancakes are quite small).
Ever since General Mills jumped on the gluten-free gravy train, I’ve tried to support their efforts in any way I could. I would like to do the same with this new mix. Even though I personally won’t be making pancakes with the gluten-free Bisquick again, I think everyone should absolutely buy the mix and decide for themselves if it’s for them or not. What one person likes has nothing to do with what others might like. It would be best for everyone to make their own mind up about this new mix. General Mills definitely deserves that much from our community.