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Cleaning The Kitchen Cupboard - Can This Be Saved?

White Flour

  • 6 to 12 months
  • Storage Tip #1: Store in a cool, dry place. It's important to store flour in an airtight container or freezer bag to preserve the flour's moisture content. Exposure to low or high humidity will affect the flour's moisture content and may influence the outcome of a recipe.
  • Storage Tip #2: For longer storage, keep white flours in the refrigerator in an airtight container. All-purpose and bread flour will keep up to two years at 40 F in your refrigerator, according to the Wheat Foods Council (www.wheatfoods.org). They can be stored indefinitely in the freezer.
  • Storage Tip #3: As a general rule, if measuring flour from refrigerated or frozen flour, allow your measured portion to come to room temperature before using it in baked goods. Remove the flour for your recipe a few hours before use, so it doesn't affect the action of other ingredients such as baking powder or yeast .

Whole Wheat Flour

  • 1 to 3 months at room temperature; refrigerate whole wheat flour if you want to keep it longer
  • Storage Tip #1: For longer storage, whole wheat flour should be stored in an airtight container or freezer bag in the refrigerator or freezer. It will maintain good quality for about 6 months in the refrigerator and up to 12 months in the freezer. The ground wheat germ in whole wheat flour contains oil that can become rancid at room temperature.
  • Storage Tip #2: Generally, if measuring flour from refrigerated or frozen flour, allow your measured portion to come to room temperature before using it in baked goods. Remove the flour for your recipe a few hours before use, so it doesn't affect the action of other ingredients such as baking powder or yeast.

Tips on Buying Flour Storage Containers: If you'd like to buy an airtight storage container for your white or whole wheat flour, these figures may help determine what size you'll need:

  • 1 pound flour = about 4 cups
  • 5 pounds of flour = about 20 cups
  • 10 pounds of flour = about 40 cups

If the container doesn't give the number of cups it will hold, these figures may help you:

  • 8 fluid ounces = 1 cup
  • 1 pint = 2 cups
  • 1 quart = 4 cups
  • 1 gallon = 16 cups

Before purchasing a container, assess where you will store the food to determine whether there are any space restrictions for your container. For example, is there a limit to the height of a container needed to fit onto a certain shelf.

Select a container that is easy to use when you need to measure out ingredients. Also, check to be sure the lid is easy to open and close tightly.

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.