Sent by Virginia-Marie
Editor: If the recipe says "1 cup sifted flour," then that usually means that you should sift the flour first and then measure it (or sift the flour directly into the measuring cup as you sift). On the other hand, if the recipe says "1 cup flour, sifted," then that usually means to measure it first using the dip-and-sweep method and then sift it afterwards.
Also, if you're baking from a cookbook, check the introductory chapters to see if the author gives instructions on how they expect you to measure the flour.
Readers, do you have any other advice on measuring flour without a scale?
Related: Basic Techniques: How to Sift Flour
(Image: Nina Callaway )