What Do the Flours in Your Gluten-Free Mixes Weigh?

 

Here we are in the dog days of summer and I’ve been thinking about baking. In the past year, I’ve received more than the usual number of inquiries asking me how much the gluten-free flours that  I use in my gluten-free flour mixes actually weigh. And so I’m finally going to put the weights, along with an explanation, here as a blog post for anyone who’s interested (I had already posted most of them in a less detailed response to a question on the Guide to Flour Mix page). Years ago, I weighed each of the flours and the mixes myself (I weighed each of them between 10 and 15 times) and also asked more than ten of my regular field testers to do it in their own kitchens at least five times. In many cases, the weights were identical. If they were weren’t identical, and there wasn’t a huge difference (there never was), I took the average.

 It is important for you to realize that a fraction of an ounce or gram is not going make or break a recipe. I still use measuring cups to measure all my flour because for me, it is faster and easier and it works every time. But if you want to weigh the flour to make my mixes, here is what you’ll need to know.

BROWN RICE FLOUR MIX
Brown rice flour (extra finely ground)           2 cups
Potato starch (not potato flour)                       2/3 cup
Tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)    1/3 cup                 

Weight Equivalents:
Authentic Foods Brown rice flour         1 cup = 4 ounces (113 grams)
Potato starch                                              1 cup = 6 ounces (170 grams
Tapioca flour                                              1 cup = 4 ounces (113 grams)

1 cup Brown Rice Flour Mix made with Authentic Foods = 4.4 ounces (125 grams)

BREAD FLOUR MIX
Millet flour                                                             2 cups
Sorghum flour                                                       1 cup
Potato starch (not potato flour)                       1 cup
Tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)    1 cup
Corn starch                                                            1 cup         

Weight Equivalents:
Millet Flour                       1 cup = 4.75 ounces (135 grams)
Sorghum Flour                 1 cup = 4.5 ounces (128 grams)
Potato starch                     1 cup = 6 ounces (170 grams)
Tapioca Flour                    1 cup = 4 ounces (113 grams)
Corn Starch                        1 cup = 4.75 ounces (135 grams)

1 cup Bread Flour Mix is between 4.25 (121 grams) and 4.5 ounces (128 grams). The difference between the two numbers amounts to about one tablespoon of the flour mix, and is dependant upon which brand of millet and sorghum you use. Also, if you add up the total weight for each flour to make 6 cups of the mix and divide by 6, you will get 4.8 ounces (136 grams) per cup. The difference between that number and my designation of 4.25 and 4.5 as total weight per cup of the mix is do to aeration of the flour mix before measuring (see the How to Measure and Mix Gluten-Free Flours section below). The Bread Flour Mix is half whole grain and half starch, and so it takes in more air during aeration than the Brown Rice Flour Mix, which is two-thirds whole grain.

 

How to Measure and Mix Gluten-Free Flours


Using Volume Measure: Flour scooping versus spooning

Everyone measures flour a difference way: some people scoop, some sift, some spoon, and some dump it into the cup. But the amount of flour you end up with in that one cup measure can vary depending on the method you use, and it can vary a lot – by one tablespoon, more or less. So I have tried to narrow the variables that can go wrong. By specifying a specific method and describing it to the best of my abilities, I am trying to make sure that your cupcake or muffin comes out as well the ones I make in my own kitchen. I suggest you spoon flour into the measuring cup. If you scoop your flour, you may inadvertently add 1 tablespoon or more flour and make a heavier, denser cupcake. Perhaps you might not notice it unless you test side my side- as I always do. But along with great taste, texture and appearance, my goal also includes consistency: you should be able to make the best possible version of the recipe every single time.

To measure flour for making flour mixes: use a soup spoon to spoon each flour from the package into the measuring cup, or pour flour from the package into the measuring cup (my favorite method), then use a knife (or even the handle of the spoon) to level the top. Do not scoop gluten-free flours out of the package with the measuring cup. Empty the measured flour into a plastic container large enough to leave four to five inches from top. Shake the container vigorously to mix the flours. I usually make 12 cups of brown rice flour mix at a time and store and shake it in a 21 cup container.

To measure flour for use in recipes: Shake container vigorously to mix and aerate the flours (shake and bake). Use a soup spoon to spoon the flour from container into the measuring cup, then use a knife (or handle of the spoon) to level the top. Do not scoop gluten-free flours out of the package with the measuring cup.

 

Using Weight Measurements:

To measure flour for making flour mixes: Use the weights given above to make desired amount of Brown Rice Flour Mix or Bread Flour Mix. Empty the measured flour into a container large enough to leave four to five inches from top. Shake the container vigorously to mix the flours.

