Sack of Flour

Flour

Self Rising Flour, The Facts and Storage


White flour has been around since medieval times (we’ll get more into this in later posts, I promise!).  However, self rising flour was first patented by Henry Jones, a baker, in 1845 in Bristol, England.  His USA patent came in 1849 and he was issued a gold medal for the flour in 1852.

From the research I have done, you can make self rising flour yourself from 1c Flour (if you do not have all-purpose flour, research indicates cake flour is an acceptable substitution for this recipe), 1tsp Baking Powder and ½ tsp Salt.  (Remember, don’t add extra salt to a recipe which calls for self rising flour!)  When you purchase this flour premade in the stores, it comes premixed with leavening agents, which release gases to make the flour, and thus your baked goods, more light and airy.  Leavening agents can include baking soda, phosphates, ammonium bicarbonate (powdered baking ammonia), potassium bicarbonate (potash – potassium), potassium bitartrate (cream of tarter), potassium carbonate (pearl ash – used before the invention of baking powder) and hydrogen peroxide.  Personally, I am going to stop buying it in the store, so I know what is in my flour (sort of).

 

Self rising flour is low-protein and recommended for buiscuits and quick breads, some cake recipes (such as this Lemon Drizzle Cake), as well as some pastry recipes – but never, ever use it in yeast bread!!

 

As with all flour, you must keep self rising flour in a cool and dry storage space.  Do not use the flour after about six months time, per miller recommendation, because of the oils going rancid when exposed to air.  However, if you keep your flour in your freezer, it will keep for a several years.  During summer, especially in the extreme heat of the south, keep your flour refrigerated, if you do not use your freezer.

 

Insects and rodents can be attracted to your flour store, due to exposure to moisture and odor.  So make sure you keep your flour in a sealed container!  You can also place a bay leaf in the container on your shelf, as it is a natural insect repellant.

 

If your flour changes colour or starts to smell a little different, throw it out immediately.  Another reason for throwing out old flour, your biscuits will not plump up if your flour is too old – and that, my friends, is a real tragedy in our house!!

 

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