How to Weigh or Measure Flour Accurately

Measuring Flour
Measuring Flour. Diana Rattray

Here are two common methods for measuring flour. I routinely use the spoon and sweep method in my recipes, or 4 1/2 ounces/128 grams for each cup. 

Other sites or recipes might differ from this average weight. Look for specific weights in the recipe ingredients list or a specific site's flour measuring instructions. King Arthur Flour generally lists a cup of flour at 4 1/4 ounces, while Cook's Illustrated states a cup of flour on their site weighs 5 ounces.

The Betty Crocker site uses the spoon and sweep method but doesn't mention weight. 

Spoon and Sweep

  1. Stir the flour before scooping.
  2. Scoop flour with a spoon and add to the 1-cup dry measuring cup (without compressing) until the cup is overflowing.
  3. Level with the handle of a wooden spoon or a flat spatula blade or handle.
  4. Using this method, you should have 4 1/2 ounces (about 128 grams) or just slightly less for each cup of flour.

Dip and Sweep or Scoop and Sweep

  1. Stir the flour before scooping.
  2. Scoop the flour up with the measuring cup overflowing.
  3. Level with the handle of a wooden spoon or a flat spatula blade or handle.
  4. You should have about 5 ounces (141 grams) for each cup of flour.

To Sift or Not to Sift

  • Though sifting is specified in some recipes, fluffing it with a spoon or whisking is probably all you need to do before you spoon it into the cup. When dry ingredients are combined in a bowl, whisk them to blend them thoroughly. 
  • Sift flour or dry ingredients if it is to be folded into a mixture.

Expert Tips

 

  • Weighing is the most accurate method. If the recipe specifies weight, weigh the flour.
  • Always use a dry measuring cup for measuring flour. Never use a liquid measuring cup.
  • If the recipe does not tell you how to measure or give a weight, use the 4 1/2 ounces/128 grams spoon and sweep method. 

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