{VIDEO} How To Properly Measure Flour (#1 baking mistake) | Baking 101: Quick, Easy Tips & Tricks

In this Baking 101 Video, I share a quick & easy trick to help avoid one of the BIGGEST BAKING MISTAKES, as I show you how to properly measure your flour for your recipe.

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Unlike cooking, baking is a science and requires precise attention to recipe, and accurate measurements. Little things people tend to not pay attention to, like the way you measure a cup of flour, or whether you are using a liquid or dry measuring cup, can make all the difference in the outcome of your baked good. 

  •  Flour is either made from wheat or non-wheat ingredients (grains, nuts, legumes, etc.). 
  • Non-wheat flour is a common ingredient in gluten free baking, while wheat flour is the more common type of flour and a staple in most home pantries. 
  • Flour is one of the most common ingredients in baking. 
  • Using it incorrectly can turn your baked good form a masterpiece into a disaster. 
  • Flour naturally compacts itself in its bag so make sure you are measuring it properly before adding it to your recipe (shown in the video). 
  • Even a few extra ounces of flour can drastically compromise the outcome of your baked goods. 
  • Flour helps give volume and provide support and structure in baked goods. 
  • Flour can also be used for dusting pans before baking and coating nuts, fruit, and mix-ins before adding to the batter to prevent them from sinking to the bottom during baking. 
  • In baking, the type of flour used will drastically affect the outcome. 
  • Flour contains protein (which creates gluten), in either higher or lower levels. Different types of flour have different percentages of protein. 
  • When flour is mixed with the liquid in the recipe, the proteins in the flour bond together causing gluten to form, producing toughness and elasticity in your baked good. The leavening agent (usually baking powder or baking soda and sometimes yeast) then fills that gluten with air pockets. As your baked good is heated in the oven it will rise even more until the gluten sets, giving a fluffy and spongy structure to dense, wet dough. 
  • When the recipe simply states "flour", all-purpose flour is usually called for. 
  • If your recipes says "x cups flour, sifted", measure first, then sift. If your recipe says "x cups sifted flour", sift, then measure.
  • By scooping the flour into your measuring cup, straight from the bag, the flour becomes packed into the cup and will result in too much flour in your recipe. 
  • Too much flour will result in a tough, dense and dry baked goods. This is one of the main factors in a recipe not coming out "right", and is a very common baking mistake made by so many at-home bakers.
  • If the recipe calls for a "heaping" cup/teaspoon/tablespoon, leave a small mound of ingredient overflowing on top of your measuring cup/spoon and do not level off the top. 
  • If the recipe calls for a "scant" cup/teaspoon/tablespoon, do not fill the cup/spoon up to the top, leaving a small gap between the ingredient and the rip of the cup/spoon.
  • It is always best to weigh out your flour using a kitchen scale for accuracy! 
  • If you don't have a scale, the next best method to get a more accurate measure is using, what I call, the fluff, spoon and level method (explained below). 

How To Measure Flour (or cocoa powder and other dry ingredients) When You Don't Have A Kitchen Scale: 

The "Fluff, Spoon & Level" Method

  1. Fluff up the flour (or dry ingredient) in its bag or container, with a spoon or scoop to loosen and aerate it.
  2. Spoon the flour, gently, into your measuring cup until it is completely full and overflowing. (Do not pack it down or shake it, as this will compact too much flour into your cup than desired.)
  3. Level it off, by dragging the a flat edge across the top edge of the measuring cup (back of a butter knife, metal spatula, etc.). Repeat if necessary. Add to your recipe as directed.

Flour Weight Chart:
  • All-Purpose Flour:
    • 1 tablespoon = 1/4 oz = 7.5g
    • 1/4 cup = 1.25 oz = 30g
    • 1/3 cup = 1.5 oz = 40g
    • 1/2 cup = 2.5 oz = 60g
    • 2/3 cup = 3.25 oz = 79.5g
    • 3/4 cup = 3.5 oz = 90g
    • 1 cup = 4.25 oz = 120g
  • Cake flour:
    • 1 tablespoon = 7g
    • 1/4 cup = 1 oz = 28g
    • 1/3 cup = 37g
    • 1/2 cup =  2 oz = 56g
    • 2/3 cup = 74g
    • 3/4 cup = 3 oz = 84g
    • 1 cup = 4 oz = 112g
  • Bread flour: 
    • 1 tablespoon = 8g
    • 1/4 cup = 32g
    • 1/3 cup = 42.6g
    • 1/2 cup =  64g
    • 2/3 cup = 85.3g
    • 3/4 cup = 96g
    • 1 cup = 4.5oz = 128g

Conversion Chart:
  • 1 dash = 1/16 teaspoon
  • 1 pinch = 1/8 teaspoon
  • 1/2 tablespoons = 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
  • 1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoons
  • 3/8 cup = 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons
  • 2/3 cup = 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
  • 5/8 cup = 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons
  • 3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons
  • 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup = 16 tablespoons