To measure flour for use in recipes: Use weight measurement below or volume measurement from Using Volume Measure – To measure flour for use in recipes just above.

1 cup Brown Rice Flour Mix = 4.4 ounces (125 grams)

1 cup Bread Flour Mix is between 4.25 (121 grams) and 4.5 ounces (128 grams). The difference between the two numbers amounts to about one tablespoon of the flour mix, and is dependant which brand of millet and sorghum you use.

19 Responses to What Do the Flours in Your Gluten-Free Mixes Weigh?

  1. Mary Buckley says:

    Hello Annalise-
    Sorry if this is a repeat e-mail, I hit something on my computer and the message I was writing a minute ago disappeared. I really just wanted to thank you for the great information on your blog and also ask a question (a bit off topic from measuring flours). Lately I’ve been seeing the “proofer” in the King Arthur Flour catalog, and I’m wondering what you think of it in regard to baking GF bread. Do you think it would make a worthwhile difference? I know proofing can be an important part of baking bread, but on the other hand I’ve had very good results with your recipes the way that I’ve been doing them. Do you think KAF would send you one to test on behalf of all of us gluten free customers? Would love any thoughts you have on this.
    Thanks so much-
    Mary Buckley
    Upstate NY

    • Annalise says:

      hi there!!
      Good to hear from you!

      I’ve seen that proofer (and I’ve looked at others), but I think the added expense isn’t necessary for home-based GF bread baking. A warm 80º ish oven works well and I’ve found my bread bakes better without the extra added moisture (I set my oven to 100º but then turn it off before it gets to 100). I tested added moisture in a closed environment (my oven) many times after I developed my bread flour mix and first set of good bread recipes- but it was never better than proofing without added moisture- in my recipes (in a home oven). I also get a better rise in my breads when it isn’t raining out and when my house isn’t damp. But I’ll try moisture again just for fun and report back!

      very best,
      Annalise

  2. Laura says:

    THANK YOU for addressing weight of ingredients, Annalise. I so much prefer to bake this way. It is far more accurate, easier, and less dishes. Anyone who is skeptical -please- give it a try. Before you finish the recipe you’ll be hooked.

    Laura, NYC

    • Annalise says:

      hi!
      You are very welcome. Hopefully, it will be useful for you – and the many others who want to bake by weighing ingredients!
      very best,
      annalise

  3. Jodi says:

    Hi Annalise,

    I am so super excited to have found your blog! (I was searching for a gluten-free zucchini bread recipe and came across your recipe and blog.) I have been using both your regular Gluten-Free Baking Classics and also your Bread Machine cookbook for quite awhile now, and I LOVE them!!! (I am so happy that you use mostly just 3 flour mixes!) My husband and son who are gluten-free devour everything I make from your books. I make the multi-grain sandwich bread about once a week, and other goodies and love the way they turn out. I’m excited to see the weights listed above, since I often buy in bulk at Bob’s Red Mill (which is local to me)! Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes which have blessed my family (and many others) so much!

    • Annalise says:

      HI!
      If you’ve been the lucky recipient of an armload of zucchini, that recipe should come in very handy!!
      And thank you for writing to let me know you are enjoying my recipes. It’s always nice to hear my work is making a difference to people.
      Please let me know if you have any questions as you work your way through the books!

      Very best regards,
      Annalise

      • Kim Boer says:

        We are new to the gluten free lifestyle. Above it’s mentioned to make zucchini bread. Before gluten free, we made a delicious zucchini blueberry bread. Do you think that would work w/your zucchini bread recipe?

        • Annalise says:

          hi
          I would think it would work well but I’d know better if I knew how your recipe was configured. Did it used whole fresh or frozen berries? It would probably be better to use fresh- I’m worried frozen blueberries might make your bread too wet (and zucchini bread is already pretty moist). Did you have to mash up blueberries, or were they just an addition, like the nuts. If you had to mash them up, perhaps you could let me know the proportions so I could give you better direction.

          Very best,
          Annalise

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  5. Glen says:

    Hi we love your bread recipes. They are delicious. One thing I am still trying to get the hang of is how to adjust for crumbs. At least when I make it, there are crumbs everywhere, so I’m guessing that my xanthan gum or liquids are off. Any idea what I am doing wrong? I’d really appreciate any suggestions you may have. Thank you very much!

    • Annalise says:

      hi!
      A few questions for you:
      What kind of xanthan gum are you using and how old is it?
      Which bread recipes are giving you crumbs (the ones with milk and eggs or the artisan)?
      If you are making the sandwich loaves: is it possible that you bread is over-done? Or that you are using a heavy, thick pan or a very dark pan, both of which would cause the outer crust of the bread to be thicker and crustier -and crumblier?
      Is your bread rising correctly and does it have air holes that look normal (because you mentioned the measurement of your liquids)?
      What brand millet and sorghum are you using?
      What is your altitude and are you in a dry climate?

