Measure for Measure: the simplest way to make standard recipes gluten-free

Let’s face it, gluten-free baking isn’t exactly a piece of cake.

It can be a challenge trying to retrofit your favorite recipes to gluten-free. The rice flour and tapioca, the xanthan gum, the wondering about different mixing techniques or baking times… Gluten-free baking can quickly become confusing.

Enter Measure for Measure, our brand new gluten-free flour.

Substitute Measure for Measure 1:1 for the all-purpose or whole wheat flour in your favorite recipe. Bake. Enjoy.

That’s it. No estimating the amount of xanthan gum; no wondering if you should add an egg, or let the batter rest for awhile, or any of those other tweaks you’ve gotten used to making when changing a recipe from gluten-full to gluten-free.

Truthfully, I was a bit skeptical when I started testing this flour. I mean, really? I can make my favorite treats gluten-free WITHOUT CHANGING A SINGLE THING – except the flour?

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

Really. Here’s the original version of our Quick and Easy Fudge Brownies, made with all-purpose flour.

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

And here they are made with Measure for Measure (left), and with all-purpose flour (right), for comparison. Same crust. Same moist texture.

And best of all, same wonderful deep-dark fudgy flavor.

Brownies use very little flour, so they’re one of the easiest treats to transition to gluten-free. But how about scones?

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

Here’s our basic scone recipe, gussied up with dried cranberries and sliced almonds.

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

And here’s the same recipe (with sparkling sugar standing in for the almonds) – Measure for Measure version on the left, all-purpose flour on the right.

How about rise and texture?

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

Measure for Measure on the left; all-purpose flour on the right. The gluten-free scones actually rose a bit higher.

[Confession: Yes, I threw some chocolate chips into the dough, just because.]

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

Ah, Morning Glory Muffins – in all their delicious whole-grain glory. Let’s see what happens when we replace the whole wheat flour in this recipe with Measure for Measure.

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

Again, Measure for Measure on the left; the original recipe, made with whole wheat flour, on the right.

Rise, texture, flavor? Check, check, check.

And, since Measure for Measure is whole grain, even the nutritional benefits are similar.

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

Measure for Measure works even when you goof up. Here’s our 2015 Recipe of the Year, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. They look yummy, right?

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

That’s Measure for Measure on the left, all-purpose flour on the right. This is the first instance where I saw a slight difference in performance; the all-purpose flour cookies browned a bit more than those made with Measure for Measure. But taste, texture… well, by now you know the answer.

PERFECT. Measure for Measure yields results indistinguishable from “the real thing” – your favorite recipes baked with all-purpose or whole-grain flour.

And finally, let’s test our moist, dense Golden Vanilla Pound Cake.

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

Here’s the original version, topped with berries; see Six Ways to Dress Up Pound Cake for more great serving suggestions.

Measure for Measure via @kingarthurflour

And here’s the Measure for Measure version (left) stacked up against the all-purpose flour version (right) for comparison.

As always, rise, texture, flavor… well, you simply can’t tell one from the other. And that’s exactly the point.

Now, there’s one caveat: Measure for Measure shouldn’t be used in yeast-based recipes (your grandma’s dinner roll recipe, The New York Times’ no-knead bread, etc.) Gluten-free yeast recipes need a whole different technique than regular yeast recipes. But do go ahead and use Measure for Measure (or our original King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour) in yeast recipes written specifically for gluten-free flour: either will work just fine.

At the end of a long day of baking, I have one reaction: totally psyched! It’s sooooo handy to be able to open any cookbook and change the recipe you want from standard to gluten-free – simply by substituting Measure for Measure.

So whether you’re a full-time gluten-free baker, or simply need to make the occasional gluten-free treat, pick up a bag of our new Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour. It’s destined to become a pantry must-have.

P.S. I notice a lot of you have asked about making pie crust with Measure for Measure. Yes, you can absolutely make pie crust. It’ll be a “short” crust: tender, rather than flaky. The dough should handle easily, and the crust will taste just fine.

Gluten-free flours in general seem to do better in higher-fat crust recipes, so try to use a recipe with more fat, less liquid. When making pie crust, I use fat totaling 75% of the flour weight; e.g., if the crust calls for 2 cups of all-purpose flour (8 1/2 ounces), I use 6 3/8 ounces of fat (8.5 x .75 = 6.375). I then dribble in just enough liquid to make the dough cohesive, not crumbly. For more on this measuring technique used by professional bakers, see our blog post: baker’s percentages.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Alexis Napoliello

    My father used to make Easter bread every year and I’d like to bring back that tradition. The only problem is my husband needs to stay GF for his health so I turned the kitchen/apartment into a no wheat gluten zone and dad’s recipe is made with wheat flour. I’ve yet to find a gluten free Easter bread recipe that isn’t like tastless concrete. Any plans for something like that? It’s a yeast bread and the instructions here say the measure for measure shouldn’t be used for yeast items.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Alexis, we don’t currently have a gluten-free Easter bread recipe, but we will absolutely pass your message on to the team that develops and tests new ones! It can definitely be a frustrating experience trying to adapt old family traditions to new dietary restrictions. We hope you find plenty of other gluten-free recipes to tide you over in the meantime, though. Happy baking! Kat@KAF

  2. Sarah

    Have had to be GF for about 6 years now, hated every minute of it b/c I love to bake! Over time, have experimented w/different GF flour blends, adding my own xanthan, etc. This year, I decided to give measure-for-measure a try to simplify things – well, this one is THE BEST YET! My normal go-to is your GF all-purpose blend – much nicer crumb than any other blend on the market, IMHO. Well, this beats that – crumb nicer AND I don’t have to finagle the xanthan. I’m sitting looking at 3 dozen tender, cakey lemon-ricotta cookies right now – I defy anyone to tell they’re GF! Thanks for thinking of all of us who can’t have gluten!

    Reply
  3. Rosa

    Love your measure for measure GF flour!!!! I am Italian by birth and love to cook and bake and safe it to say, I have used this flour to make Béchamel sauce, gnocchi as well as biscotti and cakes with marvelous results! My next attempt is focaccia! Will keep you posted on that one…

    Reply
  4. Tracy Rodia

    I used to thicken stew and make buttermilk pancakes and it worked perfectly. However, when I tried using in the Hershey Perfectly Chocolate cake recipe I had trouble. Texture was off and baking time was off. I am new to GF baking, that recipe is a very liquidity recipe… do I need to use a sturdier recipe for it to work? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Tracy! We’ve not tried that particular recipe so we can’t speak to the specifics, but in general gluten-free cakes take longer to bake than their traditional counterparts. We’d recommend turning the temperature on your oven down by 25° and extending the baking time. The inside of the cake should reach 210&deg when it’s finished. Also, feels silly to mention it, but make sure you’re working with Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour and not our Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour. The latter contains no xanthan gum and will result in a very soupy batter with little rise in it. Gluten-free baking is always a bit of an experiment, but we’re sure you’ll get your favorite recipe down with more practice! Kat@KAF

    2. Lauren

      Tracy- I couldn’t get that cake to work either. I’ve generally had excellent results with M4M but that particular cake always ends up a soupy mess- it rises huge then sinks to nothing. I’ve not had trouble with any other recipie over the past 3 years but that one.

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