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Measuring Flour - "packed" -Vs- "firm"
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Hi everyone.

Here's a question which I hope is relatively simple to answer. When a recipe calls for a cup of flour, and it says "firm", we know to press it down into the measuring cup, right? But, suppose the recipe says "packed"? Is that the same thing, or would that be different in some way? Or is "packed" never used except when measuring brown sugar?

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Hi everyone.

Here's a question which I hope is relatively simple to answer. When a recipe calls for a cup of flour, and it says "firm", we know to press it down into the measuring cup, right? But, suppose the recipe says "packed"? Is that the same thing, or would that be different in some way? Or is "packed" never used except when measuring brown sugar?

I don't think I've ever seen a recipe call for tamping down the flour. I'd guess it's the same thing.

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I've never seen 'packed' for anything except brown sugar.

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It's not as though flour is easy to pack into a cup! It's too light. That is an odd term to use for flour but I would take it as pouring or dipping into the cup as opposed to spooning it in (the yield actually is different due to the aeration).

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"Packing" means tamping it down ..Packed is used mostly with brown sugar, and ocassionally with powdered sugar.

Weighing it is easier and more accurate ....

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Thanks for your responses. I've seen "firm" specified for flour in a recipe or two. Any thoughts on that?

Some types of flour seem to be able to pack down more than others. I find the starches can do that to a greater degree than most regular flours. Some don't pack down much if at all, like teff flour for example. There also seems to be a difference depending upon the grind.

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What comes to mind for me, in regard to seeing 'firm' for a flour measurement, would be that one should use that amount and that amount only. Don't eye-ball it, etc. But I can't recall seeing that being used in a recipe... of course now I may start seeing it all the time. :)

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What comes to mind for me, in regard to seeing 'firm' for a flour measurement, would be that one should use that amount and that amount only. Don't eye-ball it, etc. But I can't recall seeing that being used in a recipe... of course now I may start seeing it all the time. :)

That was also my first thought, but then why would a recipe author anticipate that someone would tweak the amounts?

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That was also my first thought, but then why would a recipe author anticipate that someone would tweak the amounts?

It may just be this person's verbiage. Everyone writes differently, cooks are no exception.

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