If you still are on the fence about weighing your GF flours, take a look at Allison’s (Eat Love Drink) post about these AP flours. Just the difference alone between whole wheat and white flours is astounding and as she says, can certainly explain the trouble with equal interchanging when baking. Thank you Allison – that was a great post.
From there I began to think more about GF flours. In the Canteen blog I’ve mentioned that I have over 17 flours and starches hanging around the kitchen. I often combine many of them (as you know from the recipes) depending upon whether the baked item is more savory, bread-like or sweet. I like that kind of baking freedom.
I knew from experience that the flours were all different from one another, not just in taste or feel, but in weight. And the trick to successful baking and reliable results (I am convinced) has more to do with total dry weight and the balance to the fats and liquids (hello, ratio) than anything else. It is chemistry.
I was one of those kids who skipped out on Chemistry in high school by taking art classes, so it boggles my brain when I think about it that way – and had I known back then what I know now, I would have taken the course with pleasure.
It is not how many cups a recipe calls for that is the answer, but how much weight (flour) it calls for that matters. Dry weight measuring in baking gives you absolute freedom to tailor a recipe to be able to use any of the flours that make you happy.
In Alice Medrich’s new cookie book, the recipes are all written out using weights as well as cup volumes. Her Snickerdoodle recipe calls for 13.5 ounces of AP flour or 3 cups. It is not a GF recipe – I was converting it. Using 13.5 ounces of GF flours, I got a volume measure of 3.5 cups. If I’d relied on just replacing 3 cups of AP flour with 3 cups of GF flour, my cookies would be very goopy and I’d end up tossing the mess. I really appreciate when bakers, like Alice, publish recipes using weights.
Many of you ask about substituting different GF flours in a recipe for a variety of reasons. Often the question is asked about how to replace the flour, cup to cup. And that actually is the wrong question and anyone giving you an answer is just guessing. You can sub in any flour you like as long as the total dry weight is the same in the end. You cannot say the same for cup to cup substitutions as you can see from the chart below and the example above.
To get the results for the chart I did a couple of things to keep it pretty controlled (since it is an experiment of sorts). I used the same volume one-cup measure for everything. I used the same method for dipping and the same method for spooning for every single starch and flour. I’ve also identify the source of the flour. And all of the flours are stored in Cambro containers so there isn’t much variability in that regard.
The chart indicates the results in both grams and ounces for each type of measure (dipped or spooned). Dipped, of course, is using the cup measure to dig in the container and scoop out the flour. Spooned is more like gently plopping the flour into the cup measure, spoon by spoon until it is just full – the light touch.
By the time I was done, the kitchen, the dogs (who thought I was baking) and my clothes were covered in flour dust. Starches and potato flour are like dust storms. But as you can see, they are not at all created equal.
I heartily recommend that you invest in that scale so you are:
- accurately measuring in the dry weight
- don’t waste money on tossing out stuff that didn’t work (flour is expensive)
- can have the freedom to use whatever flours you want
To that end, the GF Canteen is giving away another scale – this time the Oxo with the pull out display. In the comments section below mention why you want a scale and which flours you mostly use in GF baking. A big bonus to the person who dishes about their baking wreck created by using those cup measures.
Once again, try to amuse Cap’t Awesome – it really is easy. He gets to pick the winner and he won’t review the comments until the end. You have until May 14, 2011 to add your comment to win the scale.
And while you are at it, stop by the Gluten Free Canteen Facebook page. You can comment there as well.
ONE VOLUME CUP
|Almond Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)||114 grams and 4 ounces||93 grams and 3 1/4 ounces|
|Coconut Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)||135 grams and 4 3/4 ounces||106 grams and 4 1/4 ounces|
|Corn Starch, GF (Bob’s Red Mill)||139 grams and 4 7/8 ounces||123 grams and 4 1/4 ounces|
|Millet flour (Bob’s Red Mill)||140 grams and 5 ounces||133 grams and 4 3/4 ounces|
|Oat flour, GF (Bob’s Red Mill)||120 grams and 4 1/4 ounces||98 grams and 3 1/2 ounces|
|Peanut Flour (Southern Grace Farms)||132 grams and 4 5/8 ounces||105 grams and 3 3/4 ounces|
|Potato Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)||199 grams and 7 ounces||176 grams and 6 1/4 ounces|
|Potato starch (Bob’s Red Mill)||168 grams and 5 7/8 ounces||153 grams and 5 3/8 ounces|
|Sorghum flour (Bob’s Red Mill)||135 grams and 4 3/4 ounces||115 grams and 4 1/8 ounces|
|Superfine brown rice flour (Authentic Brand)||143 grams and 5 ounces||125 grams and 4 3/8 ounces|
|Superfine white rice flour (Authentic Brand)||171 grams and 6 ounces||138 grams and 4 7/8 ounces|
|Sweet Rice flour (Authentic Brand)||163 grams and 5 3/4 ounces||140 grams and 4 7/8 ounces|
|Tapioca Starch (Bob’s Red Mill)||136 grams and 4 3/4 ounces||123 grams and 4 1/4 ounces|
|Teff Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)||167 grams and 6 ounces||150 grams and 5 1/4 ounces|