the little kitchen how tos – how to measure flour (for baking)

When you’re baking, it’s important to measure flour the correct way. Otherwise, you may end up with too much or too little flour in your recipe. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, I’ll show you how to measure flour – two different ways. Even using a scale can be a little sticky because different flours and even different flour brands weigh differently. I find the first method below the easiest and quickest. It’s important to note that you should only use the second method if your recipe calls for it.

1. Using a proper dry ingredient measuring cup is very important. Those glass cups with spouts and measure up to 2 to 4 cups are for liquid measuring.

2. Use a spoon or another measuring cup, scoop the flour into the measuring cup that you’re using to measure with. Don’t pack in the flour with your spoon or you’ll get too much. Don’t tap the measuring cup either. Just scoop it in.

3. Using an angled spatula or the straight side of a butter knife, level off the flour – just once. Don’t use your finger, it’s not even. Again, don’t pack in the flour. And that’s it!

The scoop and sweep method of measuring flour is used in different recipes including in my favorite pizza dough cookbook – Artisan Pizza & Flatbread in 5 Minutes a Day and it’s much quicker to measure this way.

1. Scoop your measuring cup into the flour and make sure to overfill. Don’t pack in or tap the measuring cup.

2. Again, using an offset spatula, level off the flour – going in one direction only.

And that’s it! I hope to share with you more how tos from the little kitchen in the future!

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10 Responses to “the little kitchen how tos – how to measure flour (for baking)”

  1. 1
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — December 11, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

    Great tutorial, Julie! Sometimes I get lazy and don’t do this 100% of the time. I know, I’m so bad.


  2. 2
    Nichol — December 11, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

    Great tips. I used to just put my stainless steel measuring cup in. I learned my lesson. Very informative for those who don’t know!


  3. 3
    Nikki @Pennies on a Platter — December 11, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    A few years ago, while watching The Barefoot Contessa, Ina said to stir or fluff your flour before scooping to measure your flour. So, that’s what I’ve been doing! :) I wonder if, because you’re fluffing it first, it ends up being very close to spooning it in to the measuring cup? Thoughts? :)


    • Julie Deily replied: December 21st, 2012 @ 11:34 am

      You know…that’s a good question. I personally still would use the spooning method because I would be afraid of scooping not enough that way? Ina knows it all sooo I don’t know! It would be a great experiment…to weigh different methods and see how close you get to the actual weight of one cup of flour!


  4. 4
    Laura (GotChocolate) — December 11, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

    I do the second one all the time. I’ll try the first method next time. Do a tutorial on measuring peanut butter. I bet most people don’t know whether to measure it in a liquid or dry measuring cup?



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  6. 5
    Shanna@ pineapple and coconut — December 13, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

    For the most part I weigh my flours using my kitchen scale. I have found that this makes for better baked goods a lot of times I would test it by measuring in a cup vs weighing and I would get a lot more scooped in the cup. No one wants to much flour. However when I am rushed or too lazy to get out my kitchen scale ( which is on the shelf above my flour in my pantry) I use measuring cups or when I have my kids help me bake. Easier for them to pour things into the mixer using a measuring cup. I lightly spoon the flour in and level off with a spatula just like you demonstrated!


  7. 6
    Eric martin — October 20, 2013 @ 1:26 am

    Great tips. I tap way too much. My bread was getting way too hard.


  8. 7
    Eric martin — October 20, 2013 @ 1:32 am

    The second method is not recommended. It’s form of packing.


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