Yes, you can substitute pancake mix for flour in some recipes. Of course, it depends on the pancake mix and on the recipe. However, most store-bought pancake mixes contain other ingredients than flour, such as baking soda and salt. These can change the cooking and the flavor of your recipe.
What ingredients are in pancake mix?
The difference between flour and pancake mix is that the mix contains other ingredients. Typical store-bought mixes contain not only flour, but also sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. These additional ingredients make pancake preparation quick and easy. But when substituting pancake mix for flour, these additional ingredients can change your recipe.
When making pancakes from a mix, you still have to add in wet ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, and oil. Do you have leftover pancake batter? This, too, can be used in other recipes, like fried chicken. But again, the presence of other ingredients may change the taste and the process of the recipe.
What happens if I substitute pancake mix for flour?
Recipes that call for flour often depend on this ingredient for gluten. Gluten is the protein in grains like wheat. Though some are allergic to it, gluten lends dough and batter its elasticity and chewiness. It also helps it to rise. Different kinds of flour—regular, bread flour, and pastry flour—have different amounts of this protein. Pancake mix is made with regular flour, so it may not work the same for all kinds of recipes.
Pancake mix typically includes baking powder and baking soda. These are rising agents that help make pancakes fluffy. But they won’t substitute as well in recipes that depend on a different ingredient, like yeast, to make a dough rise. Moreover, these ingredients contain sodium bicarbonate. Like sodium chloride (table salt), bicarbonate adds a salty taste. Recipes made with pancake mix may need to be adjusted accordingly.
Finally, pancake mixes often include additional salt and sugar. For basic sweet and salty recipes like cookies and biscuits, you can simply adjust the amount of salt and sugar you add. But for other recipes, these ingredients may interfere with the taste. Recipes that call for breading and battering might taste too sweet. Dessert recipes made with pancake mix might taste extra salty.
When can I substitute pancake mix for flour?
In general, you can substitute pancake mix for flour in recipes that call for thick, fluffy doughs and batters, like pizza, pie, cookies, and cake. Pancake mix and leftover batter can also be used in recipes that require flouring and breading, although some adjustments may be necessary to get the right flavor and texture. Finally, pancake mix can even work with baked goods, but it won’t replace the need for yeast in breads and other pastries.
Can I substitute pancake mix for flour in fried chicken?
Yes, you can substitute pancake mix for flour in fried chicken. Most fried chicken recipes call for breading or battering with flour, salt, sugar, and fat (like buttermilk). Pancake mix includes and complements these ingredients. But there’s more: pancake mix might make for a surprising improvement in some cases.
The combination of sodium bicarbonate (in baking powder and baking soda) with acidic ingredients like buttermilk produces carbonation (that fizzing in your seventh-grade science experiment). The carbonation caused by baking soda not only makes the batter lighter but can also help to tenderize the meat. So pancake mix can actually make for extra light and tender fried chicken.
Can I substitute pancake mix for flour in cookies?
Pancake mix can be an excellent substitute for flour in cookies. And that leftover pancake batter might work just as well for cookies as it did for your fried chicken. That’s because many of the ingredients are the same: flour, salt, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, and oil.
Of course, it depends on the recipe. Because pancake mix already contains sugar and salt mixed with flour, you may need to make adjustments. The sugar content in cookies contributes to their crispness, so more sugar will make your cookies harder. And of course, both the additional salt and the presence of extra baking powder and baking soda in pancake mix can make your cookies saltier without adjusting the recipe.
If you’re using leftover pancake batter to make cookies, keep in mind that batter made with milk, eggs, and rising agents can make your cookies more like mini-cakes than crisp biscuits. Adding a little water to the mix might help to crisp up your cookies.
Can I use pancake mix instead of flour for mac and cheese?
Pancake mix can be used like flour as a thickening agent for sauces. Just add some pancake mix to cold water to make a thick slurry (be sure to stir out the lumps). Then add this slurry to your sauce until it reaches the desired consistency.
However, for some recipes, like macaroni and cheese, pancake mix may not be the best thickener. That’s because pancake mix contains other ingredients that can change the taste of the sauce. The additional salt and sugar in most pancake mixes will make mac and cheese taste saltier or sweeter than usual. The presence of baking powder and baking soda may also introduce carbonation, graininess, or other changes in texture and flavor.
Instead of pancake mix, try thickening your mac and cheese with cornstarch (another common pantry staple). For a completely different alternative, you can also blend cashews with water and oil to produce a creamy, cheesy thickener.