Difference between Self-Rising Flour and All-Purpose Flour

Updated on June 28, 2018

Flour is an essential ingredient in baking pies and cakes and is also often used in preparing Asian dishes, Italian pasta, or the all-time favorite American fried chicken. One thing that’s common to all white flours is that they’re made from wheat. However, if you thought all flours are the same, think again. There are different types of flours, and among them are two types that you often see at the grocery store or listed in dessert recipes. These are the all-purpose flour and self-rising flour. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between these two types.

Summary Table

Self-Rising Flour

All-Purpose Flour

Contains all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt

Does not have baking powder or salt
Lower protein content (8.5%)

Has a higher protein content (10% – 12%)

Has a slightly salty tasteNo taste

Definitions

Self-rising flour

Self-rising flour is actually a mix of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. It is a type of white wheat flour that already contains leavening agents, hence the name “self-rising.” It is enriched with nutrients and has an 8.5% protein content.

All-purpose flour
All-purpose flour

All-purpose flour is a base wheat product that is enriched with vitamins and minerals. It has about a 10-12% protein content. This type of flour is used for varied purposes such as baking, cooking, and making sauces. When preparing baked recipes with all-purpose flour, the addition of leavening agents is necessary to make the baked product rise.

Self-Rising Flour vs All-Purpose Flour

The main difference between self-rising flour and all-purpose flour is in the product composition. Self-rising flour is made up of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. This type of flour already contains leavening agents, which is why it rises on its own. All-purpose flour, on the other hand, is a base flour product from wheat grains. All-purpose flour does not have any other components. When using this type of flour, leavening agents have to be added when the recipe calls for it.

In terms of nutritional content, both types of flour are enriched with vitamins and minerals. However, self-rising flour has a lower protein content at around 8.5% compared to all-purpose flour, with a protein content of about 10-12%. When it comes to taste, self-rising flour is a little on the salty side while all-purpose flour has no taste.

Self-rising flour is often used to make biscuits and scones. This type of flour should not be substituted in recipes that call for all-purpose flour. On the contrary, all-purpose flour can be substituted for self-rising flour. You would just need to add the leavening agents. As the name suggests, all-purpose flour is a versatile product or ingredient that is used for varied culinary intents.

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