Do I have to be exact when measuring ingredients for my bread machine?
To achieve the best results, it is crucial to measure the flour and liquid ingredients accurately. Avoid problems with dough consistency by following these measuring guidelines.
Flour: Stir the flour to lighten it, then gently spoon it into a metal or plastic measuring cup that's designed for dry ingredients. Level off the top with the straight edge of a knife or metal spatula. Never measure flour by dipping the measuring cup into the flour, and do not shake the cup after filling it with flour. This causes an excess of flour, resulting in a dry dough.
Liquids: Use a glass or clear measuring cup for liquids. Place the cup on a level surface and bend down so your eye is level with the measure called for; fill the cup to the desired marking. Don't lift the cup to eye level for a reading as it's impossible to hold the cup steady enough for accuracy. When using a measuring spoon, pour the liquid just to the top of the spoon without letting it spill over. Don't hold the spoon over the machine when measuring -- you could accidentally pour excess liquid into the pan.