Anne’s question about weighing flour!

Hi — your book made our Thanksgiving! My grandmother always made cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving and I had let the tradition go because they were so much work. But this year I saw the NYT article, ran out to buy the book, and we had cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving dinner to my sister’s and my daughter’s delight. Thanks so much.

Here’s my question: I went through a sourdough phase awhile back and got used to measuring flour with a scale. I’m excited about trying it again with your dough formulas. Is there an equivalent you’d suggest for weighing flour(s)? Different books seem to vary in what they consider the weight equivalent of a cup of flour. I’d appreciate any suggestions and again, thanks so much.


Hi Anne,

I am so happy to hear that you made the cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving! I did too. This year I caramelized some sliced pears and rolled them in with the sugar filling for the dough. It was very tasty and gorgeous!

Great question about weighing flour!
We considered writing the entire book with both weights and cup measures, but in the end we decided that too few of us bakers are actually scaling out our ingredients. It is, as you know the only way to get a truly accurate measurement. Then again we claim for this book it just doesn’t matter that much and that seems to be true!!!

Having said that…the weight is about 5 ounces per cup of all-purpose flour. The ‘master” recipe which requires 6 1/2 cups of all-purpose is equal to 2#.

Perhaps someday we will convince every home baker to use a scale and then we will reprint the book with weights. Until then I hope this helps!

Very best and enjoy the book and all the bread! Zoë

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9 thoughts to “Anne’s question about weighing flour!”

  1. Hi Anne,

    I’d like to second the motion for adding weights in the next edition, as I think this is the only way to go in baking.
    One more question: Would there be any benefit to baking your boule in a covered preheated dutch oven (a la NYT’s recipe from last year)? This way, the bread would steam itself… Or is the hydration not high enough in your recipes?

  2. Hi Mark,

    Your vote counts and in the next book, which we are just starting to put together we are going to push for weights! I agree that it is the most accurate way to measure flour and our greatest hope is that all home bakers will be using a scale.

    Our breads work beautifully in the dutch oven. We just don’t want people to feel confined by that baking method alone. Try it and see what you think.

    Thanks, Zoë

  3. I have made your bread several times and just love the idea of having the dough in my fridge ready to use when I want it –

    however – it does not seem to rise much – should I let the dough come to room temperature before baking rather than just letting it rest for 40 minutes and the 20 minutes while my oven is heating up –

    many thanks for your help –


  4. Hi Betsy,

    Thanks for trying the bread!

    Is your dough having an initial rise in the bucket, when you leave it out on the counter for 2 hours? If not, then you might have some defective yeast.

    If, however, you are getting the rise initially but not any oven spring when you bake your bread then I would try letting it rest longer on the peel before baking.

    If your boule is any larger than 1 pound then it will require more resting time. If your ambient room temperature is much lower than 67 degrees than you may need to let it rest slightly longer as well.

    Please stay in touch and let me know how it goes!

    Thanks, Zoë

  5. thank you – I have some bread resting on the counter right now – I think you are correct in that my kitchen is not warm enough – will let you know how I make out –

  6. Zoe:

    I have a question about weights of ingredients and how they total to 4 lbs.

    In the master mix:

    2 lbs flour
    1.5 lbs water
    bit of yeast, salt

    So far I have 3 lbs and this is “before” I bake, and lose water weight. Is the additional flour needed really sufficient to make up not just another 1/2 lb to start, but also evaporated water? Color me confused 🙂


  7. Hi Laura,

    Yes, the math is a bit odd I’ll admit. We were using approximates to come up with the size of the loaf, when you shape it. Some of the recipes call for more flour, or are heavier and some are lighter. It seemed less confusing to just round off the number.

    Most of our readers won’t be using a scale. In fact, we have been blown away and impressed with the number of people that do scale their recipes!

    Thanks, Zoë

  8. Zoe, your Artisan Bread book is wonderful – I can’t wait for the next one!

    I’m happy you will use oz. and grams in the new book. Cup measurments make me crazy(having learned bread baking from Jeff Hammelman at the CIA also), and scaling is so much more efficient.

    Good luck with the new one!

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