If you’re planning on baking some pastries for a very special occasion, then you must find yourself a good self-rising flour. This ingredient is vital in making your finished products look soft and fluffy. It gives a magical touch to your baking masterpiece.
There are a lot of brands that are producing self-rising flours in the market today. You will find these items in grocery stores or anywhere that sells baking goods. They are widely used in biscuits, quick breads, cakes, and so much more. Some self-rising flour brands that you might see in grocery stores, or Walmart, specifically, are Pillsbury, Presto, Sunflower, and Gold Medal.Now you might think that these brands have no differences from each other at all, in that case, you’re wrong. It is a must to note that some brands of self-rising flour have less protein content. Wheat protein gives the structure that you want for your baked goodies. However, it can also cause your bread to be too dense or too tough, which is not what you want. This is why this kind of flour will be best for when you are making cakes.
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Why Use Self Rising Flour?
First of all, you have to know that self-rising flour is just ordinary flour that is mixed with baking powder. There is nothing really special about it but it is a very useful and important ingredient when you’re baking. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Helps newbies to perfect their baked goodies.
- Will save you more time since they are packed and ready to be used.
- Makes everything easier for those who are not good with measuring the ingredients of the recipe.
While this kind of flour is preferred by some people, there are also those who don’t find this product worth their money.If you are one of those who prefer to make their own self-rising flour, there are plenty of healthy alternatives that you can use and are easy to make. They have various health benefits and characteristics. If you’re excited to experiment and explore, here’s a comprehensive list of flours that can be your self-rising flour substitute.
1. All-purpose Flour
As its name suggests, all-purpose flour (also known as white flour) is very useful for all kinds of baked goods and even non-baked recipes. You will see this ingredient in almost every kitchen. It is what novice bakers usually utilize at first if they are not yet familiar with the different kinds of flours. It has a protein content of about 10% to 11%, just the right amount for making pastries with a balanced texture. More often than not, this is the kind of flour that people already have in their houses.Unlike self-rising flour, all-purpose flour is not yet mixed with a leavening agent, allowing anyone to choose what kind they will mix to the flour to suit their purpose and help them produce the result they want. It allows bakers to exercise their creativity by experimenting with different ingredients mixed into the flour to make the pastries of their dreams.
2. Cake Flour
Cake flour is a mixture of all-purpose flour and cornstarch and is very finely milled from soft winter wheat. It is a great self-rising flour substitute due to its low protein content of only 8%, lower than plain all-purpose flour. This makes it perfect for when you want your baked goods to have a light and soft texture since the gluten produced by the protein in the flour can make baked goods tough.From the name itself, it is the ideal kind of flour to use for cakes and pastries that should come out as fluffy and airy. If you’re looking to decrease your gluten consumption, you can use cake flour for your baking.
3. Whole-wheat Flour
Another self-rising flour substitute is whole-wheat flour or wheat flour for short. Due to its composition, it has added health benefits that ordinary flour does not have, similar to what most whole-wheat cereals offer. As the name implies, this kind of flour is made with whole wheat grains, retaining the nutrients present in the bran, endosperm, and germ, compared to other flours which are commonly milled using only the endosperm. Other health benefits include the reduced risk of heart ailments and diabetes and helps counteract certain carcinogens.Wheat flour is more dense than cake flour, making it perfect for baking bread loaves, pretzels, and wheat muffins, but it is not advisable to be used for soft pastries and cakes. Just add a leavening agent like baking soda when using this kind of flour to complete the mixture.
4. Oat Flour
Similar to whole-wheat flour, oat flour is a more nutritious self-rising flour substitute. It can be made by crushing dry oats into powder, making it a very convenient kind of flour to use. However, it does not rise as well as wheat flour does, so make sure to add leavening agents in the mixture.Some health benefits of oats include antioxidants, lower amounts of bad cholesterol, and weight loss, as well as being a reliable source of fiber. Oat flour is also gluten-free, perfect for those who have gluten intolerance, or those who want to limit gluten in their diets. Aside from these, oats can also make you feel full for a long time after eating them, reducing your usual food intake. Using oat flour for your baking will not only yield delicious pastries but also charge-up your breads and cakes with so much nutritional value.
5. Barley Flour
Barley flour is made from milling whole barley grains. When using this kind of flour, baked goods come out with a nutty and slightly sweet and malty taste, ideal for making dessert pastries such as banana bread, cookies, and muffins.While it is not entirely gluten-free, it has lower gluten content than wheat flours, which means it can be used for making soft pastries. It also gives cakes a fluffy and moist texture. Barley itself has a number of health benefits that you will gain from using barley flour. For example, it can help reduce the risk of diabetes, prevents osteoporosis, lower bad cholesterol, and it can protect you from having gallstones. It is also an excellent source of fiber, with a higher amount than wheat flour, and can boost your immune system as well.
