Gluten Free Baking by Weight
If you’re like me, you grew up learning to bake by volume.
My very first baking memory has me standing in an antique Shaker chair at my godmother’s tall baking counter, squishing my 4-year-old fingers into pie pastry, anxious to hold the old wooden French rolling pin she used. There was gluten and there were measuring cups.
At the time, thoughts of using a kitchen scale were as absent as those of celiac disease around my family. I can’t even promise you we used the proper “scoop and level” method… we were a rogue bunch of bakers, so we likely sunk the metal scoops right down into the flour vat, bringing it up to shake off the excess and away we went.
Somehow, we survived. ;)
Even when I baked for the corner bakery in my small country town in Australia, we baked by volume. Same when I moved back to the States and had my own catering and baking biz… cups ruled.
Fast forward to several years ago, after I broke up with gluten. I started out with cups, but something was not…quite…right. Something was missing.
I figured out it was the kitchen scale. I had one, as most bakers do, but it was far back in the top cabinet where it rested for too long. After two days of using the old scale, I summoned the Amazon gods to bring me a digital one. Nothing fancy, just a regular ol’ scale that’s easy to stow away somewhere besides the top shelf.
Then, I started baking by weight exclusively.
While I contemplated many times adding this info to the site, and using gram measures in my recipes, when I polled readers on Facebook periodically, the vast majority still preferred volume measurements.
I’ve Hinted about Baking by Weight in the Past
Of course, if you were reading every post and following my work closely, you know I at least hinted at the benefits of using weight versus volume measure in our gluten-free baking several times – in the article, “5 Flour Related Mistakes that Lead to Dry Baked Goods” and in my short YouTube video demonstrating how to properly measure flours and starches for baking. It really does make a significant difference.
In fact, using weight to bake makes such an appreciable different in how your baked goods will turn out, I can’t hold out on you any longer.
Keep the following in mind regarding the info I’m sharing here:
- This is not an all-inclusive resource, just some tips, ideas and measures from me to you, in case you’re interested in using a scale and improving your baking results.
- Weights shared on this page are for flours I use most in the recipes I create and share with you and in my flour blends.
- For flours I do not use in my baking (i.e., almond or other nut meals or flours due to my tree nut allergy), I do not provide weights.
- All weights listed below (with exception of those for flaxseed meal) are for 1 cup of the gluten-free flours and starches noted.
- Weights were calculated by taking the average of 5 weights for each flour or starch using a digital kitchen scale.
- Flours were measured properly using the spoon and level method, described here (scroll down to point #5 in the post).
Weight (in grams) of Common Gluten-Free Flours and Starches Per 1 cup
Oat Flour = 90 g
Sorghum Flour = 115 g
The following flours and starches weigh 120 grams per cup:
The following flours and starches weigh 125 grams per cup:
Brown Rice Flour
White Rice Flour
Cornstarch = 130 g
Potato Starch = 150 g
Because flaxseed meal is often used in flour blends to enhance texture or as an egg replacer, I’m including it here, as well. (Note: I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal.)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal = 54 g
1/4 cup flaxseed meal = 27 g
Weight (in grams) of Select Gluten-Free Flour Blends Per 1 cup
The following are all free from gums (like xanthan or guar). Do not add gums unless the recipe you are using specifies doing so.
Gigi’s Grain-Free Flour Blend = 120 g
Otto’s Cassava Flour (for grain-free, paleo baking) = 120 g (although Otto’s says it weighs 140 g per cup, I just have not found this to be so when I weight the flour, after sifting as they recommend. I have also seen other sites that report 120 g per cup as well, so that is what I use as my reference.)
Schar Mix Patisserie (available in Europe) = 110 g
Note: I am not compensated for linking to King Arthur Flour nor for Schar. I am simply linking so that you know exactly which products I am discussing here. The KA Multi-Purpose Flour Blend and Baking Mix are very good products, in my experience, and I use them in several recipes I share here on the site to demonstrate the versatility of these products, and to remind you, even if you do not have time to blend your own flours, there are excellent products on the market at a reasonable price. Schar is what I am able to get in France that is most similar to what we find in the USA. The Otto’s Cassava Flour link IS an affiliate link, which means if you click there and make a purchase, I will receive a small amount of compensation but this does NOT affect the price you pay. It is merely a means of helping support this site.
Check out my Quick & Easy Gluten-Free Pizza Dough recipe using KAF GF Multi-Purpose Flour!
Converting Recipes to Gluten-Free
I’m often asked how to convert a gluten-full recipe to gluten-free. I hesitate to answer because many factors influence a recipe’s outcome; however, when it comes to substituting gluten-free flours for gluten flour in a recipe, if you’re baking by weight, you can generally rely upon this rule:
Substitute an equal amount by weight of gluten-free flour blend for gluten flour called for in a recipe.
Regular (gluten-containing) white, all-purpose flour weighs about 125 grams per 1 cup (Note: this will vary depending upon the brand of all-purpose flour. For example regular King Arthur Flour is listed on their website as weighing 120 grams/cup. This variance is due to factors such as the type of wheat used, but generally, using 125 grams per cup turns out great results.).
To substitute an “all-purpose” type gluten-free flour blend (like Gigi’s Everyday Gluten-Free Flour Blend, Gum-Free OR King Arthur Flour’s Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour) for regular flour, simply weigh the gluten-free blends to equal the weight of gluten flour called for in a recipe. For example: If a recipe for your favorite cake calls for 2 cups regular all-purpose flour, substitute 250 grams (1 cup of regular flour = 125 grams X 2 cups = 250 grams) of gluten-free flour blend for the regular flour.
Can I guarantee you perfect results? Absolutely not! But you should be very close to a great recipe. You may need to tweak a bit for certain recipes. (Note: You will notice in some of my recipes, I vary from this general guideline. That is because I’ve tested with several different flour weights and determined the best for a great outcome. Again, it is a guideline and it may need tweaking, depending upon the specific recipe you are converting.)
You will VERY likely need to tweak if you’re using an alternative blend like my Rice-Free or Grain-Free Blends – those behave differently from the standard GF blends, so keep that in mind. You may need more liquid (water, milk, eggs, etc.) with those. The protein content of a flour blend influences the amount of liquid needed, too. That means some experimenting on your part.
Also, when it comes to recipes like loaves of yeast breads, some form of gum will likely be necessary. I recommend you begin with basic recipes for cookies, muffins, scones, biscuits, cupcakes and quick breads, then work your way up to loaves of yeast bread and more complex recipes.
Keep in mind, these are general guidelines, and I cannot assure you of your baking outcomes.
This page is a work in progress; look for more useful information on baking by weight as it becomes available.
For substitution suggestions and tips, please refer to Substituting Gluten-Free Flours and Starches.