Working the Odds
Time to Chill

Flour Sifting 101

How do you measure flour after it is sifted? I can only figure out how to measure it before. I'm sifting into a big bowl and it would be so messy to then put it back into the measuring cup!
-- Amy

Use two approximately square pieces of waxed paper.  Fold them both across their width to form a crease, and then lay them out flat beside each other.  To one side, place your flour container, and to the other place the mixing bowl you will use for the dry ingredients, depending on your recipe.  Have a flat knife or spatula handy.

The easiest way to measure flour after sifting is to sift onto a piece of (waxed) paper and then use that to transfer the flour to a dry measuring cup. This is likely how your grandmother would have done it.

  1. Use your measuring cup to scoop about a cup full of flour into your sifter, and then put the empty measuring cup onto the paper closest to the work bowl.
  2. Sift the flour onto the other piece of paper.
  3. Lift the piece of paper with the flour on it by the edges opposite the crease, hold it from underneath and, using the crease as a spout, pour the sifted flour into the measuring cup.  If all goes well, it should be a little over full.
  4. Use your flat blade to scrape across the top of the measuring cup to remove excess flour onto the paper below.
  5. Empty the measuring cup into the bowl.Sifting Flour 101 Image
  6. Swap the pieces of paper, so that the one with the excess flour on it can now be used for sifting, and the now empty piece of paper  is beside the work bowl.  Repeat steps 1 through 6 as needed until you have all of the flour required sifted.  If necessary switch measuring cups according to the amount needed in the recipe.

If you want to be environmentally friendly, you can use the waxed or parchment paper you will later use to line your baking pan or sheet, or you can use two flexible cutting boards (not creased), and then keep them on hand for next time.

Much easier, of course, is the "scoop-and-level" technique described on the post "Sifting Flour".

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