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Old 11-18-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
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Flour measurement question?

I have a recipe I want to try and it calls for 1 lb 8 oz of flour - is that 3 cups of flour? I'm trying to figure out how many cups I need (dry measure)
???


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Old 11-18-2008, 08:26 PM   #2
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I have a recipe I want to try and it calls for 1 lb 8 oz of flour - is that 3 cups of flour? I'm trying to figure out how many cups I need (dry measure)
???

My bread flour weighs approximately 5 ounces per cup. That being said, your recipe would be 4 1/2 to 5 cups of flour ( 1# 8 oz = 24 oz.) If it's all purpose flour you can add another 1/2 cup.

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Old 11-18-2008, 08:32 PM   #3
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Whenever I encounter a measurement in weight, I always weigh that item. I have a cheap digital kitchen scale. You can get analog kitchen scales even cheaper.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:01 PM   #4
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Sifted or unsifted measurement?

Unsifted flour weighs 5 ounces per cup.

Sifted flour is 4 1/2 ounces.

Choose your poison.

I've been cooking by weight for over 10 years and find it to be the most accurate way.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:12 PM   #5
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OY! Glad I asked ....thanks, I'll get a cheap scale.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:44 PM   #6
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OY! Glad I asked ....thanks, I'll get a cheap scale.
You'll be glad you did. It's not only more accurate, it's much more convenient, too.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:54 PM   #7
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You'll be glad you did. It's not only more accurate, it's much more convenient, too.
Sorry, Russell. I hit "edit" instead of "quote," so you'll see your post has been edited. Not edited at all. Just me being dumb.

Anyway...Amen, to getting a scale. It's so much more convenient. Far fewer measuring tools, etc. are dirtied and it's also more efficient. I wouldn't trade my scale for anything.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:38 PM   #8
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Here's enough info to drive ya' nuts, Toot!

Starting with measuring technique ... assuming AP flour and 1 cup:

1) If you scoop out of the bag (using the measuring cup) and scrape it off on the side of the bag it's about 5+ oz

2) If you scoop out of a cannister (using the measuring cup) and scrape level with a straight edge, about 5 oz

3) If you scoop the flour out of bag/cannister with a spoon and spoon into the measuring cup and level with a straight edge - 4.5 - 4.7 oz

4) If you scoop the flour out of bag/cannister with a spoon and sprinkle it into the measuring cup and level with a straight edge - 4.0 - 4.5 oz

5) If you sift the flour into the measuring cup - 3-3.5 oz

6) If you shake, bump or thump the cup to level it - it will weigh more than if you don't.

There is also a difference between regions. AP flour in Canada and the Northern US regional flours tend to weight more than National US brands which weigh more than Southen US regional brands. Shirley Corriher mentions this in her book Cookwise.

The type of flour also makes a difference in weight per unit volume.

Glad I could help simplify this for you!
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:43 PM   #9
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I buy bags of gluten free flour for my son that are about 1.6oz per bag. It usually ends up being about 3 cups per bag, but it can very depending on the flour type. It's really close though.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
Here's enough info to drive ya' nuts, Toot!

Starting with measuring technique ... assuming AP flour and 1 cup:

1) If you scoop out of the bag (using the measuring cup) and scrape it off on the side of the bag it's about 5+ oz

2) If you scoop out of a cannister (using the measuring cup) and scrape level with a straight edge, about 5 oz

3) If you scoop the flour out of bag/cannister with a spoon and spoon into the measuring cup and level with a straight edge - 4.5 - 4.7 oz

4) If you scoop the flour out of bag/cannister with a spoon and sprinkle it into the measuring cup and level with a straight edge - 4.0 - 4.5 oz

5) If you sift the flour into the measuring cup - 3-3.5 oz

6) If you shake, bump or thump the cup to level it - it will weigh more than if you don't.

There is also a difference between regions. AP flour in Canada and the Northern US regional flours tend to weight more than National US brands which weigh more than Southen US regional brands. Shirley Corriher mentions this in her book Cookwise.

The type of flour also makes a difference in weight per unit volume.

