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Converting Flour from Pounds to Cups

 I need to convert a recipe that calls for 1 pound of flour to cups. What is the conversion for such a measurement?

 Professional bakers generally measure by weight, because it lets them turn out a consistent product. Weighing dry ingredients — especially flour — also compensates for the variation in the way people measure flour, which can result in quite a surprising amount of disparity in weight.

For instance, if you stir the flour before measuring and then gently spoon it into your measuring cup and level it with the edge of a knife, a cup of all-purpose flour weighs about 4.3 ounces. If you dump it in so that it is compacted in the cup, it can weigh 5.1 ounces.

Just depending on how carefully you scoop, the weight of flour in a one-cup measure can vary by 15% to 20% — and in a baking recipe, that can seriously skew the results. A pound of flour, however, will weigh a pound whether it's sprinkled into your mixing bowl by angels or dumped in by your teenage sons.

We are, as even quasi-quasi-regular readers know, strong advocates for the purchase of a kitchen scale. As a personal favor, and since you don't seem to have a kitchen scale at this moment, we'll tell you that 3-1/3 cups of flour is right around a pound of flour. But we'd still like you to get a scale….

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