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Self-rising flour is a mixture made up of regular flour, baking powder, and salt. The leavening power of the baking powder is mixed evenly throughout the flour, so you will automatically get that nice rise out of your baked goods every time you use self-rising flour. If you use self-rising flour in your baked goods recipes that call for this product, you will see that your cakes and breads always rise perfectly, and more importantly, that you get a consistent rise every time. These recipes do not even call for a leavening agent in addition to self-rising flour.
When not to use self-raising flour:
Do not use self-rising flour with yeast-raised breads or sourdough.
As a general rule, you probably do not want to use self-rising flour if there is another leavening agent called for in the recipe, such as yeast or baking soda. The leavening in the self-rising flour should be enough.
Do not substitute self-rising flour in your recipes without paying close attention to the rest of the recipe. Typically you will want to use the ingredients listed in the recipe or follow careful instructions when substituting an ingredient as important as flour.