How to Make Your Own Self-Rising Flour

2 minutes and 3 ingredients are all it takes

Self-Rising Flour
Alberto Guglielmi/Blend Images/Getty Images

Many Southern recipes call for self-rising flour. It's used in all the classics, like biscuits, fried chicken, pancakes, and dessert cakes. If you're out of self-rising flour or you're not able to find it locally, you can make it yourself in two minutes or less. Just grab some all-purpose flour and a couple other ingredients from your pantry, and you're halfway there.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preparation

Combine all of the ingredients. Then use a whisk or flour sifter to mix them thoroughly.

Use right away, or store in an airtight container for later use. Your homemade self-rising flour will keep for months. Be sure to label the container so that you don't mix it up with another kind of flour.

Want to Make a Bigger Batch?

Just double, triple, or quadruple the recipe to create as much self-rising flour as you need.

Here are some measurements to get you started:

For 2 cups flour: add 1 tbsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. salt.
For 3 cups flour: add 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp. salt.
For 4 cups flour: add 2 tbsp. baking powder and 2 tsp. salt.
For 5 cups flour: add 2 1/2 tbsp. baking powder and 2 1/2 tsp. salt.
For 6 cups flour: add 3 tbsp. baking powder and 3 tsp. salt.

How This Recipe Compares to Store-Bought Self-Rising Flour

The self-rising flour you buy at the store is usually made with soft wheat, which has less protein than the hard wheat used to make all-purpose flour.

Self-rising flour is usually 8.5 percent to 10.5 percent protein, while all-purpose flour is in the 10 percent to 12 percent range. As a result, your homemade self-rising flour, made with all-purpose flour, should have a slightly higher protein content than you're used to.

What does this mean for how your baked goods taste?

Not much. You may find that baked goods come out a bit less tender than usual, but most people find the difference undetectable.

How to Store Self-Rising Flour

If you want your self-rising flour to work reliably in recipes,  store it properly in an airtight container and in a cool dry place so that your baking powder doesn't activate early. 

Did You Know You Can Make Self-Rising Cornmeal, Too?

Speaking of Southern classics, self-rising cornmeal is just as easy to make. Like the self-rising flour recipe, it requires only three ingredients. To make 1 cup of self-rising cornmeal, mix 1 cup cornmeal, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt together in a bowl. Use it right away or store it in an airtight container until you need it.

More Flour Substitute Recipes

If you don't want to fill up your pantry with a bunch of specialty flours that you only use once or twice a year, just whip up substitutes whenever you have a recipe that calls for anything fancier than all-purpose flour. It's just as easy to produce ​Bread Flour Substitute; ​Cake Flour Substitute; ​Pastry Flour Substitute, ​and Semolina Flour Substitute.