How To Measure Flour

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While cooking some of the recipes in our cookbook recently I have been asked about the methods to measure flour. Specifically this happened while making our recipe for Irish Soda Bread. So here are my tips on how to measure flour for a recipe.

When measuring flour for a recipe, do not scoop it up with the measuring cup. Doing so will pack the flour into the cup, resulting in a greater volume of flour than the cup actually holds.

First, lightly stir the flour in your canister. Then, gently scoop up the flour with a large spoon or whatever, sprinkle it into your measuring cup and level it with a knife. That will give you an accurate measure resulting in flaky pastry, light cakes and tender breads.

This applies to all types of flour but, of course, does not apply to crystal substances like sugar and salt. Brown sugar is almost always measured "packed." However, cocoa powder should be tamped down a bit in the measuring cup since it sometimes has a tendency to clump leaving air spaces.

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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, 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 the straight side of a butter knife, level off the flour – just once. Don’t use your finger, it’s not even. 

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