Self-rising flour is one of those ingredients that can save your life some days. It is hard to know when to use this flour and when not to, but if your recipe calls for it, you surely need a good replacement.
Be careful with the choice you pick, as some of these substitutes work for different situations, but we’ll tell you about it.
What Is Self-Rising Flour?
Self-rising flour is exactly what the name suggests—a flour that already contains a leavening agent. Usually, the mix is flour mixed with baking powder and salt. This flour usually has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour.
This flour is often used when baking bread, cakes, or baked goods that need to rise. Since it contains a leavening agent, there is no need to add yeast. However, using it can be tricky when baking other things like cookies or pies.
What Can I Replace Self-Rising Flour With?
If you don’t have any or can’t go to the store, these substitutes for self-rising flour can work in many recipes:
Best For Bread, Cake, Brownies, and Muffins
#1. All-Purpose Flour + Baking Powder
This flour is the most common, so you probably have some in your pantry too. You can use one cup of all-purpose flour for every cup of self-rising flour along with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. You can find all-purpose flour in any grocery store and sometimes even in convenience stores.
You can use this flour when baking bread, cakes, brownies, and muffins. This choice will result in very airy and soft texture, similar to self-rising flour.
See More: Baking Powder Substitutes
#2. Bread Flour + Baking Powder
This high-protein flour can work in place of self-rising for certain recipes, but you will have to use baking powder as well.
Try using this flour in a 1:1 ratio, but add ½ teaspoon of baking powder as well, as this flour doesn’t have a leavening agent. Bread flour is popular these days, so you will surely find it in any grocery store.
Use bread flour when baking bread, muffins, brownies, and cinnamon rolls. Keep in mind that this flour contains more protein, so the resulting baked good will be denser.
#3. All-Purpose Flour + Baking Soda + Buttermilk
If you happen to already have all-purpose flour at home, then you would only need to find baking soda and buttermilk. These two ingredients are essential in creating a leavening effect, especially because the acid in the buttermilk will react with the sodium bicarbonate.
Use the all-purpose flour on a one-to-one basis, but add ⅓ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon of buttermilk to equal one teaspoon of baking powder. You can use this mix in baking bread, muffins, cakes, and bagels. If you need to, use plain yogurt or sour milk.
See More: Baking Soda Alternatives
Best For Pancakes, Banana Bread, and Pizza Dough
#4. Whole Wheat Flour + Baking Powder
This flour is highly nutritious as it contains more fiber and more vitamins and minerals. It is much denser, though, so it may not be the right choice for all recipes. Use the same amount of whole wheat flour as you would self-rising flour, but you will need to add ½ teaspoon of baking powder.
Use whole flour for baking pizza dough, healthy pancakes, and bread. Finding this flour should be easy in any grocery store, as it is now used more often due to its nutritional content. You can also use a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose to make the product softer.
See more: Best Substitutes for Wheat Flour
#5. Bisquick or Pancake Mix
While it may seem unconventional to use Bisquick in place of self-rising flour, this product works well in many baked goods.
This mix consists of flour, shortening, salt, and baking powder, so it will rise on its own too. You can use Bisquick or an equivalent when making pancakes, banana bread, cupcakes, or muffins.
Buying this product should not be a problem, and you will surely find it in any grocery or convenience store. Make sure you adjust for the rest of the ingredients, as this mix often needs less liquid or sugar.
#6. Rice Flour
This gluten-free option is the product of milled brown or white rice. Rice flour has a neutral flavor and is safe for everyone with a gluten allergy. Use this choice when baking banana bread, making pizza dough, or pancakes.
In some cases, like with bread, you will need a leavening agent. Finding rice flour may be trickier this time, but you can find it in most grocery or organic stores. Keep in mind that this flour may require more liquid and may turn a bit mushier.
#7. Nut Flour
Another gluten-free choice that is often used in baking products, including pizza crust, banana bread, pancakes, and muffins.
Flours like almond flour, coconut flour, pecan flour, hazelnut flour, or walnut flour are the product of ground raw nuts into a fine powder. This flour will definitely require a leavening agent if the product is bread or cake.
Nut flours are very popular now because they are lower in carbohydrates and contain no gluten, so you can check your local grocery or organic stores. For better results, mix nut flour with other fours, such as gluten-free, all-purpose or cassava flour.
Yes, self-rising flour often requires no yeast in certain baked goods, like quick bread or muffins. However, yeast functions differently than baking powder and should be included in baking real bread.
You can use any type of flour and add a leavening agent, but for a closer resemblance use all-purpose flour plus ⅓ teaspoon of baking powder. Any of these 7 options can work in place of self-rising flour.
In baking cakes, the best flour is cake flour, all-purpose flour, self-rising flour, and even pastry flour would work in some cases. Any of these 7 choices may also work for making cakes, but consider that the density and texture may change.
While self-rising flour is often limited to baking quick bread and cakes, some recipes do call for it often. If this is the case for you, but you don’t have any, use one of these 7 substitutes, and have an easy solution and tasty results.
Photo by AndreySt/depositphotos