A GlutenFreeFind.com reader asks our Expert, Carol Fenster of CarolFensterCooks.com what causes her gluten-free baking to turn out dry. This is a common challenge when baking gluten-free.
Question: My gluten-free baked goods keep turning out rather dry. What am I doing wrong when I bake?
Answer: I am convinced that one of the major reasons for dry baked items is incorrect measuring which yields too much flour. Such a simple thing, yet many of us never learned the right way. Baking requires “exactitude,” not “eyeballing.” 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―like they do on television. But with baking, you don’t get a second chance. Once it’s in the oven there’s no going back.
Here is how I measure flour. I always discuss this in the front of my cookbooks, including, 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes (and my online cookbook at www.GfreeCuisine.com), so you should always read the front of any cookbook to see if the author shares this very important fact. If not, assume that it is the following method:
“Whisk the flour a few times to aerate or fluff it and then lightly spoon it into a measuring cup before leveling it off with a knife. Don’t use the measuring cup as a scoop; you 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 because you may get more flour than the recipe intended and your baked items will be drier and tougher. That is why measuring is so important.”
I checked almost all of the major food magazines and most do it this way. You can watch me measure flour at my website at www.CarolFenster.com, under Tutorials called http://savorypalate.com/index.php/how-to-measure-flour/ [How to Measure Flour].
Answered by GlutenFreeFind.com Expert: Carol Fenster. Carol Fenster of CarolFensterCooks.com is the author of 10 gluten-free cookbooks for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, including 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes. She offers a weekly gluten-free online cookbook at www.GfreeCuisine.com. Her articles, recipes, quotes, photos, and reviews of her books appear in many publications, including USA Today, Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest, New York Times, Washington Post, Vegetarian Times, Today’s Dietitian, Living Without and Gluten-Free Living.