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.
The Joy of Gluten Free Baking
The goal is to learn to bake what you want. If you’ve tried gluten free baking you’ve probably spent time and money shopping only to make something that was a complete fail. Sometimes it even works but the taste and/or texture is so bad you wouldn’t repeat it. That’s a fail too.
We’ve all done it!
I’m all about helping you learn to cook and bake what you want. The learning curve is steep. I bake by weight and by cup measurements but this is the information I wish I knew when I started. To get to success quicker.
The Myth of Cup For Cup
Can you substitute gluten free flour for regular flour in a recipe?
Yes and no.
Blends called cup-for-cup or all purpose work in some recipes, just not all recipes. How do you know which recipes? You’ve got to get in the kitchen and bake.
No matter how much we hope for it, there’s 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.
Which of the following two statements 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 had a flour blend that worked I was excited. I kept baking and learning and eventually learned that no blend works in every recipe.
The choices are; pass over recipes that use weight measurements or get organized to bake by weight.
The Benefits of Baking By Weight
If you’re in the second group (that’s me), you need to bake by weight too.
These are the benefits of baking by weight.
- Weighing flour is more precise so the results are more consistent.
- You can combine small amounts of different flours to more closely mimic wheat flour in a specific recipe.
- The best yeast bread recipes use weight measurements.
- Once you’re set up for baking by weight it’s easier!
- You can make anything you want.
When you measure in grams it’s precise. 1 oz = 28.35 grams.
For easy reference print my conversion chart in this post, Gluten Free Flour Conversion Chart, to easily convert gluten free flours from cups to grams. Tape it to the inside of a cupboard in your kitchen so you can fin it when you need it.
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.
Don’t under estimate the value of getting organized to bake by weight.
Get The Tools – Gluten Free Baking By Weight
Baking by weight isn’t hard; it’s more of a mindset. You’ll need a scale and you need all the flour.
A good kitchen scale is the most important tool for gluten free bakers. You can portion meat, vegetables, pasta or anything you eat using a scale. I measure flours to make my EGFG flour blend even though I do most of my baking by cup measurements.
These are the features I like in a kitchen scale:
- Flat surface to accommodate different sizes of dishes,
- Setting for pounds, ounces, kilos and grams,
- Tare button to zero the weight with a dish on the scale,
- Display large enough to 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 January 2022.