What is Self-Rising Flour & How to Substitute

Self-rising flour combines three of the most common baking ingredients into one. To make your own self-rising flour substitute you can use these three common pantry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt! 

Self-Rising flour combines three of the most common baking ingredients into one. To make your own self-rising flour substitute you can use these three common pantry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt! 

Jump to the Recipe for Self-Rising Flour Substitute»

What is Self-Rising Flour?

Self-rising (or self-raising) flour is a variety flour that combines all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt; 3 of the most common baking ingredients. The idea is that the flour can be used to quickly create all kinds of baked goods such as biscuits, muffins, pancakes, etc… without having to measure out quite as many ingredients. Self-rising flour is commonly found in southern baking recipes.

Fun Fact: Self-rising flour was invented in England in 1845. The inventor, Henry Jones, sought to greatly improve the palatability of the “molar breaking” bread, hard tack, for British sailors. However, it took over 10 years of trying to convince the British command of the Navy to get behind it. In 1855, self-rising flour was finally put to use to make fresh bread for sailors during the Crimean War.[1]

Self-Rising flour combines three of the most common baking ingredients into one. To make your own self-rising flour substitute you can use these three common pantry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt! 

Drop Biscuits made with Self-Rising Flour (recipe coming soon)

When to Use Self-Rising Flour

The best time to use self-rising flour is when a recipe specifically calls for it. That may sound like a no-brainer, but recipes that specify the use of self-rising flour have been developed to work best with this flour.

However, recipes that work best with self-rising flour are those that fall into the “quick bread” category. This includes American biscuits, scones, quick loaf breads, muffins, pancakes, and waffles. These recipes rely on the chemical leavening agent (baking soda or baking powder) for most of their rise.

Many southerners swear by self-rising flour to make proper biscuits. Because the baking powder and salt is mechanically worked throughout the all-purpose flour, many believe self-rising flour creates a more even rise to their biscuits.

Self-rising flour is not the best choice of flour in recipes that do not utilize a chemical leavening agent. Items such as pie and tart shells, shortbread cookies, and crackers are all examples of baked goods where leavening is not desirable. You are aiming for these baked goods to remain flat and baking powder will cause your product to rise. For this reason, you would not want to use self-rising flour in these recipes.

^ Watch the Video to Learn More About Self-Rising Flour and How to Substitute

How to Substitute All-Purpose Flour in a Recipe that Calls for Self-Rising Flour

In order to make your own substitute for self-rising flour all you need is all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. For every cup of self-rising flour you are substituting follow this ratio:

1 cup Self-Rising Flour Substitute

  • 1 cup (7 oz, 196 gr) all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp (0.3 oz, 7.5 gr) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (0.05 oz, 1 gr) salt

Tip: You can either make this in large batches and keep in an airtight container to use when needed, or alter your recipe on demand to reflect this substitution. If you do pre-make your own self-rising flour, make sure to whisk the flour thoroughly before each use so that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Self-rising flour combines three of the most common baking ingredients into one. To make your own self-rising flour substitute you can use these three common pantry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt! 

How to Substitute Self-Rising Flour in a Recipe that Calls for All-Purpose Flour

If you happen to find yourself with only self-rising flour on hand and have a recipe calling for all-purpose flour you can use the ratio above to make a reverse substitution. For every cup of all-purpose flour you are substituting with self-rising flour, reduce the amount of baking powder in the recipe by 1 1/2 tsp, and reduce the amount of salt in the recipe by 1/4 tsp.

If your recipe does not call for baking powder but does call for baking soda, reduce the amount of baking soda by 1/2 tsp per cup of self-rising flour you are using.

Baking Science Fact: Baking soda and baking powder are both chemical leavening agents, meaning they help baked goods rise. Baking soda is alkaline and requires an acidic component to activate.  Baking powder is a product that combines baking soda with an acidic component already mixed together so that it is active as soon as it is hydrated. Because of this, teaspoon for teaspoon baking soda is about three times more powerful than baking powder.

Check out my Easy 3 Ingredient Self-Rising Flour Recipe (pictured above)! Also, get into how easy it is to make self-rising pancakes or this beautiful self-rising crumb cake!

Self-Rising Flour Substitute

Self-rising flour combines three of the most common baking ingredients into one. To make your own self-rising flour substitute you can use these three common pantry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt! 

Ingredients:

For every 1 cup of self-rising flour you are substituting:

  • 1 cup (7 oz, 196 gr) all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp (0.3 oz, 7.5 gr) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (0.05 oz, 1 gr) salt

Directions:

  1. Use the ratio of ingredients as a substitute for every one cup of self-rising flour your recipe calls for.
  2. Whisk all of the ingredients together well.
  3. You can make a large batch and store in an airtight container to use when needed. Make sure to whisk the flour thoroughly before each use to make sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
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References

  1. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Jones_(baker)
Self-rising flour combines three of the most common baking ingredients into one. To make your own self-rising flour substitute you can use these three common pantry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt!