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I have a recipe that calls for 5 pounds of flour, but I live in a country that sells their flour in 1-kg bags. So I put in 2 kg = 4.4 pounds... How many cups should I put in for the remaining .6 pound that I'm missing?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

The weight of flour varies immensely depending on how densely it's packed and the humidity. If you've started with a weight-based recipe, I'd try to find a scale.

If that's absolutely not an option, I tend to approximate 100g = 1 cup.

Be warned, I've found some recipes that are really sensitive to the amount of flour and the difference between a lightly sifted cup and a scooped cup can really throw off the results. You might do better to try to divide another kg package of flour evenly and use the approximation that 0.6 lb is about 0.25 kg (i.e. one quarter of the bag).

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Agreed: as long as you know the weight you want, measure the weight. This will be even easier if you have something large with measuring marks - just measure the total volume of your 1kg bag. –  Jefromi Feb 15 '11 at 15:24
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it's actually even more complicated than that! different TYPES of flour weigh differently. a cup of all-purpose will weigh differently than a cup of bread flour, and both will weigh something different from a cup of unbleached white flour (and then there's wheat flour...). i tend to trust the weight per serving on the nutritional information panel, and calculate the weight per cup from that.

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According to Wolfram-Alpha, 1cup of flour weighs 137g. 0.6lb is 272g, so about 2 cups.

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That said, I recommend you get a scale for these things. :) –  calico-cat Feb 15 '11 at 10:10
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You have to be really careful doing this - for example, for salt, it uses the density of sodium chloride, which I believe is for solid salt, i.e. a single chunk of it. That's a bit different from table salt. –  Jefromi Feb 15 '11 at 15:22
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Agreed, it is a bit too hardcore for practical cooking purposes... but how else would I be able to find out things like this: wolframalpha.com/input/… ? :-p –  calico-cat Feb 15 '11 at 20:25
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