Home » Food Info » All-Purpose Flour vs Self-Rising Flour – What’s the Difference?

All-Purpose Flour vs Self-Rising Flour – What’s the Difference?

Last Updated on April 17, 2024

Ever wondered why some recipes call for all-purpose flour while others demand self-rising flour? Notably, these two types of flours are not interchangeable and each has unique properties that impact the outcome of your baked sweets.

all purpose flour vs self rising flour

Previously, we’ve discussed the differences between bread flour vs. all-purpose flour.

This article is a handy guide to understanding the differences between all-purpose flour vs self-rising flour, their uses in baking, and how they influence the texture of your sweets.

Ready for a deep dive into the world of flours? Let’s get started!

All-Purpose Flour vs. Self-Rising Flour

All-purpose flour is Made Of Ground Endosperm

self rising flour versus all purpose

All-purpose and self-rising flour may seem similar at first glance, but their ingredients tell a different story.

All-purpose is typically made from hard wheat flour or a blend of two types of wheat, the hard and soft wheat, providing only the ground endosperm of the wheat kernel, which gets separated from its bran and germ during the milling process.

This gives all-purpose its versatility in varying recipes from baking bread to cakes. 

Self-Rising Flour Used Baking Soda, Salt, and Baking Powder

is self rising flour the same as all purpose

On the other hand, self-rising flour includes all-purpose and you must add three key components – salt, baking soda, and baking powder. 

It’s these additives that give this its unique ability to cause baked products to rise without requiring any extra raising agents, making it an excellent choice for quick breads and cakes.

Leavening Agents and Salt Content

flour self rising vs all purpose

Self-rising flour vs. all-purpose flour differs in terms of their leavening or raising agents and salt content.

Self-rising flour is a combination of all-purpose, baking powder or soda, and salt, making it a convenient option for recipes that require a rise without the need for additional raising agents.

The baking powder is added to self-rising flour to make gas bubbles when heated, resulting in a lighter texture.

On the other hand, all-purpose does not contain any of these raising agents or salt. This allows for more control over the rise in baked products as you can adjust the amount of baking powder according to your recipe’s requirements.

Uses of All-Purpose Flour

It is used for a wide variety of your favorite recipes like baking

All-purpose is incredibly versatile and can be used for a wide variety of recipes. Its balanced protein content makes it suitable for bread flour, cake flour, pastry flour, and white flour. 

All-purpose is also perfect for making cookies with just the right amount of chewiness or crispness. 

Baking bread, cakes, cookies, and pastries

slices of bread

All-purpose flour is a versatile option for plenty of recipes including baking bread, cakes, cookies, and pastries.

Its balanced gluten content makes it suitable for a wide range of recipes, allowing you to create delicious baked sweets with ease.

All-purpose flour provides the perfect texture and structure. It’s also worth noting that self-rising flour may not be the best choice for these types of recipes as it already contains salt which could alter the final results.

So when it comes to baking various treats, all-purpose flour is your go-to ingredient.

Uses of Self-Rising Flour if Your Recipe Calls for Flour to Rise

Convenient option for making breads and biscuits

spread icing on cupcakes

Like all-purpose flour and regular flour, self-rising flour is a staple ingredient when it comes to making quick breads and biscuits.

Note that baking powder or salt, are already in your self-rising flour, which means you don’t have to worry about measuring them separately when cooking or baking.

The self-rising flour is enriched with a leavening agent thus creating a light texture and helping the dough rise quickly, resulting in fluffy biscuits or tender quick breads and saving you time and effort in the kitchen.

Some recipes call for self-rising flour

for baking

Choose self-rising if your recipe needs flour to rise without the need for additional raising agents. This flour already contains baking powder, which helps the baked products to rise during the cooking process.

So, you may also use self-rising flour when making biscuits, pancakes, or certain types of quick bread like scones or cornbread that don’t call for other raising agents.

However, you need to be cautious about the raising agents in the self-rising flour, as it might affect the texture and taste of your dish and you may need to adjust the other ingredients accordingly. 

How to Make Self-Rising Flour at Home?

To create self-rising flour at home, you will need 1 cup of all-purpose flour, add baking powder and salt to the flour, and whisk them together until they are evenly combined.

Once everything is well mixed, your homemade self-rising flour is ready to use in your favorite recipes. Remember to adjust your recipes accordingly, as they already contain raising agents. 

DIY alternative for self-rising flour

what is kamut flour

If you don’t have self-rising flour on hand, don’t worry! You can easily make your own DIY alternative.

All you need is some all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Simply combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour and add it with 1 teaspoon baking powder or 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

Mix them together thoroughly, and voila! You now have a homemade version of self-rising flour ready to use in various recipes.

It’s a simple and cost-effective solution when you find yourself without this specific flour in the pantry.

Proper measurements and ratios per cup of flour

kamut nutrition facts

To achieve the best results in your baking endeavors, it’s crucial to know the proper measurements and ratios per cup of flour. Precision is key whether you’re working with all-purpose flour or self-rising flour.

When it comes to all-purpose flour, for every cup required in a recipe, add a teaspoon of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt if you want to mimic the effects of self-rising flour.

On the other hand, if you’re creating self-rising flour from scratch, simply combine a cup of all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt.

These precise proportions will ensure that your baked goods turn out light, fluffy, and delicious every time without any guesswork involved.

How to substitute self-rising flour for all-purpose flour in a recipe?

stored in airtight containers

In some cases, yes, you can substitute self-rising flour for all-purpose in a recipe. However, there are a few things to consider:

Self-rising flour contains salt and baking powder, so you need to adjust the quantities of those ingredients in your recipe.

Plus, they may produce a slightly different texture in your baked goods due to the combination of ingredients. It generally yields a lighter and softer texture compared to all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour.

In a nutshell

While both all-purpose flour and self-rising flour have their own unique uses in baking, understanding the difference between them is crucial for achieving the desired results.

All-purpose flour offers versatility and can be used for a wide range of recipes, while self-rising flour provides convenience for quick breads and biscuits that require a rise without additional raising agents.

Experimenting with both options can help expand your baking repertoire and create delicious treats every time. Happy baking!

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1. What are the differences between all-purpose and self-rising flour

All-purpose is a versatile flour made from wheat that does not contain any raising agents, while self-rising flour has baking powder or soda and salt added to it.

2. How to substitute all-purpose flour for self-rising flour in a recipe?

Yes, you can substitute all-purpose flour for self-rising flour by adding baking powder or baking soda and salt to the recipe according to the proportions specified in the recipe or as recommended by a trusted source.

3. When should I use all-purpose flour and self-rising flour?

Use all-purpose when the recipe needs it specifically or if you want more control over the raising agent used in your baked goods. 

4. When to use self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour?

Self-rising flour is for recipes that call for both flour and a leavening agent, such as baking powder.

All-purpose, on the other hand, does not contain any raising agents and is a suitable ingredient in many recipes, including those that require rising agents, such as bread and pizza dough. 

5. How to make your own self-rising flour?

To make self-rising flour at home, you will need three simple ingredients: all-purpose, baking powder, and salt. 

6. Do you need to add yeast to self-rising flour?

No, this flour already contains baking powder, and salt in the right proportions.

7. Is yeast a form of baking powder?

No, it is not a form of baking powder but a type of fungus that reacts with sugar to produce carbon dioxide gas, which causes the dough to rise.

Baking powder, on the other hand, is a chemical leavening agent that typically contains a combination of baking soda, an acid, and a moisture-absorbing agent.

The baking powder creates bubbles of carbon dioxide when mixed with a liquid, which helps dough or batter rise when cooking and baking. 

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