Dry yeast has a shelf life of about 4 months after it is opened and if kept refrigerated. In a SHTF world, without refrigeration, it won’t be so simple to make bread without being able to reach into the fridge to get some of that fresh active yeast to perform it’s magic of making the dough rise. One solution to this potential problem is to make your own self rising flour. It doesn’t require yeast.
The key ingredient to self rising flour is baking powder. Baking powder contains three ingredients. Sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda). Monocalcium phosphate (acid salt). Cornstarch (filler and moisture absorbent).
Baking powder works by releasing tiny carbon dioxide gas bubbles into a batter or dough through a reaction between the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and acid/salt (monocalcium phosphate) when exposed to moisture, causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand and thus leavening the mixture.
The beneficial aspect to utilizing baking powder to make a self rising flour is that it does not require refrigeration. It’s not a living organism like yeast. So long as you keep it dry, the unopened shelf life is up to several years and once opened it’s good for about 6 months at room temperature.
To test your baking powder, add some (1/2 tsp or so) to some hot water in a cup. If it foams and bubbles, it has enough oomph left. If it just sits there, well, it’s no good.
Self Rising Flour RecipeTo make 1 cup of self rising flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir/mix until well blended together. That’s it!
Self Rising Flour Biscuits RecipeIn the spirit of cross-training in the kitchen, I decided to try my hand at making something edible from my self rising flour. I actually surprised myself by successfully making a simple but tasty batch of biscuits.
All the ingredients used required no refrigeration, making this a reasonable food source for post-SHTF. I only cheated by using the oven for baking. However you could substitute by cooking over a fire (dutch oven?), or using a solar oven, or even improvising by using a covered pan on low heat over a hot burner.
This makes 8 or 9 biscuits.
First mix all the dry ingredients well.
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cup sugar
4 tbsp powdered butter (1/4-cup)
1 tbsp powdered egg (1 egg)
Then add 1 cup water and mix well.
This will produce a sticky blend of dough. Unlike a yeast mixture, the self-rising-flour does not ‘rise’ prior to cooking. The rise will happen as it cooks. I spooned the mixture into foil baking cups (they will stick to the paper ones) and set them in cupcake trays. I suppose you could use and shape aluminum foil in a pinch, or you could even spread the batter mixture into a do-it-yourself foil ‘cake’.
Bake at 375-degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden.
Rumford Aluminum Free Baking Powder, 8.1-Ounce Canisters (Pack of 6)
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