How to Make Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour in a wooden bowl

The Spruce

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins

Self-rising flour is a type of flour often used to make biscuits, cornbread, and quick breads. As a result, it is very popular in certain traditional Southern recipes. This kind of flour has salt and a leavening agent already mixed into it, eliminating the need to add these two ingredients to the recipe—and absolutely no yeast. For this reason, many bakers opt for self-rising flour since a single dry ingredient saves prep and cleanup time.

However, not everyone stocks self-rising flour in their pantry. If a recipe calls for self-rising flour and you only have all-purpose flour on hand, it's surprisingly easy to make your own self-rising flour at home. All you need is the addition of baking powder and salt. You can scale up the recipe if needed; just be sure to add the proper amount of baking powder and salt per cup of flour. Proper storage is key, too—keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place so that the baking powder doesn't activate prematurely.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Measure the flour into a bowl or container.

  3. Add the baking powder and salt to the flour. 

  4. Use a whisk or spoon to blend the flour mixture thoroughly before you use it in a recipe. Enjoy!

Can I substitute self-rising flour for all-purpose flour?

Yes! If you make a big batch of self-rising flour but don't think you'll use it all making biscuits, for example, self-rising flour will work in recipes that call for about 1/2 teaspoon (and up to 1 teaspoon) baking powder per cup of flour. If, however, your recipe calls for more than 1 teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour, just add sufficient baking powder to compensate for the difference.

What Is the Difference Between Self-Rising and All-Purpose 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, whereas 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 if you bake with store-bought self-rising flour regularly. Because of the protein difference, you may find that baked goods come out a bit less tender than usual, but most people can't tell.

Tips

  • If using this self-rising flour in yeast breads or rolls, omit any salt called for in the recipe.
  • The most accurate way to measure flour is by weight. One cup of flour typically weighs about 4 1/2 ounces. If you don't have a scale, stir the flour and spoon it into the measuring cup (without compacting it). Level off the flour with a knife or the handle of a wooden spoon.
  • If the recipe you're making calls for baking soda, make sure to include it. Baking soda and baking powder have different chemical makeups and one cannot be substituted for the other.