Measure Correctly for Gluten-Free Baking Success
By Carol Fenster, author of 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes (Wiley, 2008)
www.CarolFenster.com ; www.CarolFensterCooks.com ; and www.GfreeCuisine.com
One of the chief reasons for baking failures is measuring incorrectly. Such a simple thing, yet many of us never learned the right way. Baking is an effort of exactitude, not “eyeballing” as they sometimes call it. We can get away with “eye-balling” in cooking because you can make adjustments as you go―such as adding more salt or seasonings to a pot of soup or a sauce. But with baking, you don’t get a second chance and once it’s in the oven there’s no going back.
So, I want to talk about how I measure flour, a step where most of the error occurs. I always discuss this in the front of my cookbooks, including my latest, 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes, so you should always read the front of any cookbook to see if the author tells you this very important fact. If not, assume that it’s the method I’m about to share.
All of the recipes in my books measure flour by whisking it a few times to aerate or fluff it and then lightly spooning it into a measuring cup before leveling it off with a knife. Don't use the measuring cup as a scoop; you'll get up to 20% more flour that way and don’t pack the flour down into the cup. Don't use the glass, spouted measuring cups (which are for liquids) to measure dry ingredients like flour or sugar because you may get more than necessary. If you use more flour than the recipe intended, your baked items will be drier and tougher. That is why measuring is so important. I have surveyed most of the major food magazines and (except for a few) most do it this way.
Now that you know the proper way to measure flour, here is a delicious, healthy recipe for you to try.