      Ok! Let’s start with those!
      very best,
      Annalise

      • Glen says:

        Hi Annalise,

        Thanks. All of the xanthan gum and flours/starches are from Bob’s Red Mill. We keep them in the refrigerator and they are not expired. The xanthan gum was bought maybe 6 months ago.

        It’s the recipes with milk (we use 2%) and eggs (large). Mostly we make the multi-grain bread with 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, but no seeds. Sometimes I replace the 3 tbsp sugar with 2 tbsp honey and take out 1 tbsp milk, but I haven’t noticed a difference in terms of crumbs when I do that. We also usually use olive oil instead of canola oil.

        About for the pan, it’s the one in the Zojirushi. The middle of the bread is usually a bit lower than the ends (not sure if that’s the same as air holes?), but nothing extreme.

        We live at about 75 feet altitude in New York.

        On the outside of the crust, that part is good in terms of crumbs. It’s more the center (non-crust) part of the bread that, as we’re eating it, it tends to create a bunch of crumbs everywhere.

        Any idea what I am doing wrong? Thank you very much! I really appreciate your help.

        • Annalise says:

          hi!
          That all sounds about right. So next question- is the bread crumbly on the very first day or the second day? Or does it become really crumbly after that? And if yes, how are you storing it?
          best,
          annalise

          • Glen says:

            Hi,

            That’s a good question. I’ll make another loaf over the weekend and pay attention to it. We are storing it in a ziploc bag on the kitchen counter.

            Thanks again.

          • Annalise says:

            hi!
            ah!! There’s your answer there. They don’t last as long as industrial wheat breads because there are no preservatives, dough enhancers or mold inhibitors. If you leave most homemade GF breads on the counter, you’ve got only two good days. I put instructions for storage at the bottom of the recipe.
            very best,
            annalise

  6. kathy says:

    Dear Annalise,
    I have been off and on trying to bake with gluten free flours for the years. I grind my own brown rice flour, sweet rice flour and rice flour in a vita mix. I don’t like the grit in most of the store bought flours. The vita mix can get a very powdery flour. The problem is when I measure out the flour. I wish American recipes were more like Japanese or European and were stated in weights. What do you recommend?

    • Annalise says:

      Hi!
      I can only recommend that you use the specific flour weights provided by the cookbook writer. The big problem is that most gf cookbook writers don’t understand that 40 grams of one gf flour IS NOT the same as 40 grams another gf flour. Weights work in wheat based recipes because all purpose wheat is all purpose wheat is all purpose wheat and it weighs the same almost everywhere and has the same properties.

      But 40 grams of Authentic Foods brown rice IS NOT the same as 40 grams of anything else on the planet. The grind and essential nature of the flour molecules and how they behave is different. For a visual think 40 grams of sand and 40 grams of marbles in a glass. Pour in some liquid. I hope you can see what I’m getting at.

      So when gf cookbook writers tell you that you can sub any flour as long as you use the same weight- they don’t really understand what they are saying and/or they don’t mind inconsistent results.

      Hope this help!
      Annalise

  7. Maria says:

    Hello. I have a quick question about flour mixes. I have been trying to make a couple of quick breads with a homemade GF flour mix that includes sorghum, brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch. If you need to know proportions I can provide those. I am on my third attempt and am just about ready to give up. Whenever I have made my quick breads, I follow the recipe, but they turn out very gummy in the middle. I have tried mixing them to create more air bubbles, but it was still really gummy. What could case this? Too much sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, or starch in general?

    • Annalise says:

      hi!
      I cannot give you an exact answer without knowledge of the recipe and the amounts of the flours you are using. But in general, the answer to your question is all of the above and more.

      First, unless you’ve used the recipes before with wheat and know they work, you could be using bad recipes that aren’t calibrated well to begin with (there are a lot of bad wheat recipes on the planet).

      Second, you are throwing everything but the kitchen sink into your flour mix; I’m not sure why. And unless you’ve used that flour mix and know and understand how it works in recipes, it’s hard to adjust the xanthan gum, liquids and fats in your recipe when you convert it.

      Third, if you over-mix cakes and quick bread and muffins, they rise too quickly and then fall, which can contribute to a gummy middle.

      If you’d like to give me more specifics, I’d be very happy to help. You can write me here through this blog. Click on the little envelope under “Get Connected” in the side bar.

      Very best regards,
      Annalise

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