If I am using a measuring cup to measure flour what is the correct way?
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Here's how the folks at King Arthur Flour say one should measure flour:
It would depend on whether the recipe specifies sifted or unsifted- you can usually use "unsifted" as a default, but some cookbook writers use "sifted" unless otherwise specified- it should say in the "ingredients" section at the beginning of the book, and a lot of authors also give their method for measuring flour, which you should probably use for their recipes. If you're not using a cookbook you may be on your own- the King Arthur method will be pretty consistent, but you'll probably come up short on a lot of recipes. There really isn't a consistent correct way other than to try to duplicate the writer's results- cooking is not an exact science (despite what they tell you about baking)- weight is generally considered more accurate than volume measurement, but it has some variability too- for instance, humidity can affect the moisture content, and thus the weight.
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