Glad I could help simplify this for you!
The whole thing also depends on humidity levels, too. That's why I rely on weighing my flour.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:03 PM   #11
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The whole thing also depends on humidity levels, too. That's why I rely on weighing my flour.
Drat - I left out "assuming a standard 12% moisture content" didn't I?
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:05 PM   #12
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Usually at the very beginning of baking books, the author will tell you things like whether to dip and sweep or sift and spoon and what size egg to use. It is what I normally do. I know that my digital Salter scale from BB&B was around $50--less the 20% coupon.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:37 PM   #13
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Usually at the very beginning of baking books, the author will tell you things like whether to dip and sweep or sift and spoon and what size egg to use. It is what I normally do. I know that my digital Salter scale from BB&B was around $50--less the 20% coupon.
I've had a Salter scale for over 10 years and couldn't live without it. Go for it! You won't be sorry.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:07 AM   #14
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OK - one more question for you sage scale users : what if the recipe calls for 3 cups of flour and I want to measure it on my scale - how would I convert it? just do the reverse of the advice above (5 oz per measured cup) to come up with the correct weight?

thanks!
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:41 AM   #15
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Personally, I always convert using the numbers I get from this site.

BTW, I find it's much easier to work in metric for weights - especially if you ever scale recipes.
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:54 AM   #16
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OK - one more question for you sage scale users : what if the recipe calls for 3 cups of flour and I want to measure it on my scale - how would I convert it? just do the reverse of the advice above (5 oz per measured cup) to come up with the correct weight?

thanks!
If you allow 5 ounces per cup, your scale measurement would be 15 ounces. Easy as that.
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Old 11-19-2008, 08:50 PM   #17
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OK - one more question for you sage scale users : what if the recipe calls for 3 cups of flour and I want to measure it on my scale - how would I convert it? just do the reverse of the advice above (5 oz per measured cup) to come up with the correct weight?
Not if you want the right answer!

The unit weight per volume can be different between different flours. For example - if you look at the nutrition information on the side of the flour bag you'll see the "serving size" - which is a unit weight per volume. In the case of a bag of Pillsbury Best AP flour - 1/4 cup = 31 grams. So ... 1 cup would be 124 g = 4.37 oz/cup.

If you want to get a little more accurate, take the weight of the bag (in oz or grams) and divide by the number of servings in the bag and adjust for 1 cup ... in this case, 32 oz / 29 (1/4 cup servings) x 4 (to get 1 cup) = 4.41 oz ... which is what the flour converter that Russellkhan posted a link to comes up with.

If you use an arbitrary number like 5 oz/cup - you will have 12%-14% too much flour (basically about 1/2 cup minus 4 teaspoons too much). If you're going to buy scales to measure flour you might as well get the right answer!
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:14 PM   #18
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Here's enough info to drive ya' nuts, Toot!

Starting with measuring technique ... assuming AP flour and 1 cup:

1) If you scoop out of the bag (using the measuring cup) and scrape it off on the side of the bag it's about 5+ oz

2) If you scoop out of a cannister (using the measuring cup) and scrape level with a straight edge, about 5 oz

3) If you scoop the flour out of bag/cannister with a spoon and spoon into the measuring cup and level with a straight edge - 4.5 - 4.7 oz

4) If you scoop the flour out of bag/cannister with a spoon and sprinkle it into the measuring cup and level with a straight edge - 4.0 - 4.5 oz

5) If you sift the flour into the measuring cup - 3-3.5 oz

6) If you shake, bump or thump the cup to level it - it will weigh more than if you don't.

There is also a difference between regions. AP flour in Canada and the Northern US regional flours tend to weight more than National US brands which weigh more than Southen US regional brands. Shirley Corriher mentions this in her book Cookwise.

The type of flour also makes a difference in weight per unit volume.

Glad I could help simplify this for you!
The moral of the story is that you should buy a cheap kitchen scale and do things the correct way, by mass. Volume measurement is just wrong.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:43 PM   #19
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The moral of the story is that you should buy a cheap kitchen scale and do things the correct way, by mass. Volume measurement is just wrong.
Hi JasonR,

The moral of the story is to find a recipe which has a consistency of measurement through all ingredients.

Thus, the recipe needs to be written in cups, ounces or grammes. A mixture of weights is a recipe to be avoided. A US pint is 16 fl oz and a UK pint 20 fl oz - lots of potential for error here.

For example, a white sauce, for a pouring consistency would be:

1 oz butter
1 oz flour
20 fl oz milk

and for a coating consistency:
2 oz butter
2 oz flour
20 fl oz milk

Hope this helps,

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