Many traditional Southern dishes call for self-rising flour—in fact, some older recipes might even assume you know that "flour" actually refers specifically to "self-rising flour." Southerners use the staple ingredient in everything from fried chicken breading to cornbread and biscuits to sweet treats like cakes, pancakes, and cobblers. Why do some bakers opt for this type? Using only one dry ingredient saves prep and cleanup time.
If a recipe calls for self-rising flour and you only have plain or all-purpose flour on hand, it's surprisingly easy to doctor up a batch at home. Follow the recipe and steps below for DIY self-rising flour.
Gather the ingredients.
Measure the desired amount of flour into a bowl or container. The most accurate way to measure flour is by weight. Count on about 4 1/2 ounces per cup. If you don't have a scale, stir the flour and spoon it into the measuring cup. Level the flour off (without compacting it) with a knife or the handle of a wooden spoon.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to each cup of flour.
Use a whisk or spoon to blend the flour mixture thoroughly before you use it in a recipe.
- Using this self-rising flour in yeast breads or rolls? Omit any salt called for in the recipe.
- If you use self-rising flour as a substitute for all-purpose flour in a quick bread or muffins, leave out the salt and baking powder and add an extra 1 1/2 extra teaspoons of the self-rising flour for each cup of all-purpose flour.
- Self-rising flour does not contain baking soda, so when substituting self-rising flour for all-purpose flour, add baking soda if it is an ingredient in the recipe.
- Keep flour in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 months. Whole wheat flour can become rancid; refrigerate whole wheat flour 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 flour to room temperature before adding it to a recipe.
- Many recipes call for "sifted" flour. Most flours are presifted, but they do compact and settle in storage. Instead of sifting the flour, all you really have 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.
- 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.