Can You Use Self-Rising Flour for Pizza? Here’s What You Need to Know

By: the PROs

Can You Use Self-Rising Flour for Pizza? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Are you attempting to bake pizza but have run out of pizza flour?

What other flour do you have in your pantry?

Maybe you are wondering whether you can use self-rising flour for pizza dough or all-purpose flour, the two of the most commonly used flour.

It’s a good thing you won’t have to reschedule pizza day because we have the right tips for you. 

Do you think self-rising flour would give you a New York-style pizza that rises at the edges? 

Well, save that self-rising flour for other great recipes because for making homemade pizza dough, self-rising flour should not be your first choice. But why is that?

Let’s find out!

Can You Use Self-Rising Flour for Pizza Dough?

While it is possible is not recommended to use self-rising flour for pizza dough. Self-rising flour is not the ideal choice for traditional pizza dough recipes. Self-rising flour contains baking powder and salt, which can alter the texture and taste of the pizza crust, making it more cake-like and less chewy than a classic pizza crust.

Traditional pizza dough recipes call for high-protein flour or bread flour, yeast, water, salt, and sometimes sugar and olive oil. You can learn more about the requirements of traditional pizza dough at the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) If you have self-rising flour and still want to make pizza dough, you can use it, but be aware that the results will differ from classic pizza dough.

Self-rising flour will not give that puffy rise and airy texture that a great pizza should have and will not help you make quick pizza dough.

When you bake it, your pizza dough will be denser and taste like plain flour instead of the chewy, buttery, and crispy edges we like on pizza. The flavor of your pizza will also be flat.

Can You Use Self-Rising Flour for Pizza Dough?

Self-Rising Flour
Self-rising Flour

In terms of flavor, baking powder in self-rising flour contributes flavor to the final baked product. This particular flavor goes well with cakes and cookies but not with pizza.

What is Self-Rising Flour?

Self-rising flour is low-protein flour with baking powder, a chemical leavening agent, and salt. The chemical leavening or baking powder generates little air pockets similar to those found in a cake, contrary to those bigger holes in a pizza crust.

Self-Rising Flour

Only self-rising flour contains baking powder and salt; all other types of flour do not contain these ingredients.

Self-rising flour also has a low protein content of around 8.5 percent. That means the flour produces a lower amount of gluten. The gluten is what we need to create and maintain the pizza structure. 

With a low amount of gluten, the pizza dough will not have the strength to lift the sauce and the other pizza topping components. You don’t want the cheese and sauce to fall off the pizza when people try to bite.

Can You Use Self-Rising Flour Instead of All-Purpose Flour for Pizza Dough?

If you have to choose between the two, use plain all-purpose flour because it is better than self-rising flour. You can easily convert plain flour into pizza flour by adding vital gluten.

In addition, you can control the amount of salt that goes into your dough. If you choose to use self-rising flour, you can’t control the amount of salt, and you will need to spend a lot of time and effort making the dough.

In the end, you will have a stiff dough that is difficult to stretch; it won’t have the necessary structure or flavor.

Usually, plain flour makes a soft dough that easily stretches and slips through your fingers while kneading. 

The protein in the self-rising flour needs more time to absorb water to form the gluten. Plain flour has a higher protein percentage of around 10%, and you can increase it with the vital wheat gluten, and it will require less time to develop the gluten.

Since self-rising has a lower gluten ratio, the dough will be stiff and unable to stretch without easily tearing. In contrast, plain flour has more protein, making the dough elastic when mixed with a dough hook.

The baking powder in the self-rising forms small air pockets in the dough, making it denser. You need more muscle strength when cutting, separating the dough, and shaping the pizza.

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How Does Self-Rising Flour Compare to High Gluten Flour or Bread Flour

So far, which flour would you pick between self-ring and high gluten? The option to choose here is like a game of “Would You Rather,” but in this case, the choice is simple. Let us tell you why.

As the name suggests, high gluten, or bread flour, has the highest protein ratio. The high gluten makes the dough easy to handle because it is elastic and rises with large air pockets. 

Type of FlourGluten Content
Self-Rising Flour8%- 9%
All-Purpose Flour9.5% – 11.5%
Bread Flour & Pizza Flour12% – 14%

As you can see, self-rising flour has the lowest protein content compared to other types of flour.

The kneading step is vital for producing the gluten structure, but only so much can be done with the smaller percentages of gluten protein found in self-rising flour.

Yeast Dough

When the dough has yeast, it creates larger holes and a web-type structure.

yeast pizza dough rising
Yeast Dough

Baking Powder Dough

When the dough is mixed with baking powder, the holes are much smaller, making the dough like pancake dough.

Self-rising-dough-small-bubbles
Self-rising dough small bubbles

Your homemade pizza dough will also have a good structure. In the end, you will have a fluffy, chewy, crispy, and tasty crust.

On the other hand, self-rising is the complete opposite. That is why choosing bread flour is a great option after pizza flour.

Pizza Flour Contents and Charastericts

If it isn’t apparent, pizza flour is the best to make the perfect Italian pizza with a deep center and a fluffy brown crust. Pizza flour has all the components needed to make the perfect dough.

What’s in Pizza Flour?

Usually, pizza flour has the highest quality because it is made from the white part of wheat. The white part is what makes the flour soft. Your pizza flour should contain the following ingredients:

  • High to medium amount of protein

The protein should be of a higher ratio because it produces more gluten. Gluten then creates large pockets when left to settle.

The dough will also be soft and flexible to make a structured crust. The pizza crust will also be smooth, crisp, and moist in the end.

Characteristics of Pizza Flour

The flour should have the ability to absorb water fast enough to create gluten. Therefore, you will spend less time preparing and kneading the dough.

