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Is there a difference between 1 cup flour, sifted and 1 cup sifted flour? 

There sure is! You will end up with a different amount of flour: when the recipe calls for "1 cup flour, sifted" measure the flour first and then sift. When your recipe calls for 1 cup sifted flour, it means you measure the sifted flour to 1 cup. Think of it this way: the comma divides two instructions (sifting and measuring). With no comma, you only have one instruction to follow: measuring. (You are measuring an ingredient called "sifted flour").

For examples of recipes calling for flour in different ways, see our collection of Baking Recipes and our collection of Bread Recipes.