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Difference Between Self-Rising and All-Purpose (Flour)

Self-Rising vs All-Purpose (Flour)

Flour is one of the most frequently used powder substances in food preparation and cooking. Flour is made by grinding wheat, a staple crop or plant in many countries and cultures in the world.

Since bread (and all of its subsequent types and classifications of byproducts) is a product of flour and also a staple food, there are many types of flour that exist to produce different kinds of food products.

One of the most recognized types of flour is all-purpose flour. As its name implies, this type of flour is very utilitarian and can be used in many ways. It is often found in local food stores and is often the base for other types of flour. All-purpose or plain flour is comprised of ground hard and soft wheat. It can be further classified and sold as enriched, bleached, or unbleached. This type of flour contains gluten, usually having an estimate of 8 to 11 per cent protein in its manufacture.

Further classifications of all-purpose flour include; enriched, bleached, or unbleached flour. Bleached flour contains less protein or gluten compared to the unbleached flour. Each type of flour has its own uses in various bread products. On the other hand, enriched flour has added iron and B vitamins like thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid.

Plain flour does not rise unless a leavening agent is added (or as the recipe indicates). All-purpose flour can be bought in large volumes and can be stored in a cool and dry place for approximately eight months in a securely sealed container. The flour can also be refrigerated up to approximately a year.

On the other hand, self-rising flour is the type of flour which contains baking powder and salt. The baking powder, or leavening agent, is responsible for causing the flour to rise on its own. In terms of nutritional value, self-rising flour has low protein, and its application (in baking recipes) usually does not call for added baking powder or salt.

Self-rising flour can be made from all-purpose flour. Recipes for this type of flour vary, but the method is simple. Just add a whole unit of baking powder and a half unit of salt to the plain flour. Combining all the elements/ingredients will result in self-rising flour.

Another main difference between these two kinds of flour is their taste. Plain flour does not have a taste while self-rising flour has a hint of salt. Since both types of flour are similar in color and appearance, this taste test is often the method used to identify one type of flour from another.

In many baking recipes, the recipe usually indicates the type of flour involved in the process. Both all-purpose flour and self-rising flour can be substituted for each other, but there should a careful addition or subtraction of ingredients, specifically the baking powder as the leavening agent and the quantity of salt.


1.The main difference between all-purpose (or plain) flour and self-rising flour is the makeup of both types. All-purpose flour has no additional agents or ingredients while self-rising flour has all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. The baking powder acts as the leavening agent in the flour.

2.Another difference is the protein content of both flours. Plain flour has a higher protein content compared to self-rising flour.

3.The taste is also an indicator to identify each type of flour. Self-rising flour has a slight salty taste while all-purpose flour has no taste.

4.Self-rising flour can be made from all-purpose flour while all-purpose flour can be made from combining and grinding both soft and hard wheat. Therefore, all-purpose flour is a component to make self-rising flour.

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