GeorgiaC Posted 15 Jan 2011 , 11:15pm
post #1 of

I just learned that you are supposed to spoon your flour in the measuring cup, not scoop it out of the bag or canister. I read that if you scoop, you can get as much as 25% more flour. Sometimes I pour the flour into the measuring cup. I guess that is wrong, too.

Have you found the spooning of the flour makes a difference?

27 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 15 Jan 2011 , 11:27pm
post #2 of

We just went through this debate on another forum I belong to. Some people scoop into the cup, right out of the bag, others spoon the flour in, then level.

The method of measuring flour can mean the difference between a successful or failed recipe. And this is why I weigh my flour, instead of measuring.

AP flour measures to 4.5 ounces per cup.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

adonisthegreek1 Posted 15 Jan 2011 , 11:32pm
post #3 of

The only thing I heard about scooping is that it can cause you to have air pockets, therefore, you don't "scoop" the right amount of product needed.

playingwithsugar Posted 15 Jan 2011 , 11:33pm
post #4 of

It also compacts the flour, possibly causing too much flour to be measured out.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

tigachu Posted 15 Jan 2011 , 11:39pm
post #5 of

I agree with Playingwithsugar, weighing flour (or most dry ingredients) is really the way to go. If I use measuring cups, I use a measuring scoop to fluff the flour and pour into the measuring cup and level with a knife (taking care NOT to shake the flour down into the measuring cup or pack it). I did an experiment and by using this method, it was very close to the weight of flour measured using my scale. I almost always weigh my flour, though. Especially when testing a new recipe icon_wink.gif .

tokazodo Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 12:03am
post #6 of

Weighing flour is the correct way to measure flour. It's the way it's done in bakeries.
Flour can Measure (volume) differently due to a few different reasons. Humidity can be one reason. The way the flour settles can be a reason.
Winter wheat vs spring/summer wheat can cause a difference in density which would also cause differences in weight/volume.

Bakeries usually measure all the dry ingredients by weight, on a scale. Liquids ingredients, are usually measured by volume. (cups, pints, quarts, gallons etc...)

There is a difference when measuring one cup (volume) of flour vs. weighing 8 oz of flour. And if you scooped that flour into a one cup measuring cup, and then placed it on the scale everyday for 2 weeks straight, you would come up with several different weights.
It's best to weigh.

costumeczar Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 12:07am
post #7 of

If you want to see how it will make a difference, fill a measuring cup with flour by spooning it in, then tap the cup on the counter and see how much it compacts down. If you scoop it you'll be packing it into the cup, and that gives you too much flour, which then creates too much gluten when it's mixed. That makes the texture of the cake too tough. Or "inferior product" as they said in culinary school.

tryingcake Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 1:07am
post #8 of

weigh weigh weigh.... the only way...

simplysouthern Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 1:18am
post #9 of

For weighing are you meaning to weigh before sift or after sift?? Also what is the conversion for PS? Is there a chart someplace that breaks down dry ingredient into weight? I've never weighed my dry ingredients but it does bring about a very valid point, esp the humidity living in FL.

tryingcake Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 2:30am

weigh before or after - a pound is pound.. sifted or not. I sift after just to get lumps out.. but it still weighs the same.

tokazodo Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 11:12pm

Sift according to your recipe. But a pound is going to weigh a pound, today, tomorrow and the next day. Where as 2 cups will weigh different depending on the day and how you measured them. (did you sift? Did you tap the cup?)
It doesn't matter if it's flour or sugar, a pound is a pound.

infinitsky Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 11:50pm

I always weight my dry ingredients, and even most of the times my wet ingredients too.

As for weighting flour sifted or unsifted, it depends on the recipe.

If the recipe says for example 2 cups sifted flour in ingredient list, it means you sift and then weight 2 cups.

If the recipe says 2 cups flour in ingredient list, and later in directions it indicates sift the flour, it means you have to weight 2 cups unsifted flour.

