Chef Notes: What’s better? All-purpose or Self-Rising Flour?

Chef Notes: What’s better? All-purpose or Self-Rising Flour?

My mother and I have a running battle over which type of flour is better as a pantry staple; all purpose, or plain,  or self rising. A/P flour is exactly what it sounds like.  It can be used for virtually anything.  It is “plain”.  Self rising flour has salt and baking powder (a leavening agent) added at a standard ratio for your convenience.

 

I personally prefer A/P.  I want control over the amount of salt used and the baking powder can become less effective over time leaving you with one hell of a nasty loaf of bread or biscuits. I have compromised and now keep a small bag of self rising flour in my freezer so when Mom visits she can make her famous southern style biscuits without a lot of arguing.  It’s easy enough to make a batch of your own if you prefer A/P flour but find yourself following a recipe that calls for self rising.  The simple ratio is for each cup of A/P flour add 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt.  I actually keep this ratio clipped to my refrigerator.

If you are using self rising flour and the recipe calls for A/P simply omit the salt and baking powder that is added to the flour.

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