Did you know that learning how to store flour correctly can add months or even years to its shelf life? If you bake frequently, you probably go through quite a bit of flour. And like most, you likely store your leftover flour in the pantry, where it sits until you need it again.
But there are other ways to store flour. And this post will outline some key methods for storing flour successfully. We’ll also discuss how to tell whether your flour is still fresh enough to use.
How To Store Flour In The Pantry
1. Store The Flour In An Airtight Container
For optimal results, you should store your flour in an airtight container. Ensure that your flour is kept in a cool, dark area away from potential exposure to light.
Doing this will help to keep the flour dry and cool, preventing oxidation. Placing the flour in a ceramic or stoneware container will also do.
2. Remove Oxygen And Moisture From The Container
To further extend the shelf life of flour, you can add oxygen absorbers and bay leaves to the container. Oxygen absorbers are sachets comprising iron filings and activated charcoal. They absorb oxygen from the air and help to keep the flour dry.
Bay leaves are also known for their ability to repel pests. Due to their pungent smell, they’re known to deter small bugs, such as Weevils, attracted to flour. Add a few bay leaves to your flour container along with the oxygen absorbers and seal the container tightly.
3. Write Down The Expiry Date
Labeling your flour container with its expiry date is also vital. Typically, flour will last 6 to 8 months on average. And storing the flour correctly can extend this shelf life. Use expiry or “best by” date as a guideline for when to use your flour to avoid it going bad.
How To Store Flour In The Fridge
If you live in a humid climate or just want to be extra careful, you can store your flour in the fridge. But ensure that you use an airtight plastic or glass container.
A container that seals properly, will prevent the flour from absorbing moisture caused by ice and condensation in the fridge. Label your container with its expiry date and use it within 6 to 12 months for best results.
How To Store Flour In The Freezer
The freezer is your best bet if you want to store your flour for an extended period. Flour can be kept for up to 2 years in the freezer, provided it’s sealed well.
Again, the best approach is to utilize an airtight bag or container. And remember to write down the expiry date stipulated on the packaging. When ready to use the frozen flour, thaw it in the fridge overnight.
How To Determine If The Flour Is Fresh
One method to determine whether your flour is still fresh is through its appearance. Fresh flour is usually white or light colored, while old flour may have started to turn yellow or brown.
You could also do the smell test to determine its freshness. If your flour gives off an unpleasant odor, it’s probably time to throw it out. Alternatively, examine the texture of the flour. Should it feel lumpy or hard, it’s a sign that it’s no longer fresh.
So, now you know how to store flour, to ensure it remains edible for longer. Sticking with the above methodology, you could extend the shelf life of your flour considerably.
And you’ll ensure that each batch of cookies or cupcakes bakes perfectly every time. Once you know how to store flour correctly, you’re sure to get the most out of this indispensable ingredient.