For your information --->
1 cup unsifted flour = 125 grams
1 cup sifted flour = 112 grams

I made a chart of the most common ingredients that I use in baking and have it handy in a laminated sheet.

HTH icon_smile.gif

LindaF144a Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 12:20am

Put me down as someone who weighs the dry ingredients. And for this very reason too.

I always sift after I weigh. But for fun tomorrow I will try sifting before I weigh to see if I get more or less flour. But I believe it should not make any difference weight wise. Sifting only incorporates air, takes out the lumps, and fluffs it up. It really should not make a difference to the weight.

artscallion Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 1:02am

sifting only changes the amount of flour you use if sifting is mentioned in the directions, as someone said above. If the recipe says 1 cup of flour sifted, they are intending for you to use a different amount of flour than 1 cup of sifted flour.

1 cup of sifted flour means sift it first, then measure it in a cup and level. If you do this it will weigh 112g, as infinitsky says. So if you're someone who weighs ingredients, and the recipe calls for 1 cup of sifted flour, just weigh out 112g. whether you sift it before weighing or after will not make a difference; it will still weigh 112g.

If a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, sifted, that means to measure flour into a cup, level, then sift it, after. Done this way, it will weigh 125g, as infinitsky says. So if you're someone who weighs ingredients, and the recipe calls for 1 cup flour, sifted, just weigh out 125g. Whether you sift it before or after doesn't matter. It will still weigh 125g.

If a recipe does not mention sifting, you can assume that it should be measured in a cup, unsifted. What you do after that is up to you.
Or, if you weigh, it should be weighed at 125g. Whether you sift it at any point is up to you.

AnnieCahill Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 1:08pm

I'm going to make another suggestion for those of you who don't own a scale. In The Wedding Cake Book by Dede Wilson, she recommends aerating the flour by stirring it with a whisk and then using the "dip and sweep" method (just leveling with a spatula-NOT tapping or shaking the cup). I don't own a kitchen scale and I have been measuring flour this way for years. My cakes come out perfect every time. So while I do believe a scale is the best way, there are other ways too.

GeorgiaC Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 6:01pm

As simplysouthern mentioned, a conversion chart for weights would be handy. I did find this http://www.traditionaloven.com/tutorials/conversion.html
You can go through the 3 step process to get your result.

According to this, 1 cup of all purpose flour or confectioners sugar weigh 4.41 ounces.

But even w/o weighing, just knowing the spoon method of filling a measuring cup is a good thing to know.

yupi Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 3:01am

what about cake flour? according to the website posted above, 1 cup = 100 grams, how many grams is 1 cup sifted cake flour then? I just had a baking problem, so I don't dare to use my own cup measures icon_redface.gif

imagenthatnj Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 3:08am

That's the measure I take for cake flour, 100 grams per cup. I just made a cake using that. It came out perfect.

I use 125 grams for regular flour.

imagenthatnj Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 3:14am

Forgot to add that some cake flour comes pre-sifted, so don't worry; as long as you keep the 100 grams weight per cup of it, you'll be fine.

When I used to measure with a cup and weigh regular flour afterwards, I know I went all the way to 140 grams per cup of regular flour. So sifted or not, I know I'm doing better by weighing it at 125 grams. Cakes are good now.

mom2twogrlz Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 3:21am

I guess I'll invest in a scale.

imagenthatnj Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 3:30am

A scale speeds up everything, and one that has the option of setting it back to zero after you have put a bowl on it, and weighing only the ingredient (forgot what that's called) is the best.

