Weight of flour?

Jan 12, 2021
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Hi guys, newbie here. I was really really really hoping you could help me. I am trying to get back into baking and cooking. I don't own scales unfortunately and due to Covid money is tight so would not purchase another. Please please please can anyone tell me how much a tablespoon of flour weighs, either level or heaping.

Please help, It would mean a ton. IBS has completely taken the joy out of baking and eating!

Thank you for your help and time.


Jun 23, 2017
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Normally we do not use a Tablespoon to measure flour because it takes 16 tablespoons to make a cup. Scooping so many spoons of granulated powder skews the weight as air displaces some of the granules as it is scooped. With each spoonful, the weight becomes more and more skewed.

If you do not have a food scale, and volume measurement is your only method, it is best to use a measuring cup. It is important the proper measuring cups are used since there is a difference between liquid and dry measuring cups.

There is no way to accurately control the amount of flour placed in the cup. A “cup” of flour can weigh 120g to 155g, or more depending on how you fill the cup. And no two measuring cups are the same. So how the measuring cup is filled is also important.

The other problem is recipe developers use different “standards” for the weight of a cup of flour. They range from 120g per cup to 145g per cup. So you must know what weight “standard” the recipe developer used, then use the correct method to fill the cup of flour to get the weight as close as possible to the per cup weight.

Recipes from the following sources generally use 1 cup = 120 grams/4.25 oz. Use the Spoon and Level Method

  • King Arthur Flour

  • Sally's Baking Addiction

  • Handle the Heat

Recipes for the following sources generally use 1 cup = 142 grams/5 0z. Use the Dip and Sweep Method

  • America’s Test Kitchen

  • Cook's Country

  • Chris Kimball - Milk Street

Elizabeth Pruitt (Tartine)

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

  • some early Stella Parks on Serious Eats, but later recipes and her cookbook revert to 120g

  • Joy of Baking

  • Serious Eats (EXCEPT where noted and most of the recipes by Stella Parks)

  • Older Betty Crocker recipes (1970's and earlier)

  • Older Fanny Farmer recipes (1970's and earlier)

Recipes for the following sources generally use slightly different equivalents

  • Dorie Greenspan 136 g = 1 cup

  • Smitten Kitchen 126 g - 130 g = 1 cup

Melissa Clark (NY Times) 126g = 1 cup

  • Anna Olsen 150 g = 1 Cup

NY Times recipes vary significantly by recipe developer—look carefully at each recipe.

Disclaimer: because volume measurement is wholly inaccurate, and since there is no standard for volume measurement in baking, none of the above recipe developers recipes consistently convert to a “per cup weight”. So you will find a number of their recipes that will vary in per cup weight. It is just not possible to create any consistency with volume measurement because it is an inaccurate form of measurement.

How to measure flour using a measuring cup

Dry measuring cup. Do not use for liquids

Liquid measuring cup. Do not use for dry ingredients

Spoon and Level Method Stir flour, Spoon heaping spoonfuls into cup

fill cup just beyond rim, VERY lightly tap DO NOT COMPRESS

Level flour to rim of measuring cup

For Scoop and Sweep
  • Stir the Flour
  • Scoop and fill the cup with flour
  • Do NOT tap - flour is already compressed by scooping motion!!!
  • Level to rim of measuring cup
When measuring liquids, get eye level to ensure liquid is level with the measuring line on the cup.

Just an aside...long fermented bread made of sourdough starter and ancient grain flours or a blend of ancient grains and unbleached flour is reportedly better tolerated than quick rise bread made with yeast and white flour.

If you google Ancient grain breads and IBS; Ancient grain breads and food allergy, you will find the studies are all over the place. It’s hard to say if there is any conclusive medical evidence that ancient grains are in fact better tolerated in people with conditions like IBS. But I just mention it so you can research it, and make the decision for yourself. I cannot eat gluten. The doctor believe I a celiac (it runs in my family). I get violently ill when I get certain gluten products. I’ve eaten long fermented ancient grain bread and pasta without ill effects. Of course, with celiac, I still not eat gluten. But the ancient grains with long fermentation surprisingly did not make me suffer symptoms.


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