Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => General Pizza Making => Topic started by: buzz on March 18, 2006, 12:37:06 PM

Title: For Peter--flour scooping!
Post by: buzz on March 18, 2006, 12:37:06 PM
Hey, Peter--

Here's an experiment for you!

As you know, I'm no fan of weighing (and get consistent results just by free-form scooping of flour), but I saw a technique on a cooking show which might interest you. The idea is to ladle the flour into a measuring cup with a large tablespoon until it's overflowing, then using a knife or spatula to level off the top--the host said (I can't remember what show it was now, but maybe "Ciao Italia") that using the tablespoon to fill the measuring cups results in a more accurate measurement of flour.

Want to experiment? I'm curious!
Title: Re: For Peter--flour scooping!
Post by: canadianbacon on March 18, 2006, 01:18:40 PM
Hi Buzz,

I do this, kind of... I'll fill a measuring cup and level it off with my table scraper,
but I have never acctually filled a 1 cup measure using a tablespoon.

Ok it would be a good experiment if somebody had 5 mins to do it.

Would the fact that you are spooning in the flour perhaps make the flour more "airy"
and this would result in actually less ging into the 1 cup measure ?

perhaps so....

I guess you could reverse test it also.....   do your test, .... then,
fill a cup measure full of flour the regular way, and now remove it by the tablespoon
and see if it is the same as your method.....

would be interesting I have to admit.  I'd say there would be a tablespoon max of a difference...
but it would be neat to see ....
Title: Re: For Peter--flour scooping!
Post by: Pete-zza on March 18, 2006, 01:23:07 PM


That's the technique I have been using right along to convert weights to volumes in the formulatons I have been posting for some time on the forum. That is how I end up with funny sounding measurements like 1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons, plus 1/2 teaspoons. The technique you described is also the technique I use when converting volume recipes to baker's percents, except I also fluff the flour in the bag before spooning the flour into my measuring cups/spoons, especially if the flour has been sitting for some time and may have become compacted. I believe that this technique is the one recommended by King Arthur, among others. I don't rap the measuring cup with a knife or smack it against the table to get the flour to settle. Some people shake the measuring cup in mid-air to help fill in air gaps but I have not noticed a material difference in doing so. It has been my contention for a long time that if authors of recipes using flour were required to specify the precise way they measure out the flour, users' results would be much better, especially since there are so many different ways to measure out the flour.

The experiment I would like to see you perform is to convert the flour you use in a typical recipe from your measuring technique to the one you mentioned in your post. In other words, scoop the flour as you normally do, set it aside in a bowl, and then scoop it back into measuring cups/measuring spoons exactly the way you described and note what you get. If you do likewise with any additional flour that you add in the course of mixing/kneading the dough and note how many teaspoons or tablespoons of additional flour you use, then it would be relatively easy to calculate your total flour. I am not looking for exact. I am looking for reasonably close. What do you say? I might add that the water is easier to measure as long as you look at eye level where the water level lines up with a marking (or between markings) on a standard measuring cup used for measuring liquids. If you also note how much additional water you use during mixing/kneading, then the final results should be reasonably good.

Title: Re: For Peter--flour scooping!
Post by: buzz on March 18, 2006, 01:31:09 PM
I could do that, but for me, anyway, it doesn't matter--I do it by feel and look (if it needs a little more flour or water, I just add it).

I was just curious to see if the spoon-measuring technique would equate to the scale (I don't have a scale)!
Title: Re: For Peter--flour scooping!
Post by: Pete-zza on March 18, 2006, 01:42:30 PM

I was posting as you were posting but you will see from my response to buzz that the technique he described is basically my standard one. Some time ago, I also did some experiments with weighing flour measured out in different ways and reported on the results in Reply 14 at,1184.0.html. As you might expect, the results varied quite a bit. I might also add that at the time I did the weighing experiments, I thought that the protein level was also a factor in the results I got. However, since then I have weighed out cups of flour measured by volume (using the technique described by buzz) to assist member Wazza McG prepare ingredient conversion data and I discovered that protein level made little difference in the weights. What seems to be more a factor is the fineness of the flour. In fact, if you look at the chart that Wazza McG placed in Reply 5 at,2811.msg24540.html#msg24540, you will see that the Caputo 00 pizzeria flour weighed more on a cup basis than the King Arthur Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour and the other domestic white flours noted.

Title: Re: For Peter--flour scooping!
Post by: Lydia on April 07, 2006, 12:27:16 AM
Following from General Mills History

September,1961 ;

General Mills conducted extensive research with consumers to determine their attitudes about sifting flour, how they measured flour and what impact different measuring approaches had on the final baked product. Based on the research, it was found that sifting was not required and more consistent results could be achieved by dipping the measuring cup into the flour and leveling it off.

After 20 years of recommending the "dip & level" method of measuring flour, beginning in October of 1989 General Mills now recommended the "spoon & level" method to ensure more accurate measuring by avoiding packing too much flour in the measuring cup. The recommendation appears on flour packages, but not on individual recipes.

I'm working on converting recipes from as early as the 1920's for our heirloom cookbook, thought you all might find it interesting.

I never strayed from the dip and scoop method. It appeared to us that our recipes were designed for this type of measuring because when we tried the "new-fangled" way of measuring, our recipes didn't turn out.

But since being active on this site, I now know that my personal "dip and sweep" is about 5 oz of flour give or take .03 oz.