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Flour Weights for Bread

w
Wanda Fuca Nov 16, 2006 09:21 PM

Any of you smart folks out there know the cup weight equivalent for flour when bread making? While I am at it... anyone have any brilliant tools for slashing bread. I have tried pen razors, strait edges and serrated knives. I am not thrilled with the result of any of of them.

  1. babette feasts Nov 16, 2006 11:25 PM

    Well, it depends on your flour and how you measure it, but figure 4.5 to 5 ounces per cup.

    What are you not liking about your razors?

    1 Reply
    1. re: babette feasts
      Candy Nov 17, 2006 12:39 AM

      I think it has a lot to do with the flour, your climate and where you live. Last night my loosley measured cup, on a very rainy humid night came in at 5.5 oz. A few days ago when it was dry about 7/8 of a cup was sufficient for the biscuits I was making. Today I was putting together pie dough for the coming week and it took more water than I think I have ever used before, funny 'cause it rained all day but I had the house a bit warmer.

    2. UnConundrum Nov 17, 2006 12:49 AM

      http://www.stambaughfamily.com/equiv_1.html#F

      http://www.e-rcps.com/pasta/links/wei...

      1. w
        Wanda Fuca Nov 17, 2006 01:59 AM

        Actually what I am looking for is an EXACT gram weight. The reason why is it takes away the measuring by the cup problem like compaction or variances due to large measurements. It is particularly important to bread making. I have heard it talked about over and over yet I cannot find the numbers anywhere. Like bakeries - they do not do cup measures. All flour is weighed.

        BUT - thank you to those who have responded so far esp. Unconundrum. I did have a look at those sites and saved it on my computer because there were some measures I was actually wondering about. Thank you for that.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Wanda Fuca
          JoanN Nov 17, 2006 02:52 AM

          In her blog on the Lahey bread Rose Levy Beranbaum translated 3 cups of unbleached all-purpose or bread flour as 468 grams.

          1. re: JoanN
            h
            huruta Nov 17, 2006 03:06 AM

            King Arthur's Baker Companion recommends a cup be 4 1/4 oz - it doesn't provide a cup in grams but I'm sure you could do the math. All of their recipes assume this weight.

            In the Italian Baker by Carol Shields 3 cups of white flour is 400 grams so 1 cup would be 133 grams.

            The problem is that other recipes may not make the same weight assumption (many go by the sweep and scoop method which ends up being closer to 5 1/4 - 5 1/2 oz per cup). You could chose a standard weight for scoop/sweep recipes, i.e. 5.25 oz = 1 cup and experiment from there.

          2. re: Wanda Fuca
            phofiend Nov 17, 2006 03:02 AM

            I always bake by weight, especially metric. Must be the scientist in me. A cup of all purpose or bread flour is 120 grams. Cake flour is lighter at 112 grams per cup.

            1. re: Wanda Fuca
              k
              Kagey Nov 17, 2006 09:56 AM

              There's no such thing as exact gram weight of a cup of flour! It's because of the variances you raise. That's why weight-measured recipes are considered more accurate. The Joy of Cooking has a page with conversion measurements, but generally it's best to use recipes that call for weights if you want to weigh.

              Of course what I'd do is probably weigh the cup of flour, write down the weight, and go with that from now on.

              As to your slashing question--I'm not sure what your exact issue is, but I've heard that it's good to oil the blade to keep dough from sticking. Don't know if that helps, but thought I'd pass it along.

            2. g
              gperls Nov 17, 2006 11:10 AM

              The side of the flour package that has nutritional information also gives a grams/cup ratio. Most of the flours I use say there is 30 grams to 1/4 cup. This computes to 4 1/4 oz./cup of flour.

              You can check your flour and convert accordingly.

              3 Replies
              1. re: gperls
                ChowFun_derek Nov 18, 2006 03:11 PM

                So in Bittman/Lahey we should be using 12 3/4 ounces for the 3 cups?
                ...or 360 grams??
                Are these measurements different for different brands or types of flour I wonder....I have 3 kinds at the moment All King Arthur... Unbleached, Bread Flour and Special Bread Machine Flour....actually I may also have a Gold Medal unbleached...I'll check and report back!

                1. re: ChowFun_derek
                  k
                  Karen_Schaffer Nov 28, 2006 03:53 PM

                  12 3/4 oz?! From a previous Bittman/Lahey discussion, I picked up the number 15 oz, so that was what I used. And my dough was plenty sticky at that. I can't imagine only using 12 3/4 oz. I made two loves, one with bread flour and one with 12 oz AP and 3 oz rye.

                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                    ChowFun_derek Nov 28, 2006 04:21 PM

                    Yup!
                    That was a strangish loaf....I'm going back to 5 oz cups and because I use bread flour, I'll try adding an additional ounce of water in excess of the 1 5/8 cup...so it would be 1 and 3/4 cup I guess....
                    I'll report back with this combo...

              2. w
                Wanda Fuca Nov 18, 2006 04:11 AM

                Thank you to everyone answering... esp. JoanN, Huruta and Phofiend. I will be baking probably at LEAST 100 loaves of bread during the holidays and am so sick of wondering if my bread is right or taking its temp. or wondering if a new recie is supposed to be that sticky... THANK YOU! Phofiend, interesting info on the cake flour. Thank you.

                To Kagey, thank you for the hints, esp. the oiling of my blade. Sometimes the obvious eludes me. What a brilliant idea.

                I should not be so thrilled... yet I am!! Thank you again!

                1. Father Kitchen Nov 28, 2006 02:02 PM

                  See the table at www.erikthered.com/flwm.html

                  And of course, you still get variations depending on humidity and the quality of the flour.

                  1. Karl S Nov 28, 2006 04:02 PM

                    I would suggest that most American recipes assume a cup of AP flour is 5 ounces dry weight. I would only use a different weight if one was specified in an original recipe.

                    1. m
                      MikeG Nov 28, 2006 04:03 PM

                      If you want that level of consistent precision over 100 loaves of bread, very seriously consider buying a 50lb bag of flour, or at least all of the flour you'll need in smaller bags from the same production lot. You will not get it otherwise - there are always variations, even in the same brand and season, let alone different types of flour and different times of the year.

                      1. m
                        MikeG Nov 28, 2006 04:12 PM

                        PS: Professional bakeries constantly "recalibrate" recipes according to the state of their ingredients - it's a fallacy to think they just work by rote from a static recipe, day in and day out.

                        Very big national chains probably do the calibrating on the flour production level (in other words, instead of playing with the recipe, they play with the flour, which you can do when producing truckloads at a time.) That obviously isn't practical for regular wholesale, let alone retail, production.

                        1. 2m8ohed Dec 1, 2006 08:45 PM

                          I used kitchen shears to slash the top of this bread! Just snipped an "X" into the top. The results were pretty and it was a lot less scary than reaching into my blazing hot Le Crueset stockpot (it's quite deep!) with a razor blade. I slashed a prior loaf with my very sharp chef's knife last time but that didn't produce as clean a cut. I think shears are one of the most underused kitchen gadgets in non-Chinese households (watch the waitresses at a dim sum place use them and you'll come home with lots of ideas)!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: 2m8ohed
                            ChowFun_derek Dec 2, 2006 01:57 AM

                            Great tip!
                            Thanks..
                            I tried the razor blade without real success...your shear idea sound right to me...

                          2. b
                            BruceB Dec 31, 2006 07:52 PM

                            I use 4.4 oz., because (a) it's around the middle of the figures I've seen, and (b) it's easy to compute. Just figure 4 oz. per cup (or take half of the liquid weight for that volume), then add 10%.

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