Flour is one of the most important staple foods in the diets of almost whole of the earth’s population. It is used to prepare different staples such as bread, pasta, pancakes, etc. Honestly, there is no end to the things you can make with different types of flour available in the market.
Flour is quite an essential ingredient, and we need it on hand for our everyday cooking. However, unfavorable atmospheric conditions and the environment can make the flour go rancid. Hence, when it comes to preservation, freezing is the first thing that comes to our minds.
Can you Freeze Flour?
You can freeze flour to maximize its shelf life and keep it away from nasty kitchen pests. Flour can quickly go rotten if it is exposed to moisture or air. Hence it is important to ensure that while freezing flour, special care is taken in keeping it away from moisture and air.
The cold temperature of the freezer stops and slows down the growth of microbes in the flour, preventing it from going rancid.
How to Freeze Flour?
One of the most important things you need to keep in mind while freezing flour is to keep the flour free from moisture. If the flour is exposed to any kind of moisture, it will rot even when kept in the freezer.
To make sure that the flour has no contact with any kind of moisture, freezing it in airtight containers is the best option. A sealed or airtight plastic bottle also works well. You can also use self-sealing zip lock bags to store flour in the freezer.
Here is a secret that I use for extra protection of flour. Just cover the airtight container in plastic or aluminum wrap, and there you go. It is all protected from the air and moisture.
Try to avoid freezing flour in its original packaging. Usually, the original packaging of flour is not waterproof, which causes the flour to get wet. Wet flour rots easily no matter what, and efforts to freeze it will not preserve it.
Flour naturally contains lesser than 10% moisture. Hence, when stored in the freezer, it does not turn into a solid block of ice.
How to Defrost Flour
As flour does not turn into a block of ice in the freezer due to its low moisture content, it can be easily defrosted. Simply keep the container of flour at room temperature for a while. Once the flour has reached room temperature it is ready to be used for whatever purpose you desire to use it.
Make sure that the flour is defrosted properly before using it in your cooking. Cold flour leads to the inactivation of yeast, which in turn does not rise well, resulting in baking failure.
Cold flour is also not ideal for kneading as it forms a very sticky dough. To control the stickiness, one tends to add more flour which leads to a compromised taste and texture of the final dish.
Why Does Flour Go Rancid?
Flour can easily be stored on your kitchen shelf for a long time without any complaints. However, flour can rot due to a number of reasons. A warm climate is one of the main reasons why flour goes putrid.
Flour is made from refined grains, and these grains are the food of choice for microbes. Warm temperatures provide an excellent medium for the growth of their colonies and hence resulting in the growth of bacteria and microbes.
Moreover, bugs and other kitchen pests also infest flour, making it inconsumable.
Moisture also promotes the growth of bacteria in the flour and rots it very quickly.
How To Know If The Flour Has Gone Rancid?
Stale or rancid flour has some clear signs. Before adding flour to your recipe, make sure that the flour you are using is free from these signs. Fresh flour has a neutral, flour-like scent.
On the other hand, rotten flour has an almost sour and off-putting smell.
Large clumps of flour also indicate that it has come in contact with moisture. If this is the case, you should not use this flour under any circumstances.
The color of flour is also a good indicator of its freshness. The discolored or off-putting color of flour means that it has rotten.
If you find small bugs or flies in your flour, it means that it is infested. Discard the entire container of flour as using it might lead to some serious illnesses.
How Long Can Flour Last When Frozen?
The shelf life of flour at room temperature is around three to eight months. However, freezing the flour significantly increases its shelf life. Flour stored in the refrigerator can easily last up to one year. Once frozen, it can easily last for up to two years.
Conclusion to Can You Freeze Flour
Even though flour can stay out at room temperature for quite a long time, moisture, air, and bugs might infest it and make it rancid.
Freezing the flour is an excellent way to preserve it for a more extended period and keep it free from pests. Frozen flour can stay for a long time if stored properly and not exposed to moisture or oil.
Frequently Asked Questions to Can You Freeze Flour
Does Freezing Flour Ruin its Quality?
Freezing flour does not affect its taste or texture in any way. However, for best results, allow the flour to reach room temperature before using it. Failure to do so might cause a noticeable difference in your cooking.
How To Thaw Frozen Flour Quickly?
Frozen flour can be thawed by spreading it on a baking tray and keeping it aside. This greatly increases the surface area of the flour, allowing it to reach room temperature quickly.
How to Keep Bugs Out of Flour?
Many people believe that placing a bay leaf in flour keeps the bugs and insects out of the flour. Simple place a bay leaf in the flour container and let it be. Replace the bay leaf with a newer one if it has changed its smell and you can’t smell it anymore.