6. Rice Flour
Rice flour is made from finely milled white or brown rice grains. It has a coarse texture, unlike other flours which are usually finer and more powdery. Compared to barley flour, this has a neutral taste, similar to white flour. It is widely used in Asian countries as one of the staple ingredients in their cuisines, such as mochi, rice noodles, dumplings, banh canh, and some pancakes. It is also used as a thickener for sauces and soups due to its ability to prevent liquids from separating and can be mixed into breading for fried food such as tempura.This type of flour is also gluten-free, making it a great self-rising flour substitute, as well as an alternative to oat flour. It is also high in fiber and may help enhance your liver function. However, it does not have the same amount of benefits as whole-wheat flour or barley.
7. Quinoa Flour
Quinoa flour is made from organic quinoa grains and can be made at home using a food processor. You can identify quinoa flour from its initial grassy smell. It is a very versatile type of flour that can be used for making both soft pastries and chewy breads. When used, it lends a bold and nutty flavor to baked goods.
One very popular way of using quinoa flour is toasting it before mixing it into dough. It’s done by placing the flour into a baking sheet and baking it in the oven for 2-3 hours. After this process, the grassy smell disappears and its coarse texture becomes finer, similar to white flour. The flavor also becomes enhanced, which can help make your baked goods taste better.
If you’re a vegan, it’s a good idea to incorporate quinoa flour into your food preparation, as it’s a very organic flour and it’s also gluten-free. An added benefit of using this is that quinoa grains have all nine essential amino acids and a high protein content. Because of its versatility and health benefits, quinoa flour is one of the best alternatives for both self-rising flour and all-purpose flour.
8. Amaranth Flour
Amaranth flour is made from ground-up seeds of the amaranth plant, named after the Greek word for “immortal” since its seeds are said to be “virtually indestructible”. Unlike other flours, it is not made from grains. It is a very dense flour, but versatile enough to be used in making breads, cakes, and cookies; however, it should not be used alone. Other flours need to be mixed in so that the texture of the baked goods won’t be crumbly. Its natural texture allows it to be ideally combined with wet ingredients. When used in baking, it can enhance the flavor of baked goods. You can increase the percentage of amaranth flour in a mixture to create a dense texture.Amaranth flour is gluten-free and has a number of health benefits as well. It contains lysine and has the complete set of amino acids present. It also has a high protein content and is rich in dietary minerals and fiber. Despite its health benefits, amaranth should never be eaten raw, because it can hinder the body from absorbing nutrients effectively when not prepared well.
9. Cricket Flour
Perhaps the most unique flour of all is the cricket flour. True to its name, it’s made by milling roasted crickets, unlike other flours which are made from grains or seeds. Surprisingly, it lends a mildly nutty flavor to baked goods when used; nobody would be able to detect that crickets have been added to their food.
Due to its high protein content, it is usually incorporated into protein bars and smoothies. It can be mixed with other types of flours to enhance their protein content. Aside from its application as a self-rising flour substitute, cricket powder can be used for other recipes as well, boosting up the protein content of food. Lastly, it’s completely gluten-free. However, it can’t be used for vegan cuisine because of its cricket composition.
10. Beans and Bean Flour
Without a doubt, legumes are very beneficial due to its richness in fiber and nutrients while also having low amount of fats. Despite the advisory of several health organizations about the habit of eating legumes to reduce the chances of heart diseases, diabetes, and other health issues, it’s very unfortunate that some people still do not appreciate the benefits of homemade bean flour.
There are 3 major benefits that homemade bean flour provides. First, it improves our weight management. With its richness in fiber, this kind of flour normalizes our metabolism and gives us better digestion.
Second, it improves the health of our heart. Fiber-rich foods can help lower LDL cholesterol, and that means lower chances the risk of suffering from coronary heart disease.
Lastly, it balances the acidity level of your body. With its alkaline-nature, taking these kinds of foods will sure balance out your acidity level brought by a lot of unhealthy eating habits.
11. Spelt Flour
Oftentimes, spelt flour is mistaken to be the same as wheat flour. But actually, spelt came from the family of wheat that has been cultivated in both central Europe and Middle East and was believed to be first used between 7,000-8,000 years ago until it was replaced by wheat during the 20th Century. Though spelt and wheat might look the same in its appearance, one of their differences is that spelt has a harder outer shell in nature compared to wheat.