I don't worry about "sifted/not sifted" because as soon as I get the flour from the supermarket, I sift into the big container that's going to hold it. I don't like bugs, or strange objects in my flours, and sometimes people have found stuff. So I sift flour and also sugar from the very beginning.

yupi Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 3:46am

what about caster/granulated sugar? is it really 225 grams/cup? icon_eek.gif

I was using other website measurements and it states 1 cup sugar = 198 grams! that's too much difference for me, and like I stated before, I just had a baking problem, the old measurement I used was 106 grams for cake flour and 198 grams for sugar, so I wonder whether this differences are the culprit (looking for other reason than my own faulty mixing method) icon_redface.gif

by the way, that zero-ing feature in digital scale is called TARE, it's really useful thumbs_up.gif

GeorgiaC Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 3:35pm

I just got the Kintrex SCL0640 scale. It tares, goes up to 11 pounds, stores easily - PLUS it uses ordinary household type batteries.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LZIGLQ/ref=oss_product

imagenthatnj Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 4:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by yupi

what about caster/granulated sugar? is it really 225 grams/cup? icon_eek.gif

I was using other website measurements and it states 1 cup sugar = 198 grams! that's too much difference for me, and like I stated before, I just had a baking problem, the old measurement I used was 106 grams for cake flour and 198 grams for sugar, so I wonder whether this differences are the culprit (looking for other reason than my own faulty mixing method) icon_redface.gif

by the way, that zero-ing feature in digital scale is called TARE, it's really useful thumbs_up.gif




For sugar, I looked all over, read everywhere, and found out that unfortunately, the weight for a cup of sugar goes between 7 ounces to 8 ounces per cup. 7 ounces equals about 200 grams (which makes your measurement of 198 kind of correct), 8 ounces is about 225 grams, which makes the other measurement correct.

The problem with sugar is that some granulated sugars are finer than others and so if you put finer sugar in a cup and weigh that, you're going to get a higher weight because more of it will fit in the cup.

I usually go with 225 grams and take it from there. Maybe do your own experiment and see how much a cup of your sugar weighs on your scale? It should definitely be in between the two measurements.

KATHIESKREATIONS Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 4:47pm

[quote="GeorgiaC"]As simplysouthern mentioned, a conversion chart for weights would be handy. I did find this http://www.traditionaloven.com/tutorials/conversion.html
You can go through the 3 step process to get your result.

According to this, 1 cup of all purpose flour or confectioners sugar weigh 4.41 ounces.

Thank you so much for posting this, GeorgiaC! It is great! I also have the scale you bought & it is such a time saver. I totally agree...weigh everything!!! icon_biggrin.gif

jade8 Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 5:06pm

imaginethatnj
im confused. fine sugar or regular, it will weigh the same. im not sure how you will get more in one cup of one vs the other. if i am wrong, please someone correct me.
in the Cake Bible, there is a reference for what everything should weigh. it comes in very handy for those who like to weigh ingredients out.

imagenthatnj Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 5:25pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade8

imaginethatnj
im confused. fine sugar or regular, it will weigh the same. im not sure how you will get more in one cup of one vs the other. if i am wrong, please someone correct me.
in the Cake Bible, there is a reference for what everything should weigh. it comes in very handy for those who like to weigh ingredients out.




My sugar is very fine. I use superfine sugar (still granulated, but very fine). There will be a different in weight. I don't kill myself with thinking about it. I've picked a weight and I've gone with it; made it my standard. I'm safe as long as it is between the 200 grams to 225 grams. I've chosen 225grams.

This might be a better explanation of the differences.

http://www.ochef.com/24.htm

artscallion Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 5:53pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade8

imaginethatnj
im confused. fine sugar or regular, it will weigh the same. im not sure how you will get more in one cup of one vs the other. if i am wrong, please someone correct me.
...




Fine sugar does not weigh the same as the same volume of regular sugar. The finer the grains are, the closer they can fit against each other, thereby packing more into the same space. The larger the crystals, the more air space is in between each crystal.

This is the reason that you can't substitute large crystal kosher salt for regular salt in recipes that call for a specific amount of regular salt. 1 teaspoon of kosher salt holds much less actual salt than a teaspoon of regular salt, because a lot of space is taken up with the air/space between the crystals.

I don't know if I'm explaining that clearly.

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