What is Self Rising Flour?

Have you ever had a recipe that called for self rising flour and you wondered just what it was? Well wonder no more…. this post should clear up any mystery about it.

The short answer to the question is it is a commercially prepared flour with leavening agents (baking powder and salt) already mixed into it.

Many recipes specifically call for self rising flour… it is readily available in supermarkets… but is it worth the extra purchase of yet another type of flour?

Some cooks/bakers will insist the answer to that question is a yes…. honestly… I’m not so sure I agree. Self rising flour tends to be more expensive and not by just a little bit… up to 50% more… that’s a lot … over the course of a year it can substantially add to your food budget… and it is not really necessary… you can make it yourself… but more on that in a bit.

So why buy it? The commercially prepared self rising flour has a more even distribution of the leavening ingredients and makes for a consistent even rise in baked goods. However, you can duplicate that… keep reading…

The Downside to Buying It

Besides the added expense when purchasing it… you also can’t control the ingredients.

Did you know some baking powders contain aluminum? Aluminum in the baking powder can affect the taste of your baked good by giving it a bitter taste. Aluminum-Free baking powders are readily available, I happen to use Argo, but there are numerous other brands available.

If you do purchase a self rising flour, be sure to read the label for a list of ingredients. For example, Pillsbury’s Self Rising Flour lists baking powder (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate) among the ingredients.


Self rising flour was developed by Henry Jones, a baker from Bristol, England, and patented in 1845. Today, most major flour companies carry a self rising flour in their product line.

How to Make it Yourself

Mix together:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Tips for Making It:

The recipe breaks it down to the basic unit amount… double or triple the recipe as needed… store in an air tight glass jar or container until you’re ready to use it again … it should keep for months.

One of the perks to buying a commercially prepared self rising flour is that the baking powder is evenly distributed throughout the flour. So if you’re making it yourself you want to be sure you mix it as evenly as possible…. I recommend that you mix it thoroughly using a wire whisk or some sources recommend you sift the ingredients together.

Tips When Using it:

If you substitute self rising flour in a recipe that calls for all purpose flour, be sure to adjust the amount of baking powder and salt in the recipe. If you add too much baking powder your baked good can come out with a tinny taste.

I hope this has been helpful.

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