Accurately measuring flour is important for any recipe. But what is the best way to measure? Below are the three basic methods for measuring flour, listed from least accurate to most accurate.

Measuring Flour by Volume: Scooping

Although many home cooks scoop flour when baking, it really is not an accurate way to measure flour.

Why Avoid Scooping?

By scooping, the flour is packed unevenly into the measuring cup, and each scoop will yield a different volume of flour.


Recipes in the US are usually written in volume. For the most accurate volume measurement, follow the steps below to spoon flour into a cup to take your measurements.

How to Spoon Flour

  1. Begin by stirring the flour to loosen any packed areas.
  2. Use a spoon to scoop portions of flour gently into a dry measuring cup. Do not use a liquid measuring cup!
  3. Fill the cup completely, allowing the flour to overfill the cup.
  4. Holding the cup over the flour canister, use the flat side of a knife or flat spatula to evenly distribute the flour across the cup. Do not force or pack the flour down, as it should be loose. Scrape the knife or spatula along the top of the cup to level the flour, with the excess falling back into the flour canister


Because flour changes in volume depending on the grind, the type of grain, and humidity, weighing flour using a scale gives the best results.

Choosing a Scale

Kitchen scales are easy to find in kitchen supply and department stores. If you are planning to bake multiple loaves of bread at a time, you'll want to find a scale capable of measuring at least 5 pounds.

Also, keep in mind that most recipes that include weights are written in metric units, so choosing a scale that can be set to metric or English units will save you hours of math calculations!

Using Flour in Sourdough Baking

By carefully measuring flour and other ingredients, beautiful baked goods can be made at home at a fraction of the cost of store-bought. Now that you know the basics about measuring flour, you can learn more about different types of flour and how they impact sourdough baking. Check out our expert advice below for more tips!