A: Recently, I was doing a semi-Marie Kondo KonMari overhaul on my pantry. I rearranged products, sniffed spices for potency and noticed I had several bags of different varieties of flour.
Flour can bring me joy, especially when it’s used in breads, desserts and other baked goods, but there’s no joy in flour that hasn’t been stored properly. Certain flours can become rancid after a while, and pesky flour bugs sometimes sneak into them.
Most flours (all-purpose, cake and pastry flour) do just fine stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place. You can also store bags of flour in plastic sealable bags. Being airtight is what prevents the bugs and preserves the flour. The bugs can get into flour at the mill, at the grocery store and in your own kitchen. Freezing flour for two days will kill bugs.
In my pantry recently, I found a bag of whole-wheat flour and a bag of white whole-wheat flour tucked way back on a shelf. Normally I store both in the freezer. I knew these two bags both were relatively recent purchases, so I placed them in large sealable plastic bags, squeezed the air out and tucked them in the freezer.
It’s important to store these particular flours this way. Here’s why.
A grain of wheat is made up of the bran, the endosperm and the germ. All three are retained during production of whole-wheat flour, therefore it’s whole-grain. White flour is stripped of all three. Because whole-wheat flour and white whole-wheat flour retain those nutrients, including the oil-rich germ, they can become rancid over time. That’s why storing them in the freezer is best.
Flour ages over time, but placing whole-grain flours in the freezer stops the aging process. If you don’t have freezer space, you can store the flour in the refrigerator, which will slow down the process. Either way, the flour will last much longer than if you store it in the pantry.
You can store most any flour in the freezer or refrigerator, but keep in mind how you will use it. If you use it right from the freezer for, say, breads or dough that require rising times, you’ll need more rising time. Straight from the freezer for pie dough is just fine because you want all your ingredients for the dough to be cold.
Lastly, check you pantry for Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour. There’s an ongoing recall on 5-pound bags of this product because of the potential presence of salmonella. The flour has a best-if-used-by date of April 20, 2020, and the UPC code is 000-16000-19610-0. If you have a package of the flour or have questions, call 800-230-8103.
Serves: 9 / Preparation time: 10 minutes/ Total time: 1 hour
Floured baking spray
4 tablespoons trans fat-free margarine, divided
3 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup skim milk
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch baking pan with floured baking spray. In a large bowl, cream together 3 tablespoons margarine, cream cheese and granulated sugar. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to sugar mixture, beating after each addition until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and top with blueberries. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon margarine until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over blueberries. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
Created by Darlene Zimmerman, MS, RD, for Heart Smart and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
233 calories (19 percent from fat ), 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 44 g carbohydrates, 25 g protein, 229 mg sodium, 25 mg cholesterol, 95 mg calcium, 2 g fiber. Food exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fruit.
Contact Susan Selasky: 313-222-6432 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @SusanMariecooks.
©2019 Susan Selasky
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