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  • Keeping flour

    I obviously don’t do enough baking as flour seems to have quite a short “best before” lifespan so the sequence seems to be:
    1. Buy Some
    2. Use A Bit. Perhaps use a bit more but then:
    3. Oh it’s out of date so Chuck That One Away
    4. Buy Some More
    5. Use A Bit… etc!
    Repeat sequence for Plain, Self-Raising, Strong White, Strong Wholemeal, Pasta…..

    Flour seems to age rapidly for a number of reasons: e.g. although it appears very dry it contains degrees of both moisture and oils which deteriorate fairly rapidly. It can also contain the eggs of various miniscule nasties laid in the original grain that survive the milling process and over time will hatch… Hmmm!

    I still keep it how my Mum used to keep it and probably her Mum too: purchased in paper or card containers placed in Flour Tin placed in pantry….. Is that still standard? I was wondering if it would be better kept in moisture-proof containers in the freezer and there’s quite a lot of advice on this possibility, with various alternatives, via Google. I’m sure Grapevine’s Kitchen Threads have some expert bakers so was wondering what they thought about keeping/storing flour? bb.
    .

  • #2
    I keep my flour the same way as you do
    You could cut down and buy Plain flour then turn it into SR flour by adding baking powder that would be one less flour to store. I've not found any difference in cakes or scones when by doing that.

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    • #3
      We have a selection of flours...all in large glass jars(Ikea)
      Living in a very old house ,and having a cat )we often get mice appearing in the kitchen. The glass jars makes it impossible for them to be contaminated, but also so I can check if any weevils appear

      Old flour gets made into a type of pastry and fed to the chooks or wild birds.
      "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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      • #4
        mine are in original bags,inside tall plastic containers,in the pantry,i would imagine if it were to be kept in the freezer,it should keep,as ready made pastry,and mix your own crumble are good,you could always try some,and see if any moisture is in it,although that should be fine,providing you put it straight back in the freezer,it is not something i have ever felt the need to,as nicos says,check it for wevills,in all my years,i have only had em once,even got the icing sugar,as with most things,the sell by date,is usually long after.
        sigpicAnother nutter ,wife,mother, nan and nanan,love my growing places,seed collection and sharing,also one of these

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        • #5
          My flour is never around for very long. Just use it. Don't buy more than one bag at a time (regardless of the special offer). I buy the cheapest own brand supermarket flour. I use the bread flour twice weekly to bake bread and in Winter Yorkshire pudding as well. The plain flour makes pastry once or twice a week and the self raising makes batter and some cakes.
          You just have to be naughty and eat all the things that at some point have been judged to be bad for you. I'm sure that at some point in the future "they" will change their minds.

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          • #6
            One thing you can do if you have room, is to make up some pastry or dough while the flour is fresh, and then freeze it.

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            • #7
              The bread flour I bought this month has a Best Before date of Feb 20 and the Self-raising is BB Jan 20, so if it's fresh when you buy it you have 8 months to use it. That seems a reasonable time-frame for using up a 1 - 1.5kg flour. Remember 'best before ' dates do give you a little leeway to use it after that date. Just check if it smells ok and has no creepy crawlies in it. I store mine in the bags it comes in, inside ziplock plastic bags.
              If you have flour that needs using make crumble topping and store in the freezer in amounts suitable for your dish, or freeze flan cases ready for baking after adding any filling

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              • #8
                I can't remember where I read it, but it's quite common to see the nasty little bugs in the flour I think, so I heard that you should freeze it for a few days as soon as you bring the flour home. So that's what I do - they are kept in the plastic bag I brought them home in and stuck in the freezer straight away. I seal the plastic bag well too, and when I take them out of the freezer, I keep them sealed for as long as possible.

                I never have any problem now.
                https://nodigadventures.blogspot.com/

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                • #9
                  Buy smaller bags of flour. It's false economy to buy bigger bags that are cheaper per kilo if you throw half away.

                  Don't buy SR flour, as Bren says, use plain flour and add one teaspoon of baking powder to each 110 grams plain flour. It's far better to make SR flour anyway,because over time the baking powder in the "ready mixed" SR flour will lose its potency and not give such a good rise as fresh made or fresh bought.

                  With bread flour, you can mix wholemeal and white so you can use up flour getting close to its BBE date that way. Again, if you only rarely make bread, buy small bags.

                  And as others have said, keep the remainder in the freezer in damp proof containers.
                  Endless wonder.

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                  • #10
                    Many thanks to everyone who commented on this thread prompting room for thought! I will in future buy smaller quantities, use baking powder and ponder the freezer option in moisture-proof containers. And bake more often which is the ultimate solution!

                    This time of the year in the gardening cycle I become very conscious of the multitudes of insects with which we share the planet (and they’re only the ones I notice, in total they evidently outweigh humans hundreds of times over!) and I read that the various food agencies (e.g. FSA in UK, FDA in USA) have to allow a percentage of “insect parts” in flour (and all other processed products including chocolate, pasta, fruit juices etc.) Hmmmm - adds a certain piquancy I suppose....!
                    .

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bazzaboy View Post
                      Many thanks to everyone who commented on this thread prompting room for thought! I will in future buy smaller quantities, use baking powder and ponder the freezer option in moisture-proof containers. And bake more often which is the ultimate solution!

                      This time of the year in the gardening cycle I become very conscious of the multitudes of insects with which we share the planet (and they’re only the ones I notice, in total they evidently outweigh humans hundreds of times over!) and I read that the various food agencies (e.g. FSA in UK, FDA in USA) have to allow a percentage of “insect parts” in flour (and all other processed products including chocolate, pasta, fruit juices etc.) Hmmmm - adds a certain piquancy I suppose....!
                      Not really the vegan option then.

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