Baking With Self Rising Flour
Nothing is worse than getting out ingredients for a recipe, only to find you have the wrong flour on hand.
Can you just use what you have instead?
But it’s essential to know your flours before you buy a bag.
Two of the most commonly confused flours are all-purpose flour and self-rising flour.
They aren’t always interchangeable.
All Purpose Flour
All Purpose Flour flour is made from wheat.
The germ and bran are removed leaving the starch with protein and other nutrients.
The bag contains a mixture of hard wheat (with more gluten) and soft wheat. This kind of flour is perfect for thickening sauces, and coating meats and seafood.
All-purpose flour contains between 10 to 12 percent protein, allowing it to form gluten that is essential to the structure of many baked goods.
Self Rising Flour
Self rising flour is a mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
This enables baked goods to rise without adding leaveners, but leads especially voluminous baking when combined with yeast.
Leaveners are used in baked goods to improve texture and visual appearance. They create air pockets within a dough or batter to give the final product a light, fluffy texture.
This variety of flour is ideal for making pancakes, muffins, or biscuits and contains about 8.5 percent protein to develop less gluten than all-purpose flour yielding a more tender product.
There are some cases in which you can substitute the same amount of self-rising flour for the amount of all-purpose flour called for in a recipe.
If a recipe calls for ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 1 cup of all-purpose flour, it’s safe to swap in self-rising flour. Just keep in mind to omit the baking powder and salt from the recipe if it’s ¼ teaspoon of salt per cup of flour.
You will need to add more of these ingredients to compensate if the proportions are greater than self-rising flour.
This can go in the other direction too. If a recipe specifically calls for self-rising flour, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right kind.
If you don’t have self-rising on hand, you can make your own self-rising flour by combining 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and one scant 1/2 teaspoon of table salt. Just whisk together and get to cooking. See (this recipe)
There is no need to use the self rising flour only in recipes calling for it.
By using the following guidelines, you can easily substitute self-rising for all-purpose flour in many of your favorite recipes.
- To substitute self rising for all purpose flour, look for recipes that use baking powder: about ½ teaspoon per cup of flour, minimum.
- Besides including leavening and salt, self rising flour also differs from all purpose in its protein level. All-purpose flour’s protein is 11.7%; self-rising checks in at 8.5%.
Lower protein means less gluten, which translates to a thinner structure. This creates more oven spread.
- What about using substitutions for recipes that include both baking powder and baking soda or only baking soda or no baking powder?
Just include the baking soda just as you would if you were using all-purpose flour.
Most images in my Tip Friday Series use free stock photos.
This article is part of the Tips That Help in the Kitchen Series, Tip Friday.