Self rising flour is a medium to low protein flour with chemical leavening, baking powder, added. The chemical leavening creates small air pockets similar to a cake rather than the larger pockets that are characteristic of a pizza crust. Chemical leavening also may not have enough force to lift cheese, sauce and toppings when baking forming a dense crust.
Flavor wise the addition of baking powder in self rising flour imparts its own flavor on a final baked product as well although rarely noticeable in sweets as there is generally enough other flavors added to mask it. Much of the flavor of a great pizza dough comes from yeast fermenting time, excluding that essential ingredient affects more than just its ability to rise. This leaves a crust that tastes more like flour than a pizza crust.
The lower gluten protein content of self rising flour will also create a much weaker dough that can not be stretched as thin without tearing. Although the kneading process is important for creating the gluten structure only so much can be created with the lower percentages of gluten protein found in self rising flour. Self rising flour is typically around 10% gluten protein whereas King Authur bread flour is approximately 14%
Self-rising flour for a quick pizza dough?
No. Using self-rising flour will not allow you to make a quick pizza dough. The flour takes time to hydrate to allow the gluten protein to develop as well as without the pockets of air from a yeast risen dough you will have a difficult time forming it. As mentioned before the chemical leavening used in self rising flour isn’t sufficient for creating a light airy crust. All this plus the flavor difference will not make a pizza dough that you would want to use in any case.
If your need for a quick dough to use such as on weeknights consider creating your dough a day to a few ahead of time and putting in the refrigerator. This process is called retarding dough. It creates a dough that will have a better flavor and texture as well.
Self-Rising Flour Recipe
Even though self rising flour shouldn’t be used for pizza it should also never be purchased in my opinion. With three basic types of flour low protein (cake), medium protein (all-purpose) and high protein (bread) you should use the appropriate flour that yields the texture you want then add the leavening needed, the flour in self-rising flour is generally all-purpose.
- 125 grams flour (1 cup)
- 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt