The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Self Rising Flour

Grandpa Larry's picture
Grandpa Larry

Self Rising Flour

I am always searching the net and cookbooks for muffin, quick bread, biscuits, and other breakfast and desert recipes. I rise very early to go to deliver newspapers (my "retirement" income), and when I get back home I want something hot out of the oven for breakfast.

Now lots of these recipes call for self rising flour, which has baking powder and salt already mixed in. Up until recently, I never saw the point of it for my purposes. For one thing, none of the self rising flours I know of are unbleached, the kind of flour I prefer.

For another, I already stock multiple flour varieties. All purpose, whole wheat, bread, cake, rye, and corn come to mind. There may be others. I saw no reason to add to my already overstocked pantry. <!--break-->

One morning, on the way home from work and with a taste for blueberry muffins, I stopped at Walmart.  With the berries in my super jumbo cart, I wandered over to the baking isle. Looking at the two pound sack of self rising flour marked 99 cents, I thought: "what the heck."

Long story short: got home with the berries and the 99 cent sack of flour.

Squeezed the juice of a lemon, and a tsp. of vanilla into 3/4 cup of slightly warm milk. Added an egg.

Whisked 3/4 cup of sugar, zest of the juiced lemon, and about a tsp. of baking soda into 1 3/4 cup of the flour.  I cut in 3 Tablespoons of butter and added about half the carton of berries.

Mixed the liquid with the flour, scooped the batter into 6 jumbo muffin cups, and had muffins for breakfast.

Ever since then I've baked biscuits, peach cobbler, and several varieties of muffins using cheap Walmart self rising flour with excellent results. Not having to add salt or baking powder means there are two less ingredients to forget to add. Too bad I still have to remember the sugar.

Another advantage is, I'm certain, that this flour is lower protein than the varieties of unbleached A.P I normally use, resulting in better texture.

I'm curious to hear the thoughts of any other home bakers out there.

thegrindre's picture

I've tried that many years ago. I now enjoy cooking and baking and can taste the difference in flours and prefer the results I get when I combine all the ingredients myself with King Aurthur Flour. I find my baking results are a little better using all ingredients individually.


Antilope's picture

U.S. and Canadian self-rising flour have leavening and salt added to the flour.

But U.K., Irish, Australian and N.Z. self-raising flour only have leavening added to the flour, no salt is added. 

If making recipes from the other areas, careful about adding too much or too little salt.


U.S. self-rising flour tends to be made from lower protein/gluten flour. Bleaching also weakens the gluten. Lower gluten allows for higher rising baked goods when raised by baking powder, etc. Strong gluten can overpower baking powder, restricting its rise. Lower gluten flour also makes flakey, light, tender and crumbly baked goods, which are qualities desired in pastry, cookies, biscuits, muffins, etc.

SELF-RISING FLOUR (flour, baking powder, salt) - percentage of protein
-Gold Medal Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 10.5%
-Hudson Cream Self-Rising Flour 10%
-King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour, 8.5%
-Martha White Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 9.4%
-Pillsbury Best Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 9.7%
-Presto Self Rising Cake Flour, 7.4%
-White Lily Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 8 to 9%

ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR - percentage of protein
-Martha White Bleached All-Purpose Flour, 9%
-White Lily Bleached All-Purpose Flour, 8 to 9%
-Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour, 10.5%
-Hodgson Mill All Purpose Unbleached White Flour 10%
-Hudson Cream Flour Short Patent Flour 10%
-Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour, 10 to 11.5%
-Pioneer All-Purpose Flour, 10%
-White Wings All-Purpose Flour, 10%
-Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour 11.7%
-Five Roses All Purpose Flour, 13.0%
-Heckers and Ceresota All-Purpose Flour, 11.5 to 11.9 %
-King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, 11.7%
-Robin Hood Original All Purpose Flour 13%
-Rogers All-Purpose Flour, 13.0%
-Wheat Montana Natural White All-Purpose Flour 13%


To avoid a metallic taste in baking powder raised goods, use a baking powder without aluminum. The baking powders below don't use aluminum:

Argo Baking Powder (double acting)

Original Bakewell Cream (single acting)

Bakewell Cream Baking Powder (double acting)

Bob's Red Mill Baking Powder (double acting)

Rumford Baking Powder (single acting)

Review of Baking Powders

hanseata's picture

I now and then come across a recipe calling for self-rising flour, too. But instead of buying it and having the bleached stuff, I rather make it myself:

110 g flour (AP or cake) + 3 g baking powder + 1 g or less salt  (96.5% : 2.6% : 0.9%)


Grandpa Larry's picture
Grandpa Larry

Of course you can mix it up yourself. That's what you do when you make a quick bread or batch of muffins using AP flour.

I started using self rising flour in an effort to simplify morning baking as much as possible. I rarely bake these items from a written recipe. They're more or less put together improvisationally. The "recipe" is dependent on what ingredients I happen to have in the house, and how ambitious I'm feeling. Over the past couple of years I've forgotten, at one time or another,  to add salt, sugar, and eggs to my early morning efforts. The fewer ingredients I have to remember at 6:00AM, the better.

Fortunately my sense of taste isn't sophisticated enough to be repulsed by any flour other than King Arthur. Remember, I'm not advocating the use of cheap bleached flour in artisan breads, bagels, or your grandma's Danish pastry. Just a few muffins to go with your morning Joe.

Antilope's picture

I used some Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix to make biscuits. I usually make biscuits from scratch, but these came out unusually good. Here's a link to more info and the recipe:

Grandpa Larry's picture
Grandpa Larry

Antilope, it's obvious that you get it. When the urge strikes and you're Jonesing for a biscuit or a blueberry muffin, you must use whatever you happen to have on hand.

I certainly understand your longing for Touch Of Grace Biscuits! With the heavy cream in the recipe as well as the sugar, they certainly look rich. Also, since they use buttermilk, why no baking soda?

Have you tried making them with milk instead of cream? I think I will, and soon.



Antilope's picture

I've made the recipe using only buttermilk or milk alone and it is just as good (or sometimes I've used plain thinned yogurt) all without the cream. I've added baking soda and didn't see any difference, except I could taste the soda. I leave it out. The biscuits I made today in the cake pan are 2-inches high. They don't need any more rise and they are light as a cloud.

Another thing I change is the dry flour that the wet dough ball is dropped into. Instead of using plain all-purpose flour, that gives the biscuit a bland taste, I add a little salt and sugar to it. You don't want to drop the dough ball into more dry Krusteaz or dry self-rising flour or you will taste the baking powder.