Self-raising flour is a common ingredient in recipes from the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, and other countries. It is made with a bit more baking powder and no salt, which differentiates it from the self-rising flour typically found in United States and Canadian markets.
If a recipe calls for self-raising flour and you only have plain—or all-purpose—flour, it's surprisingly easy to make a suitable replacement. Follow the steps below for simple do-it-yourself self-raising flour.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Measure the required amount of all-purpose flour into a bowl. The most accurate way to measure flour is by weight. Count on about 4 1/2 ounces or 127 grams per cup. If you don't have a scale, stir the flour, and then spoon it into the measuring cup. Level the flour off (without compacting it) with the flat side of a knife or the handle of a wooden spoon.
- For self-raising flour, add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to each cup of flour.
- Use a whisk or spoon to blend the flour and baking powder thoroughly before you add it to other ingredients.
- If you use self-raising flour as a substitute for all-purpose flour in a quick bread or muffins, omit the baking powder and add an extra 2 teaspoons of the self-raising flour for each cup of all-purpose flour.
- Self-raising flour does not contain baking soda or salt, so when substituting self-raising flour for all-purpose flour, add both baking soda and salt if they are called for in the recipe.
- Store all-purpose or self-raising flour in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 months. Whole wheat flour contains some of the germ, so it can become rancid; store whole wheat flour in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. If you don't bake often, buy small amounts of flour or keep it in the freezer for longer storage. Bring any flour to room temperature before adding it to a recipe.
- Some recipes specify "sifted" flour. Most flours are pre-sifted, but they do compact and settle in storage. Instead of sifting the flour, all you need to do is stir it with a spoon or whisk and use the spoon and sweep method of measuring. Or, better yet, weigh the flour if a weight is specified. Unless your recipe specifies a weight, a cup of flour generally weighs about 4 1/2 ounces or 127.6 grams.
- Liquid measuring cups can't be leveled off, so it's best to avoid using a liquid measuring cup for flour. For accurate results, use measuring cups designed for dry ingredients.
- Soft wheat flour—with about 9 to 11 grams of protein per cup—is best for cakes, while harder, higher gluten flours—about 12 to 14 grams of protein per cup—are best for yeast breads.