How to Make a Self-Rising Flour Substitute in a Pinch

If your recipe calls for self-rising flour, but you have none, don't worry. You likely already have all the ingredients you'll need for a substitute.

Out of all the varieties of flours on the market these days (all-purpose, whole wheat, gluten-free, bread, cake, and so on), there's one that's not as common as it once was: self-rising flour. If you've never encountered this before, it's simply regular flour with the leavening agents already included. This was a handy ingredient created in England more than 100 years ago so sailors aboard ships could easily make baked goods. Since we have easy access to baking powder, baking soda, and salt, today our recipes tend to call for those ingredients over self-rising four. But in case you do have a recipe calling for self-rising flour, our Test Kitchen has an easy way to make it. Oh, and if you bought a bag of self-rising flour to make biscuits, but don't know what else to make with it, we've got tips for substituting self-rising for all-purpose flour.

measuring cup filled with flour next to flour bowl
Karla Conrad

What Is Self-Rising Flour?

Self-rising flour is a combination of all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

How To Make Self-Rising Flour

It's easy to make your own substitute at home. Here's our Test Kitchen's easy method to make self-rising flour:

  • For every cup of self-rising flour, substitute one cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda.

There are self-rising flour substitutes that simply call for one cup of all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. This will also work in your recipes, but after comparing other self-rising flour products on the market, our Test Kitchen prefers the substitute calling for both leaveners.

Substituting Self-Rising Flour for All-Purpose Flour

Here's the reverse issue. You go to the pantry to start making banana bread, only to find you've got self-rising flour, not all-purpose flour. No need to run to the store just yet. As long as the recipe you're making calls for leavening agents (as banana bread does), you can easily substitute self-rising for all-purpose flour. According to the baking pros at King Arthur Flour, look for recipes that use about ½-teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour. You can substitute the self-rising flour cup for cup, just omit the baking powder and salt from your recipe's ingredient list. If your recipe calls for baking soda as an ingredient, though, you can still add it.

Now that you know how to make self-rising flour, you can easily make two-ingredient dough for bagels, pizza dough, and more. You can also try some of our recipes already calling for self-rising flour, such as beer bread, or peanut butter bars.

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