I would like to try some baking recipes where the flour is specified by volume, with no alternative measurement for weight. Do recipe authors generally assume that I'll sift the flour to measure it?
In all the recipes I've followed with a cup measurement (volume) of flour, it is unsifted.
From what I've read, if a recipe calls for sifted flour there's two ways to do it: If it calls for "sifted flour" you sift the flour first, then measure it. If it calls for "flour, sifted" you measure first, then sift it.
I assume, unless it is noted specifically in the recipe, the flour is measured unsifted. If you measure it sifted I guess much of the "looseness" from the sifting will be lost moving it from one container to another.
I would also think that if the amount of flour needed to be so exact that it mattered, the authors would measure it by weight, not volume, as it is generally easier to measure it exactly that way.