Yeast and Pizza Flour

You also have the option of adding some yeast to your pizza flour. Because yeast fermentation time is so crucial to the flavor of perfect pizza dough, leaving it out impacts more than just its capacity to rise.

This process results in a pizza crust that tastes more like flour than a pizza. The yeast will also help with the rising of the dough. 

If you can’t consume yeast, alternatively, you can also make a no-yeast recipe for which the self-rising flour would be appropriate.

Is Self-Rising Flour the Same as Flour with Yeast?

Not at all. Self-rising flour is not the same as yeast because self-rising and flour with yeast rise differently. Self-rising flour contains baking powder and salt.

The chemical leavening is what causes the dough to rise. The baking powder causes small pockets when it rises.

On the other hand, yeast is live a micro-organism that consumes the sugar in the flour and helps ferment the dough, causing the dough to rise.

When the yeast ferments, it causes large pockets in the pizza dough rather than baking powder

Here’s Why Using Yeast Is Better for Pizza Dough

The reason yeast pizza dough is better is very simple, FLAVOR! The yeast dough will develop this unique flavor that can only be achieved with yeast upon fermentation.

No other additives will give you that particular aroma and taste.

Yes, yeast has a longer rising process than any other additive.

However, the results are just spectacular. On the other hand, self-rising flour does rise faster, reducing the time you need to prepare the pizza dough; it will result in a weaker dough than yeast pizza dough. 

We have also mentioned that the small pockets formed by the self-rising flour make the dough denser. The yeast, however, creates large air pockets, which makes the dough elastic and easy to handle.

The yeast, in the end, creates a light, airy pizza crust that is chewy, brown, and crispy. Therefore, adding yeast to plain flour would be better than self-rising for pizza dough.

Here is What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Use and Recommend

Self-Rising Flour Substitute for Quick Pizza Dough

You do not need to rush to the grocery store to get pizza flour. You can always improvise and make any pizza recipe into a yeast pizza dough recipe.

However, before you grab the self-rising flour, you should first check out some of these substitutes:

Use Bread Flour

Instead of making a dough that easily breaks when trying to shape it, you can use bread flour. Many people prefer bread dough over other flour because of the high gluten content.

Therefore, you can make a fluffy and thin pizza crust if you reduce the dough portion.

Use All-Purpose and Add Vital Gluten

We have seen that all-purpose flour has a decent amount of protein ratio. So we agree that it is better than using self-rising flour.

However, you can always add vital gluten to the all-purpose flour to improve the flour. You will see how it will easily measure up to bread flour because gluten is our secret ingredient.

Here is What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

Our Top Pick
Anthony's Vital Wheat Gluten

Vital Wheat Gluten, also known as the Natural Nemesis of Gluten-Free, is derived from the protein found in wheat. Our Vital Wheat Gluten comes in powder form and is made from wheat flour that has been hydrated to activate the gluten, and then processed to remove everything but that gluten.


That gluten is then dried and grounded back into a powder. When mixed with water and spiced, our Vital Wheat Gluten will make seitan, a vegetarian "meat" that is rich in protein. Our Vital Wheat Gluten, which contains tons of protein, can also be added to regular flour to increase the content, resulting in high-gluten flour, which is ideal for baking chewier bread.

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Use Fast-Acting Yeast

If you want to make a yeast pizza dough recipe but have nothing left in your pantry but fast-acting yeast and plain flour, you seriously need to do some shopping. 

In the meantime, you can add your fast-acting yeast to your flour, which will automatically update when you add some water.

We have seen that yeast impacts the flavor of your pizza by creating a large pocket of air in the dough.

Finally, self-rising flour cannot compete with a tasty and moist large airy crust.

What Can You Do with Self-rising Flour?

Save your self-rising flour for a great recipe other than pizza. You may use it for cakes, cookies, and pies.

It may appear that using this flour for an easy recipe is the way to go, but in reality, we do not recommend using this type of flour at all, as you can’t control the leavening agents or the salt.

What is the Best Flour for Pizza Dough?

The best pizza flour is high-protein or bread flour because of its high gluten content. The high gluten makes the pizza dough soft and elastic to work with. There is no need for a rolling pin; you can easily use your fingers to shape the dough. 

Throw the dough in the air a couple of times, and you will see how the dough easily stretches to form a circular shape. The bread flour also allows the pizza crust to rise on the side and is flexible enough to support the pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings

Here is What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

Best for Standard Home Ovens
Antimo Caputo "00" Chefs Flour (Red)

The Chef's flour is a general-purpose, high gluten flour that works well for many recipes. "Tipo 00" refers to how refined the flour is. Chef's Flour is best for those who want to bake in their traditional home oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit! 

Check it Out
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Best for High-Temperature Ovens
Antimo Caputo Pizzeria 00 Flour (Blue)

A flour with elastic, resistant gluten and protein resulting in a long-rise dough. Ideal for classic Neapolitan pizza made in high heat wood fired, gas or electric ovens in high temperatures over 700 degrees F.


Check it Out
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Do You Add Yeast to Pizza Dough?

If you are using instant yeast, you add the yeast to the flour and then add water, salt, and oil. When you are using dry active yeast, add the yeast to lukewarm water with a little bit of sugar and let it activate for about 15 minutes. Then add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients (flour and salt).

The Last Slice

Finally, you have seen if you can use self-rising flour for pizza and why you should look for a suitable substitute for self-rising flour.

We now understand the components of self-rising flour for pizza and why plain flour, bread flour, and yeast are superior due to gluten content and flavor composition.

Finally, we stated that pizza flour is better when it contains flour, yeast, and olive oil, among other favorite ingredients.

Nothing beats receiving that compliment from your friends and family. So go ahead and prepare your dough for family pizza night, and impress them with the knowledge you’ve gained!

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