How To Measure Gluten-Free Flour

  • 01 of 05

    Pour Flour Into a Large Bowl

    Flour in bowl
    Fotosearch/Getty Images

    This may sound like a trivial subject, but there is a right way and a wrong way to measure flours. How you measure your gluten-free flours and starches can affect your gluten free cooking results, for better or for worse.


    Pour flour into a large mixing bowl, adding slightly more than the recipe calls for. This makes it faster and easier to spoon flour into the measuring cup. Lightly spoon flour into a cup so that it is mounded and brimming over with flour.


    What's wrong with scooping flour...MORE directly out of a flour bag or storage container? When you scoop flours and starches out of the bag, the dry ingredients easily compact, causing you to add more flour, by volume, than a recipe calls for.


    There is also the possibility that you may end up with less flour than needed when you scoop directly from the bag. But direct scooping is more likely to result in excess amounts of flours and starches in your recipes.


    Baking is based on the science of chemistry, and accurate measuring is important to consistent baking results.


    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Cut Through Excess Flour with a Knife

    Cut the Flour. 2008 © Teri Lee Gruss

    While holding the measuring cup over the mixing bowl, use a large butter knife or thin spatula to lightly cut straight down into the flour on the top of the measuring cup. This step encourages the flour to settle loosely in the measuring cup.


    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Use a Knife or Spatula to Scrape Excess Flour from the Measuring Cup

    Scrape Excess Flour From Measuring Cup. 2008 © Teri Lee Gruss

    In this step, you simply use your knife or spatula to scrape the excess flour or starch from the measuring cup back into the mixing bowl. You now have a cup of accurately measured gluten-free flour — ready to add to your recipe.


    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Put Excess Flour Back in the Bag or Container

    Put Excess Flour Back in Bag. 2008 © Teri Lee Gruss

    Spoon or pour the excess gluten-free flour or starch back in the bag or storage container. That's it. You have measured your gluten-free ingredients in a way that will promote consistent, better baking results.


    Next find out the results of my measuring experiment!


    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    An Experiment - Weighing 2 Different Measuring Methods

    An Experiment. 2008 © Teri Lee Gruss

    Is scooping gluten free flours or starches out of the bag a bad thing? Most of us have measured this way when we bake — if not all of the time, most of the time.


    To compare the weights of flour scooped from a flour bag and flour spooned into a measuring cup, I used my postal/kitchen scale to weigh each measurement.


    First I scooped 1/4 cup of white rice flour directly from the container and weighed it. It weighed in at 1.8 ounces. Next, I measured 1/4 cup of the same flour by spooning it into the...MORE same measuring cup, cutting the top, scraping off the excess flour with a spatula and weighing it on the same scale. This 1/4 cup of white rice flour weighed in at 1.3 ounces, a difference of .5 ounces — a big difference when it comes to the chemistry of baking!


    I conducted this little experiment twice, to verify the weights and produced identical results. Scooping a variety of gluten free flours called for a recipe could, in fact, add several ounces of excess flour and starch to your recipe, causing a less than perfect outcome. Bottom line- spoon, don't scoop!