When it comes to baking, it is important to follow the recipe exactly to ensure the baked goods turn out perfectly. However, what can you do when after rummaging through the pantry, you’ve realized you’re all out of a key ingredient: all-purpose flour. Believe me, we’ve all been there.
It may seem acceptable to use a different kind of flour, but a small switch can actually have big consequences for your baked goods, and nobody wants ruined cakes for dessert.
However, there may be a way to use self-rising flour to replace all-purpose flour. Self-rising flour is a great alternative to have in the pantry. However, it must be swapped correctly if you want to pull the switch off.
Read on to find out everything there is to know about the two different flours, and how you may be able to swap one for the other.
What Is All-Purpose Flour?
All-purpose flour is the most common kind. It is suitable for baking all kinds of things – from cakes to cookies, pie crusts to pizza doughs. It is an essential ingredient for aspiring bakers everywhere.
When baking with all-purpose flour, you will also need a leavening agent, like yeast or baking powder so the baked goods can rise.
What Is Self-Rising Flour?
Self-rising flour usually contains leavening agents like salt and baking powder. These leavening agents will make the batter or dough rise. The combination of added water and heat activates the leavening agents which helps them to rise.
In one cup of self-rising flour, there are approximately one and a half teaspoons of baking powder.
How Do Leavening Agents Work?
Leavening agents make baked goods rise, such as the yeast in bread. A common leavening agent is baking powder, which contains baking soda and acidic salts.
Sometimes, recipes will need a combination of the leavening agent and something acidic for the baked good to rise. The leavening agent, in this case, will typically be baking soda, and the acidic ingredient can be anything from sour cream to citrus juice or even buttermilk.
These work together to create a chemical reaction.
Some baked goods require both baking soda and baking powder to rise.
Can You Use Self-Rising Flour For Baking?
In short, yes. But only for certain baked goods and recipes. It all depends on the amount of baking powder, baking soda, and salt a recipe calls for. It is understandable to assume that you can swap self-rising for all-purpose flour at any time.
However, because self-rising flour contains leavening agents it may change the texture and flavor of the baked goods – and not for the better! Here are some examples of baked goods and what to do if you find yourself without all-purpose flour.
It is possible to swap all-purpose flour for self-rising flour in cakes. It works best if the cake recipe you’re using requires only 0.02 cups of baking powder (the equivalent of one teaspoon) per one cup of all-purpose flour.
However, making the switch does not work as well if the recipe requires only baking soda as a leavening agent.
You will also need to make changes if the required amount of salt is more than a quarter teaspoon. If the recipe requires less, then you cannot successfully swap the flours. You will also struggle to swap the flours if the baking powder needed is less than about half a teaspoon.
How To Substitute
Cake is a popular baking good in which you can use self-raising flour instead of all-purpose flour. However, moderation in other ingredients is also required depending on the leavening agent your cake calls for.
2. Pancakes And Cookies
It is relatively easy to swap self-rising flour and all-purpose flour when it comes to making pancakes and cookies. If the recipe requires around one half or one teaspoon (tsp) of baking powder, then you can use self-rising flour.
You would also be able to substitute an equal amount of self-rising flour for all-purpose flour.
Additionally, if the salt in the recipe is a quarter of a teaspoon, then it is better not to include it in your mixture. If the recipe calls for more salt than this, then you must adjust it to work with the self-rising flour. Self-rising flour will normally require less salt than all-purpose flour.
How To Substitute
Self-raising flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour in cookies. Self-raising flour contains leavening but is not as light as all-purpose flour. Add 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to substitute for all-purpose flour. It makes cookies gluten-free.
3. Quick Bread
Usually, quick bread recipes will use no more than one tsp of baking powder. If this is the case, then it is possible to use self-rising flour. Like with pancakes and cookies, you should omit salt from the recipe if it calls for only one-quarter of a teaspoon.
If the recipe calls for more salt, then feel free to add the salt provided you have adjusted it to work with self-rising flour.
How To Substitute
Self-rising flour works well in quick bread; however, you should be aware that you should use it in limited quantities to ensure your quick bread is good. Generally, it would be best if you used it in one-quarter amount with no salt unless it is necessary to add some.
Unfortunately, you cannot swap all-purpose flour for self-rising flour if baking bread. This is because the leavening agent in bread is yeast, and when mixed with the self-rising flour may cause the bread to rise unevenly or over-rise.
How To Substitute
Self-rising flour is typically used in place of all-purpose flour to bake bread with more gluten and better rise and texture. However, it cannot be easy to substitute self-rising flour for all-purpose flour in a recipe, especially when making bread that does not contain yeast.
You cannot use self-rising flour in pizza because it does not contain enough of a leavening agent to ensure the pizza dough will have a light crust. It will also make the pizza taste noticeably different.
How To Substitute
All-purpose flour is traditionally used to make pizza dough. However, making pizza with self-rising flour may be better if trying to cut down on carbs. For the dough to rise, self-rising flour contains yeast and salt. The best way to make self-rising flour is to use it. You can make your pizza dough by mixing flour, water, and olive oil or buy a mix and process it yourself.
Why Do You Need To Omit The Salt When Using Self-Rising Flour?
When it is possible to use self-rising flour, you may need to adjust the required salt quantity a recipe calls for. This is because self-rising flour contains less sodium than all-purpose flour, so less salt is needed when it is used in recipes.
All-purpose flour is an essential ingredient in many recipes. Self-rising flour is similar to all-purpose flour, but it contains leavening agents. When you find yourself without all-purpose flour, it is sometimes possible to use self-rising flour in place of it.
However, this is only possible for certain recipes, so always check and adjust the measurements of the other ingredients before you make the switch. For example, when baking with self-rising flour you will need to use less salt than all-purpose flour.
After you have made these adjustments, all that’s left to do is put the baked goods in the oven and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens If You Use Self-Rising Flour Instead Of All-Purpose?
If you use self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour in a recipe, you will get different results. Self-rising flour is a mixture of all-purpose flour and leavening that is typically mixed with salt and baking powder.
The mixture is then sprinkled onto the dry ingredients in a recipe and stirred to create a biscuit, cake, or quick bread ready to be baked. While using it, you have to be cautious about its quantity.
What Happens If You Use Self-Rising Flour In A Cake?
Self-rising flour mixes all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Adding baking powder means the cake will rise better, but if you use self-rising flour in a cake recipe.
You will get an inferior cake because the self-rising flour contains no leavening agents.
What Happens If You Use Self-Rising Flour In Cookies?
Self-rising flour is flour with baking powder and salt already added that many people use for convenience. When you use self-rising flour in a recipe, you don’t need to add salt, baking powder, or other additional ingredients, especially when baking cookies.
When you use self-rising flour in a recipe, it is recommended to use unsalted butter or shortening. It is because self-rising flour gives the cookies a softer texture.
Can You Use Self-Rising For All-Purpose Flour For Gravy?
Whether you use self-rising flour or all-purpose flour for gravy doesn’t matter. The gravy requires it, so you can use whatever flour is available in your kitchen beforehand.
Is It OK To Add Baking Powder To Self-Raising Flour?
If the recipe calls for it, the baking powder can sometimes mess up your recipe instead of making it rise better. So make sure your recipe requires it and can’t work without it before adding it.
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