In Scotland (and other parts of the British Isles) when making "mince and tatties" (cooked ground beef accompanied with boiled potatoes) it's not uncommon to cook doughballs, or dumplings in the mince near the end of the cooking process.

Normally I'd do this with self-raising white flour, shredded suet (using a product branded as Atora), water and a pinch of salt. However due to supply chain problems these days all I could get was strong brown flour and suet. What do I need to add to the mix that would give me the "self-raising" action? I'm thinking baking powder, but I don't know how much to add per 100g of brown flour to create "self-raising brown flour".

Any guidance would be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


In the UK self-raising flour doesn't have salt in it, SR flour is just fine plain flour with baking powder in it. In the UK to make a substitution you'd use 150g plain flour plus 2 tsp baking powder mixed in, 100g would be 1 1/3 tsp. In the US most SR flour has salt in it for some reason, so for completeness you would use all-purpose flour plus 2 tsp baking powder plus 1/2 tsp of salt.

Strong brown flour (whole wheat bread flour) isn't ideal for your doughballs as it has a lot of gluten, and the flour is courser, but it should work okay as long as you:

  1. Add a small amount of water to help bind the dough if they don't stick well
  2. Work the dough as little as possible. SR flour is generally lower in gluten, strong flour is high in gluten, if you work the gluten in the dough it may make your balls stretchy rather. The fat should help to minimize that, but it still helps to stop as soon as the mix is combined
  3. Cook the doughballs longer. Bread flour is courser so may need more time to cook. They may absorb a bit more water than SR flour as well, so be prepared to top up the moisture if you are cooking them in a stew
  • Unfortunately strong brown flour is all I can get at the moment. The salt I mentioned in my question is just part of the doughball recipe. Thanks for the answer though, I'm sure the results will be interesting :)
    – Kev
    Mar 31, 2020 at 10:07
  • 1
    I'm in the same boat, just about everywhere is completely out of flour, the shelves are bare. I've had some luck at smaller shops and greengrocers.
    – GdD
    Mar 31, 2020 at 10:10

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