Baking Recipes that say 1 cup flour plus 1 or 2 tsps. or Tbsps.
I do a lot of baking and prefer to use a scale for measuring my cake ingredients. However, I've seen a lot of recipes that call for a cup of flour plus 1 or 2 teaspoons or tablespoons. What does that small amount bring to the recipe and how detrimental would it be to leave it out? I know that when measuring for cakes, etc, its important to be accurate but does it really make that much of a difference to the outcome?
I never measure by volume, always by weight. My guess would parallel the comments by MMRuth. The idea offered by nofunlatte re: the fact that sometimes the additional, smaller amounts of flour are intended for use in one step of the overall preparation of the recipe is also quite common. But can't really tell without reading the entire recipe you're using. I'd recommend taking the time to convert all of the bulk measurements to weights and be done with it.
Sometimes the additional amounts are for a separate part of the recipe (e.g "add 2 tbsp flour to the butter) and the "big" amount for an entirely different step. Why not just weigh a teaspoon or a tablespoon and keep that information handy? Then you can easily adapt your recipes to the scale. Whether those extra amounts are important probably depends on the recipe, though in all honesty, I sometimes (frequently) disregard them if they are part of the same instruction or step (e.g. a recipe that calls for 1.5 cups flour, plus 2 tbsp, all to be dumped into a bowl at the same time). Or I might not level off the measuring cup, figuring that the extra "dome" accounts for the extra flour.