This will be the last of my holiday themed product reviews for the year! Now, I realize that this product isn’t seasonal or holiday themed. It is very practical though. A few weeks ago, I realized that not everyone is going to make their baked goods from scratch. That didn’t dawn on me until my 50th trip to the grocery store this month (literally)! I kept seeing packaged baking mixes all over the end caps of both Natural Grocers and both Albertson’s in town and I never really thought about it. I finally came to the realization that people actually use these things, especially during the holidays when making one more thing from scratch seems overwhelming. This week I decided to try one for myself. I picked up the Pamela’s Biscuit and Scone Mix. All of the Pamela’s products are gluten free, which doesn’t really matter to me, but I figure it could be of use to many people out there who are.
I choose the Pamela’s brand because it practically filled a whole end cap at Natural Grocers. Obviously they want people to buy this brand of mix for one reason or another. It also happened to be the most affordable of all of the mixes that they had. I choose this biscuit mix over a cookie mix because a lot of people turn to store bought rolls, or the biscuits in the tin when it comes to holiday gatherings. I wanted to see for myself if this easy alternative was actually tasty.
I am actually fairly familiar with the Pamela’s products. I have previously tried the chocolate cake and I have been experimenting with the all-purpose flour blend. I like the flour blend a lot! Honestly it’s been years since I have used the cake mix that I don’t remember if it is any good or not. Apparently it wasn’t very memorable. I went into this test very skeptical. I never know how gluten-free products are going to be. They are really hit or miss, especially when trying to make them vegan. This mix was a blend of three different kinds of rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca and potato starches, and guar gum. That was pretty typical and expected for a gluten free mix. The only problem I have with gluten free mixes is the amount of starches and gums that are necessary to bind the product together. A lot of those processed starches can increase blood sugar as much as wheat bread. Those starches are also meant to bind all of these things that aren’t meant to be bound together, which can have a serious affect on digestion. Whenever I try to make gluten free items, I typically stick to whole foods and omit pre-made flours of any kind for those reasons.
Anyway, I decided to go ahead and make the regular “country biscuits”. The package provided a recipe for three different types of biscuits, and one for scones. The only modification I made was the amount of milk. I used 12 tablespoons of Earth Balance and 3/4 cup of almond milk, because one cup seemed like too much. I mixed everything together and the dough was sticky but workable, just as the package said. I made nine biscuits. I added some vegan parmesan and garlic to half of the mix to see how they baked up with some added ingredients. I baked the biscuits according to the package directions. I pulled them out of the oven and really wasn’t expecting them to look the way that they did. The tops were cracked, not deep though. They looked pretty good for the most part. I let the biscuits cool before testing one because they were pretty delicate while they were still warm. Overall the flavor was good. They were a bit crumbly, which was completely expected. I could also tell that they were gluten free. There was a slight graininess that comes when something is made with rice flour. They weren’t bad though. They dried my mouth out quite a bit when I at them plain, so luckily I decided to eat them with soup. I have managed to eat almost all of them, though.
I think these are a quick and easy alternative to the biscuits in the tin or store bought bread. I wouldn’t necessarily use them for my holiday gathering, but I might make them to have them in the comfort of my own home. I think these would be great for something easy to prepare for a gluten-free guest! I didn’t love them, but I didn’t hate them.