How to Measure Flour (the Right Way)
Baked goods require very precise measurements of ingredients. It is unlike other cooking methods where one can make very small adjustments in the amount of ingredients to suit one’s taste preferences. This is not the case with baking, especially flour. It is for this reason that every baker needs to know how to measure flour the right way.
Digital Weighing Scale
The most accurate way to measure flour is by using a digital kitchen weighing scale. There are recipes that are very specific as to how many grams or ounces of flour they require. While most of us are more familiar with household measurements such as teaspoons and cups, it is important to recognize that these may not provide the precision we need in measuring flour.
Using a digital kitchen weighing scale can give you the most accurate measurement of flour. Unfortunately, not all of us have these devices in our homes.
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You can still achieve accurate measurements without using a digital weighing scale for the kitchen. Here, you will need your measuring spoons and cups. In learning how to properly measure flour using these kitchen tools, it is important to use those items that are specific for dry ingredients. This is very important.
Liquid measuring tools may look the same as dry measuring tools. For instance, you may see that 1 cup of liquid is equivalent to 8 ounces. However, if you use the same measuring tool with a dry ingredient, the 1 cup portion may not be equivalent to 8 ounces. This is because dry ingredients are often lighter in weight. For example, a cup of ordinary flour can only be equivalent to 4.5 ounces. It would be a mistake to use a liquid measuring tool, hoping that you will have 8 ounces of flour to a cup. In reality, it is only 4.5 ounces.
Measuring Flour Using Measuring Cups and Spoons
Let us now go through the different steps on how to measure flour for baking and other culinary purposes.
- Fluff the Flour
This is one of the most critical steps in measuring flour. Always fluff the flour in its container or packaging before attempting to scoop it out for measurement. Flour has a tendency to become compact. If you are going to dig into the flour as soon as you open the bag, there is the possibility of getting a very inaccurate measurement.
If you are going to scoop one cup of flour without fluffing it first, you can get a weight of about 6 ounces. If you fluff the flour before measuring, you may get a very different measurement. You may have anywhere between 4 to 4.5 ounces.
The 1.5- to 2-ounce difference can mean a lot in your baking. It can make your baked goods have a very different texture. That is why it is important to fluff your flour first. You can use a fork or a spoon to fluff the flour. This will help guarantee that you will have a more accurate measurement.
- Spoon the Flour to the Measuring Tool
There are people who scoop the flour straight from the container using the same tool they will use to measure flour. As already explained, doing so will result in a different measurement. Scooping will cause packing of the flour.
A better solution is to spoon the fluffed flour into the measuring tool. This can help prevent or minimize the tendency of flour to pack together. Fill the measuring cup until you create a mound. Do not worry about excess flour at the stage.
- Scrape Excess Flour
There are some people who tap the sides of their measuring cup to help level off the top. Do not do this. This will only pack the flour and lead to very inaccurate measurements. The correct way of how to measure flour is by scraping off the excess ingredient from the top of the measuring cup.
Place the back of a knife or a spatula at the section between the bowl and the handle of the measuring cup. The length of the knife should span the widest section of the measuring cup. In one motion, sweep the knife across the bowl and beyond the opposite side of the handle. This is the best way you can ascertain that you have the correct flour measurement.
Everyone needs to know how to measure flour for baking and other purposes. It is as easy as fluffing the flour, spooning it into the measuring device, and leveling off the top. And if you want to be sure about your measurements, you can always use a digital kitchen weighing scale.