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What is self-rising flour?

What is Self-Rising Flour? Self Rising Flour Brands
Self-rising flour has an almost magical sound to it. And if you look at recipes that call for it, you’ll see that they do not call for the addition of salt or leavening agents, though biscuits, cakes and breads made with seem to rise up just fine. The reason for this is that self-rising flour is actually nothing of the sort. It is flour that has a leavening agent – baking powder – and salt added to it during packaging. Since the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the flour, you will get the same nice lift to your baked goods every time you use it.

If you don’t have self-rising flour and you have a recipe that calls for it, you can make your own by combining 1 cup all purpose flour with 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Similarly, if you only have self-rising flour, you can reduce the baking powder and salt called for in a recipe that uses standard all purpose flour.

Now that being said, it is also worth noting that there are several brands of self-rising flour that have a lower protein content than all purpose flour (11% protein). They are effectively cake flours (8% protein). Wheat protein, or gluten, is what gives baked goods much of their structure, but it can also cause a bread to be too dense or tough. White Lily and Presto are two examples ofย self-rising brands that use a low-protein cake flour as their base, and if a recipe calls for one of them, you should use cake flour in place of all purpose in the conversion given above.

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42 Comments
  • Katie
    August 3, 2007

    Is self-raising flour not common over there? Here in Australia we have two main flours that are easily bought and used in recipes – Plain Flour and Self-Raising Flour. Very odd…maybe they are different, albeit similar, things?

  • Jacob
    August 3, 2007

    As katie said, the two main flours sold here in Australia is SRF and Plain Flour. Which is great for cakes and biscuits but in most of the supermarkets I’ve been in I can’t seem to find bakers flours for breads.

  • Claude Palmer
    September 20, 2007

    I was searching for information as to the first use of
    self rising flour. As a small boy I can remember hearing some
    of the ladies sneering at self rising flour and those who
    used it. I am 80 years old so this must have been many years
    ago. Oh! Yes! I am a biscuit maker and use White Lily flour
    and Crisco. I have had many compliments of my biscuits. My
    wife passed away and before she died she inducted me into the
    biscuit making realm as well help me with other items.
    I still have not learned when self rising flour first
    was used. Have a good day! lazybones

  • Caitlen
    October 23, 2007

    I was looking on here and you done have naything about protein or nutrious facts would be4 nice thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • christine
    May 1, 2008

    hey wats the difference between self raising flour and yeast

  • sandra
    August 6, 2008

    Which are the brands of flour that are non self rising?

    Thanks!

  • Thomas Tang
    December 17, 2008

    When you mixed self-rising flour with water only and made to a dough, will the dough rise up after some time?

  • Allison
    January 20, 2009

    I had one question to be answered, found it here quickly. Thanks for the information! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • bill in norway
    January 25, 2009

    I now live in Norway, and like many, many other countries S.R.flour is not found. I wanted to make scones and my English recipe called for S.R. flour – so I googled you and hey presto I find my answer. Thank you. However reading some of the comments of the obviously younger researchers fills me with despair. ๐Ÿ™

  • Kat in El Paso
    February 3, 2009

    Is self rising flour the same as bread flour. I went to Culinary school and that is something I do not know.

  • patricia anne
    April 19, 2009

    I was geting ready to make a peach cobbler and had a question aout the flour – and I found the answer right away here! Thanks! I wish some of the other readers would behave appropriately!!

  • ppppppppppppppppp
    August 15, 2009

    what is the purpose of flour

  • Greeneey
    August 28, 2009

    what difference to the cake does it make to use self-raising flour instead of plain flour, salt and baking powder?

  • Lynn
    September 29, 2009

    Making salt map dough and it calls for not self-rising flour. Is that the same as all purpose flour? Help!

  • kenny
    October 12, 2009

    uhm.. what is the definition of self rising flour,…??
    uhm.. pretty cool stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

  • alice
    November 9, 2009

    what is self risinf flour used for…???…:)

  • Swede
    December 10, 2009

    Self-rising flour is rarely found in grocery stores in Sweden, which is annoying, because many English recipees calls for it.

    Just like Bil in Norway I find that many comments and questions here fills me with despair ๐Ÿ™

  • PAP
    December 4, 2010

    OMG i am from england and we hace got no or all flour in the shops this year we have had pratically NONE ! :'(

  • linds
    September 26, 2011

    can you substitute all purpose flour for whole wheat in making self rising flour?

  • Jonathan
    December 5, 2011

    For those in Europe: self-rising flour is just fluor that has had the baking soda and salt pre-added. It’s no different than taking regular flour and adding them. Some recipes use self-rising flour as its easier (you don’t have to have other ingredients on hand).

    If your recipe rises through other means (like a pound cake that uses the eggs to rise) then accidentally switching them is a disaster. But if your recipe calls for baking soda and salt, you can skip them and use the self-rising instead. I personally have grabbed the wrong pack at the grocer, so I really hate self-rising flour, but some love it.

  • Ann
    October 7, 2012

    Unlabelled flours. Is there a quick test to identify if flour is SR (self raising)?

  • Ollie
    July 22, 2013

    Self Raising flour and yeast are completely different. Self raising flour is normal flour mixed with baking powder and salt. Yeast is a living organism used as a rising agent in the making of bread. Don’t use self raising flour to make bread.

  • iyad.zahabi
    December 1, 2013

    Can we use the self-rising flower in making Pizza ?

  • Aaron
    June 23, 2014

    Thank for the recipe and the opportunity to nitpick: Self-rising flour is three-ingredients-in-one (flour, baking powder and salt). So I’ve got a one-ingredient biscuit recipe: pre-made dough.

  • Margaret
    July 30, 2014

    Thank you! This was so helpful making a recipe today that called for it!!!!

  • Martha
    September 23, 2014

    I’ve been baking for almost 50 years and didn’t realize there was a difference. I don’t think any of my recipe had ever called for SRF but this particular one does. Thanks for a simple and easy to understand explanation!

  • Roisin
    January 14, 2015

    No! Self Raising and Bread flour are not the same. Self raising contains chemical raising agents whereas bread flour is made with a different type of wheat so it has a higher gluten content which can capture the CO2 produced by the yeast when the yeast reacts with the sugars in the bread during rising. Come on guys its not that hard to understand.

  • Morouj
    June 29, 2015

    Thank you .. it was very helpful โ˜บโ˜บ

  • Thitha
    May 16, 2016

    Do I still need to put yeast on my dough if I mixed self raising flour with bread flour

  • Nicole
    May 16, 2016

    If you are making a yeast bread, you will still need to add yeast. Self rising flour is designed for use in cookies, cakes and other recipes that do not require yeast.

  • Polina
    September 17, 2016

    Some guys wrote they had been surprised by this text because SR flour is a common thing in their country. :-\ I live in Russia but i LOVE recipes of British and Irish cooks. You will never find this flour in Russian supermarkets so I’m glad to know here is a way to make it at home by myself ๐Ÿ™‚

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