According to King Arthur Baking Company, that's how long this dough actually lasts.


As an avid home baker, I know how important it is to have the right ingredients on hand. Of course, the key ingredient in any dessert is the dough. After all, you can't make brownies without all-purpose flour, almond shortbread without almond flour, or rye bread crusty bread without rye flour.

When I buy a bag of flour, I rarely plan on using the whole bag as soon as I do, and flour (of all kinds) has a shelf life. Ever opened an all-purpose bag to find some unwanted friends crawling inside? Or have you ever mixed almond flour into your batter before realizing it was messy?

I certainly have, and since I don't like the idea of ​​leaving it in the middle of the house to restock on ingredients, I consulted Melanie Vanders, research and development specialist at King Arthur Baking Company. For an expert to know how long dough lasts and the best way to store it to prolong its shelf life.

Just Recipes / Lori Chawl

How long does dough last?

How long your flour actually lasts depends on many factors, including what nut or grain it's made from, when it was made, and how it was stored. Therefore, it is difficult to provide a specific time limit.

“Shelf life depends a lot on how recently the flour was milled, when you bought it, and how it was stored before you bought it,” Wanders explains. Shelf life can range from three to four months to years, and how the dough is stored after it reaches your kitchen affects how long it will last.

For any flour, The key is to check the expiration date first., says Wanders. If it's past this date, before it develops an attractive smell or looks clumsy or loose, the flour's delicate flavor can be weakened. Expired flour will not taste as good as fresh flour.

How to Store Flour to Extend Its Shelf Life

For long-lasting flour, store it properly.

“The paper bags that the flour comes in are made of a breathable material that allows any remaining moisture from the milling process to evaporate, but they (the flour) don't allow things like odors, moisture or heat to evaporate. doesn't protect against,” Wanders explains.

The best way to keep any dough from spoiling is to transfer it to an airtight container ASAP.

A pro tip from King Arthur Baking Company

If you transfer the flour to a separate container, label it with the best-by date as a reminder of the flour's expiration date.

Storage methods vary depending on what type of flour you want to stock your pantry with and how often you find yourself baking:

Refined flour: White all-purpose, bread, cake, or self-rising flour should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for short-term storage and in the freezer for longer storage.

Unrefined flour: Whole-wheat or whole-grain flour contains all parts of the wheat berry, including the germ, which makes it susceptible to oxidation, a process that would spoil the flour if exposed to oxygen for long periods of time. Is. Since oxidation can be accelerated by exposure to light and heat, Wanders recommends storing these doughs in the refrigerator or freezer after transferring them to an airtight container.

Nut flour: Nuts have a high oil content and will therefore oxidize and go rancid more quickly. So it should always be kept in the freezer.

Just recipes / Andy Christensen

How to tell if your dough is spoiled

Here are some tell-tale signs that it's time to toss your dough:

Visual cues: First, look inside the container, if you see signs of insect activity, it's time to say goodbye. Another visual clue to look for with white flour is “if the flour shows signs of mold or if it develops hard lumps of moisture,” says Wonders.

Smell it: Smell the dough. White flours that smell “sour, musty or musty” should be thrown away, Vander says. These flours should have “a mild 'wheaty' aroma with a neutral aroma”. For whole-wheat and whole-grain flours, it should not have a “baja or playdough-like” smell. Finally, for nut flours, if it spoils you'll catch most of the acidity, such as altered oils.


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