Gluten free baking by weight, using a scale and measuring your flour in grams, is more precise than measuring flour by the cup. Since baking is a science the results of your baked goods will be more consistent when your measurements are more exact.
Do you need to bake by weight to be successful in the kitchen? Absolutely not.
Right up front I will say that I do most of my everyday baking, I’d guess about 80%, using cup measurements. I also have a kitchen scale, a good setup and I can easily make any recipe I want using weight measurements.
Here’s why and when you might want to weigh your flour.
The Mystery of Gluten Free Baking
The goal is to learn to bake what you like and have everyone wanting to eat what you bake because it’s so good. You want them to say it doesn’t taste gluten free.
When you start baking gluten free you have to try store bought products, gluten free mixes, different flour blends and of course bakery items. You quickly recognize what you don’t like but it can still be elusive to recreate the foods you like in your own kitchen.
There are many reasons baking tastes gritty, has an after taste or unpleasant mouth feel, turns out gummy and goes stale quickly. I’ve written many posts on a variety of topics about gluten free baking and none of these outcomes are because the flour wasn’t weighed.
I even teach a virtual cooking class called Understanding How To Use Gluten Free Flour. Join me if that intrigues you.
In this post the focus is about when baking by weight makes sense and when using cup measurements in just fine.
The Myth of Cup For Cup
Can you substitute gluten free flour for regular flour in a recipe?
Mostly no but sometimes yes.
Blends called cup-for-cup or all purpose work in some recipes, just not all recipes. How do you know which recipes? You’ve simply got to get in the kitchen and bake to answer that for yourself.
There is no single gluten free flour blend that replaces wheat flour in every recipe.
There are many flour blends that work in various recipes but it takes time to figure out what works in your kitchen. The fastest way to learn is to keep the recipes that work and make notes.
Does Gluten Free Flour Weigh The Same As Wheat Flour?
No. Wheat flour pretty much weighs the same no matter what brand you buy.
Not true with all the different gluten free flours and starches available. For this photo I measured 50 grams of six different gluten free flours. Each one has a different volume, texture and density.
It is precisely these different properties that allow gluten free bakers to tweak their flour blends and create amazing baked goods without gluten.
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Who Should Bake Gluten Free By Weight?
Is it best to bake by weight for gluten free? There’s no right or wrong, it depends on what you want. If you make your own flour blends you’ll definitely want a kitchen scale to weigh flour.
If you’re still not sure if you should buy a kitchen scale read the following two statements and see which one best describes you.
- I want to bake delicious gluten free muffins, pancakes, waffles, crepes (and a crepe cake), quick breads, granola bars, brownies, a few cookies, biscuits, cinnamon rolls and fruit crisps. Once in awhile I’d like to make Strawberry Shortcake, Yorkshire pudding, Sticky Date Pudding and flaky pastry for pot pies, meat pies, hand pies and whole pies. The recipes need to be reliable and I’ll use them over and over.
- I love cooking and baking and I’m interested in all of the above. I also want to learn to substitute and tweak recipes over time. I’m a foodie and I’m up for the challenge of trying anything. I’ll search for ingredients and buy special baking pans to make what sounds interesting to me. That includes, but is not limited to, recipes like these.
|-Loaves of bread, baguettes & flatbreads||-Ethnic specialties from around the world||-Croissants, puff pastry & anything I want!|
|-Homemade pasta and pizza||-All the deep fried foods||-Melt-in-your-mouth shortbread|
|-All kinds of cookies||-Airy Angel Food Cake||-Old-fashioned family recipes|
Baking By Cup Measurements
If you’re in the first group you’re in luck. I bake all the recipes I listed using my EGFG flour blend measuring everything by the cup. You can do the same and you don’t even have to use the blend I use. With a little effort you’ll learn what works best for you and what you like.
Once I found a flour blend that worked in most of my baking it was a game changer. It worked in about 80% of the type of recipes I made but I knew that no single flour blend gives the best results in every recipe.
Rather than pass over recipes that use weight measurements I just got organized my kitchen so I could bake by weight when I needed to.
The Benefits of Baking By Weight
If you’re in the second group (that’s me), you’ll want to bake by weight too.
These are the benefits of baking by weight.
- Weighing flour is more precise so the results are more consistent.
- Combining small amounts of different flours more closely mimics wheat flour in a specific recipe. The best yeast breads, homemade pasta and many fancy cakes use weight measurements.
- Once you’re set up for baking by weight it’s easier! When I make a quadruple batch of gingerbread cookies during the holidays I convert the cup measurements to weight because it’s easier.
- You never have to pass over a recipe that interests you so you can make anything you want.
When you measure in grams it’s precise. 1 oz = 28.35 grams.
For easy reference print this Gluten Free Flour Conversion Chart and tape it to the inside of a cupboard door in your kitchen to refer to when needed.
Get Set To Bake By Weight
In this YouTube video I’m making my EGFG flour blend. Skip ahead to the 6 min 23 second mark to see how I organize it all.
Never under estimate the value of getting organized to bake by weight.
A Kitchen Scale for Gluten Free Baking by Weight
I measure the individual flours to make my EGFG flour blend even though I bake most of my recipes using cup measurements. Yet a flour blend doesn’t give the best results in every recipe. Over time I’ve found that weighing individual flours gives better results for yeast breads, homemade pasta and pizza dough.
Baking by weight isn’t hard; all you need is a digital scale. Not only can you weigh flour a scale is also handy to portion meat, vegetables, pasta or anything you eat want.
These are the features I like in a kitchen scale:
- Flat surface to accommodate different sizes of dishes.
- Adjustable settings to weigh in pounds, ounces, kilos and grams.
- Tare button to zero the scale after setting a dish on it.
- Large digital display to easily read at a glance.
Whether you bake by weight or by cup I hope you’re inspired to keep learning. Let me know in the comments below what you learned or what you wish you knew sooner.
Originally posted January 2017, updated April 2023.
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More Resources for Gluten Free Baking by Weight
Here are some resources to help with your gluten free baking.
- Downloadable Gluten Free Flour Guide
- 11 Gluten Free Flour Recipes
- Gluten Free Flour Conversion Chart
- 12-part series on flour starting with How To Use Rice Flour In Gluten Free Baking. You’ll find links to all 12 posts at the bottom of every one as well as a YouTube video on the topic.