This seems like a no-brainer to me now, but it wasn’t always. Maybe you measure your flour this way already, maybe you don’t. This post is for those of you who don’t.

Baking is a science, as we are all aware. Ingredients combined in the correct proportion have excellent results but if you change the proportions, sometimes even just a little, things don’t turn out as we would like. I know, I’ve had plenty of baking disasters.

Probably one of the easiest ingredients to flub up on is flour and it all comes down to how you measure it. Flour settles and compacts while it sits, so when you dip your measuring cup in and scoop it straight from the container you’re actually adding anywhere from 10 to 25 percent more flour than you intended. Too much flour and the end product will come out tough and dry.

So here’s what I do: First I like to take a spoon and fluff up the flour just a little. Then I use the spoon to, somewhat gently, scoop up the flour.

Scoop and dump
Then I pour the flour from the spoon into my measuring cup. This aerates the flour a little more.
Dumping the flour
Keep spooning in the flour until you’ve filled the entire measuring cup and it’s overflowing.
Piled high
Then take your finger and drag it across the top of the measuring cup. You can use a knife if you want, but come on, get your hands dirty.
Leveling it off
And there you have it, a nearly perfect cup of measured flour, ready to be turned into something delicious.
All level

You can also sift some flour first into a bowl and then use a spoon to scoop it into a measuring cup. That would be extra thorough of you.The best way to ensure that you’re using the correct amounts for each ingredient is to use a scale and measure everything by weight (and measuring grams rather than ounces will be even more exact). I have a scale that I love and use wherever possible. Believe me, it makes a world of difference. But many recipes don’t give weight amounts and so this is my trusty back up when I don’t want to do math and make my brain hurt.

Next time you bake, give this method a try.

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6 Responses to Handy Tip: How I measure flour

  1. Nicole says:

    Great tip! Thanks for the info!

  2. Bernideen says:

    Yes, these are excellent tips! Lovely blog!

  3. Whatever Dee-Dee wants says:

    I will try this next time I bake!

  4. Princess says:

    Great photos! Those alone without the text will teach you how to measure a cup of flour properly.

    Thanks!

  5. petersonjenna says:

    What kind of scale would you recommend?

  6. [...] Spoon-and-sweep method: Start by aerating the flour in your canister or bag by moving a knife around and loosening it up a bit. Then, using a spoon or scoop, place spoonfuls of flour into your measuring cup, until it’s overfull, then level it using your finger or the back of a knife. *Never give in to the urge to pack it in or tap it down. For a photo-look at this method, my talented friend, Annalise, has covered this on her blog in the past (here). [...]

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