Some time ago, I came across a recipe posted on Gather.com about “ice cream bread” with only two ingredients: Self-rising flour and ice cream (I used vanilla and chocolate). It made delicious sweet breads that were easy to make and leavened perfectly. It was my first time hearing and using self-rising flour and I have gone on to use it in different ways afterwards.
Self-rising flour isn’t really anything strange or spectacular. It’s all-purpose flour with leavening ingredients (baking powder and salt) mixed in with it. The ratio and distribution of leavening to flour is nearly perfect and eliminates the need to measure it out in recipes. This makes baking easier and quicker. I’ve found that this type of flour is very popular in the United Kingdom where it is used in scones and cakes. It’s not the same as yeast and shouldn’t be used in place of yeast or in recipes that call for yeast.
You can make your own self-rising flour by mixing about 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt to each cup of regular flour. It can also be purchased in most grocery stores. The general advice for using this flour is to only use it in recipes that call for it, otherwise you might add too much or too little leavening. But, I’ve found that the more you are familiar with it and the more you use it, you get a feel as to what recipes you can use it in. Most experts don’t recommend this type of flour for those who are just getting started with cooking.
Self-rising four is easy to use in biscuits, cookies, sweet breads and cakes. I found them great to use for biscuits where all I had to add was butter and milk to self-rising flour. The biscuits rose perfectly and didn’t taste like they had too much leavening. Cookie and pancake recipes are also a great place to use this type of flour. Some people have also used this type of four in homemade corn bread recipes.
Here is a recipe for the biscuits I made using self-rising flour:
2 cups self-rising flour
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup milk or buttermilk
Roll out dough and cut out biscuits. Bake on a cookie sheet in the middle rack of the oven for about ten to fifteen minutes. Let cool and enjoy!