One of the reasons why spelt is also popular is because of its tastiness and easiness to use in many baked goods such as cookies and cakes. With the use of spelt, you will get the flavor you’re looking for while also getting several nutritional benefits such as improved blood circulation, stronger bones, boosted immune system, cholesterol maintenance, reduced blood pressure, reduced blood sugar level, and a few others.
12. Almond Flour
Some of the reasons why lots of people like Almond meals is because it’s gluten-free and that it is very low on both carbohydrates and sugar. Unlike other kinds of flour, almond flour boasts a moist and delicious characteristic. In fact, there are people who consider almond flour as one of the best kind of flour in terms of their health benefits, taste, and ease of use.
When it comes to purchasing almond flour, some avoid purchasing it in retail. It could cost you as much as $15 in the grocery store, but you can purchase it online for half of that price including the shipping fee.
Almond flour can benefit your health in a number of ways. First, it improves your heart health. Second, it helps reducing cancer formation risk. A study in the University of California supports the benefit of almond meals due to its effect on colon cancer cells. Third, it could lower your blood sugar level due to its low sugar characteristic in nature. Fourth, it promotes healthy waistlines. Now you know how to have that beach body you’ve been aiming for the whole year. And lastly, it boosts our energy levels. This will be useful for those who have a very active lifestyle.
13. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is another self-rising flour substitute. It is a gluten-free flour with many health benefits, and that’s why it’s starting to get more popular over time. It is originally made from both dried and ground coconut meat, and its texture and characteristics is very different from the people’s perception of what a “flour” should be. It is purely made from coconut and contains no grain and nuts, and so it is rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Since its almost impossible to find a disadvantage when using this flour, surely it comes with several health benefits. Because of the fact that it’s rich in nutrients and low in calories, it is very likely that it can neither bring digestive nor an autoimmune response, unlike other grain flours.
First, it maintains your blood sugar level since it is also low in sugar because of its natural sugar. Second, it improves your digestive health by eliminating or lowering bad cholesterol specifically LDL cholesterol. Lastly, it also boosts your metabolism.
14. Tapioca Flour
Since alternative flour blends can be considered as substitute for self-rising flour, Tapioca flour is the one you could give a try. Due to the prominence of gluten-free baking these past few years, tapioca has been very popular for lots of people. Tapioca is derived from Cassava roots, which makes it rich in carbohydrates, and then make the tapioca starch gluten-free.
Tapioca is also one of the purest form of starch that can be found. Though it is very low in other micronutrients and macronutrients, it is totally gluten-free, sugar-free, and is very low in calories, which still makes it very healthy.
Some of the benefits that you can get from tapioca is that, first, it is Gluten-free, Nut-free, and Grain-free. Second, It is low in calories, fats, and sugar. Another one is that it is odorless and tasteless. Lastly, it is great in binding, thickening, and moistening recipes.
15. Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour is also another alternative flour blend, but not that very common. Chickpeas are popular for salad or hummus, but it chickpea flour is also a great substitute for self-rising flour. Chickpeas were one of the early crops that was cultivated by humans, but they are still one of the best and popular legumes up to this time. Its fame led other cultures to use it and make a grain-free, all-around flour for hundreds of years.
Since Chickpea flour is a legume, a class of high-fiber foods, no doubt that it brings several health benefits. First, it is a great source of fiber, and research says that it could lower risk of diabetes, colon cancer, and obesity. Next, it improves your heart health by helping you maintain your blood pressure level. Another is that it provides better immune function and lessens inflammation considering that it is a great anti-inflammatory food. Lastly, it is gluten-free and would give you benefits for digestion.
The Bottom Line
If baking experiments aren’t really your thing, remember that there are always ready-to-use and pre-made self-rising flours that you can buy whenever you need one. Boxes of this product are easy to find in stores. They make baking faster and easier. But keep in mind to only use them when really needed or indicated in your recipe since it can make your food too dense.
If you do not want to buy one or if you want to try new ways of baking your goodies, there are lots of ways to replace self-rising flours. These 15 substitutes will help you discover various ways of keeping yourself healthy. They allow you to try new ways of creating your baked goodies. However, it’s a must to remember that you will need to use leavening agents so that they will give you the same results that self-rising flour have.
Finding the right alternatives for you will require a lot of patience and will need your curiosity. Being adventurous is the key to finding a self-rising flour substitute that suits you. It might take a lot of tries before you can perfect your mix but it’s all going to be worth it since they will also benefit someone’s health.
If you’re looking to improve your cholesterol level, sugar level, blood pressure level, energy level, digestive health, and heart health, weight, and reduce cancer risks, then it’s recommended that you should try switching to Gluten-free diet and start by using the flours mentioned above.