For people who care about their food

How to make self-raising flour

Self-raising flour isn’t always readily available in some countries, or it’s very expensive because it’s imported. Maybe it’s better to DIY, but how?

Actually, it’s not all that difficult. At its most basic, all you need is plain (all-purpose) flour and baking powder. Most of the various TV chefs have their own recommended proportions of baking powder to flour – but about one or two teaspoons of baking powder to 250g/½lb of flour seems to be the right amount. (On the packet of baking powder we’ve got, the manufacturer recommends 2%-5% of the weight of flour being used, depending on the recipe the flour’s to be used in – that would work out as between 4g and 10g for 200g of flour.)

We like the version Ainsley Harriott uses in his recipe for Tabletop Naan Bread (from his excellent book Gourmet Express), which uses the following measurements:

  • 450g/1lb plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch of salt

A bit more complex than the straightforward “bung in the baking powder” formula, but it’s given good results for us every time. (On the other hand, if the thing you’re making needs to be lighter than naan bread, you might be better sticking with the 2 tsp of baking powder.)

Anyway, put the other ingredients into the flour and make sure it’s thoroughly mixed in. Some people recommend passing the whole lot through a sieve to make well and truly sure, but that seems like a bit too much faffing to me.

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