For years I have assumed the accepted belief that white flour has an indeterminate life cycle and that once it’s packed, it is good for life.
Home Storage Friends, I’ve got some seriously bad news for you, white flour is not forever!
Boy – did I receive a tasty surprise when I discovered a couple of white flour buckets that had gotten tucked behind other items.
These flour buckets were dated 2009 and yes, it had the original flour still inside.
I thought, “Ooooh, I need to use this stuff!” and proceeded to make a double batch of biscuits.
Well, That was a BIG mistake!
During dinner, my kids and their friends – (what a way to make an impression) – seemed to turn bit white, while gagging slightly, when they took their first bite of these mirages of flaky goodness. Even after their first bite,they were troopers as they attempted to mask the beyond bitter taste with butter, honey and/or cinnamon sugar.
One of the neighbor kids at the table stated that my biscuits tasted like really bad play-dough. The expressed consensus throughout the meal was that rancid play-dough doesn’t really taste very good.
The last time I had gotten a ‘compliment’ like this from a non-bias crowd was when I served some roll-out sugar cookies several years ago to the children of a good friend – the recipe for these cookies I found on the Martha Stewart website and had felt pretty confident that they were be the ‘bees-knees’.
My friends kids were kinder than my own.
The older girl in the car simply asked me if I was serving the ‘play-dough’ cookies again.
It was an awkward moment, but I took it well by incorporating generous amounts of humor.
If I can’t laugh at myself then I won’t have any fun when my friends are laughing at me.
FYI: I am very sure that it was the slightly aged flour, not the recipe,
that brought on the less-than-desirable play-dough taste.
My mistaken imaginations of forever white flour were shattered this past week as I slaughtered a double-batch of innocent biscuits.
I will say it again: Home Storage Friends, I’ve got some seriously bad news for you, white flour is NOT forever!
I truly feel concern for those who have acquired their ‘food-storage’, (hunkering down for decades in grandmas basement) either by early inheritance, or by personal investment…the day will come when you will need to eat it. Make sure it is edible today to ensure you can eat it tomorrow.
If you have those #10 cans or 5 gallon buckets of white flour that are dated beyond two years from their original packing – unless they are vacuum sealed in Mylar or food sealer bags – then your white flour probably tastes pretty nasty right now.
This past incident with my flour being 7 years old just topped my record of serving some pretty nasty food. Believe me, starvation would definitely more flavorful that those biscuits. I don’t think there is any amount of sugar, milk, butter or other flavor altering ingredient that can fix rancid flour.
I mean it was rancid! Not just the “Ewe, that’s stale.” taste, it was more like the “Ugh! Get this nasty tongue stinging, stinky, nausea party out of my mouth!” kinda taste. There was no fixing it….there IS NO FIXING IT!
Wheat and other grained flour is worse – 6 months tops for wheat flour before it goes, unless you keep it in a 45-50 degree environment, then it may have a bit longer keep.
My advise to you is to open TODAY an older #10 can or 5 gallon bucket to verify that the flour is still good. Sometimes food in the can will also take on a tinny taste over time.
My theory is: If one can. or bucket of white flour is bad then be assured that all the cans or buckets of white flour reflecting the same date, or close to it, will be bad as well.
If your white flour is vacuum sealed in Mylar or food sealer bags, it may still be good. You will not know unless you open it and the worst time to discover your stores are bad is when you are ready to eat them.
Remember stored food is not meant to sit in your basement, crawlspace, stairway space or closet waiting for an apocalypse. It is supposed to be regularly consumed and replenished just like your cupboard.
Eat What Your Store Today ~ Store What You’ll Eat Tomorrow
May the Storage Be With You