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Flour and sugar are staples of every kitchen. While they always have a place in your home, do you store them properly?
Most people simply place flour and sugar on the shelves of a pantry in the same bags that they come in from the store.
But, this is not the ideal storage for these items.
Today we’ll discuss the best way to store flour and sugar to make the most of your baking essentials.
How to store flour
While flour seems like an incredibly simple ingredient, a little preparation before storing it goes a long way!
Why to store flour in an airtight container?
To protect flour from pests, store it properly. Also, flour can spoil! Moisture expedites this process, so you want to keep flour dry.
Flour can absorb flavors and odors from the environment in which it is stored. To keep your flour fresh, keep odors out!
If you expose flour to open air, it will degrade quickly.
Unlike sugar, flour does spoil. It can also bring bugs. No one wants to find bugs in their cookies!
To avoid this, properly prepare and store your flour.
Refined flour, made using a part of wheat called the endosperm, is typically the type of flour that you use in all of your standard baking.
To properly prepare refined flour for storage, place it in the freezer for at least two days to kill any pest eggs that may be hiding inside.
After freezing, place it in a rigid, food grade container, preferably made of glass or plastic.
Then, store flour in a cool, dark, dry place in your kitchen. You can store it for up to a year at room temperature.
If you want to increase the shelf life of flour, store it in the freezer.
Refined flour will keep for up to two years in the freezer.
Just be sure to let flour warm up to room temperature before adding it to all of your favorite baked goods!
Whole grain flour
You can store whole grain flours (rye, wheet, oat, rice, etc.) very similarly to the way that you store standard refined flour.
Whole grain flours use multiple parts of the grain. While this increases their nutritional value, it also makes them spoil faster!
So, you should freeze the flour for 48 hours and then transfer it to an airtight container.
For best results, keep whole grain flours in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. To increase the shelf lift, store them in the freezer for up to a year.
How to store sugar
Sugar typically comes in either a paper sack or plastic bag when you purchase it from the store.
However, is this actually the best way to store sugar? As it turns out, not really.
In practice, you should always store sugar in a sealed, airtight plastic container.
If you leave sugar in the flimsy bags from the store, you increase the likelihood that pests will find your stock!
Have you ever accidentally ripped the paper bags of sugar at the store?
The paper bags that standardly encase granulated sugar are very easy for bugs to chew through.
Since they are not airtight, pests and moisture find their way inside.
Plastic bags are slightly more durable, but the seal is still not airtight. People often close them with bread ties, which still allow air to seep inside.
Some companies have begun to incorporate a snap-tight seal on some plastic bags.
This works well the first few times you open the sugar, but, eventually, the small grains embed themselves into the ridges, blocking the seal.
You may not notice a difference for a few weeks, but, over time, exposure to air and moisture accelerates clumping.
So, the best way to store sugar is in a tightly sealed, airtight container.
While sugar doesn’t technically expire, it may reach a stage in which it turns hard and clumpy after a couple of years.
You don’t even have to wait until you open the bag of sugar to make the transfer.
As soon as you get sugar home from the store, open the bag in the sink to avoid a mess.
Simply place a clean, dry, plastic container in the sink, and pour the sugar into the container.
Make sure that the lid is clean and dry, too.
As you pour, inspect the sugar for any signs of bugs. If you find pests, discard the sugar and get a new bag.
Bugs often infiltrate sugar before you purchase it!
To eliminate pests and to extend the life of any type of sugar, store it in a tightly sealed, airtight plastic container.
Not only does this protect your baking products, it also makes it easier to use them! Scooping out of a flimsy bag is difficult, but you can easily scoop out of a rigid container.
Best way to store flour and sugar
As you can see, it’s best to store flour and sugar in tightly sealed food grade containers.
Properly storing baking ingredients extends the shelf life and makes your time in the kitchen more fun.
Always remember to label each container with the specific ingredient contained and the date of storage.
When you grab one of many containers in the future, you may not remember what’s inside!
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