by Cat, Jan 2008
Purchasing Special Flour
Most Natural Foods and Health Foods stores carry good Organic Whole Wheat and Spelt Flours, unbleached white flour (wheat), and some specialty flours. However, if you cannot find what you want in your local store, try the internet sources listed in each section of these articles. I do not endorse any particular brand, and only include this list for your information.
Storage of Flour
Most flours must be kept cool and dry, as all have a limited shelf life due to the presence of oils in the flour. They should be stored no more than 6 months (For longer-term storage, it is best to purchase the berries (seed), and then grind into flour as needed.
During hot weather, store flour in the refrigerator or root cellar (but use a container that will keep out moisture, and then allow your measured flour to warm to room temperature before using). Flour stored in an airtight, moisture-proof container will keep well in your freezer at 00 F for several years (1).
Flour can also absorb odors from its surroundings, so don’t store near soap or detergent powder, nor near onions or other foods with strong odors (1).
Flour, especially that purchased in bulk, can be contaminated with weevils and other insects, and rodents. After purchasing and before putting into your storage container, put the flour in the freezer for 48 hours to kill any weevil or insect eggs already in the flour, and never mix new flour with old (1).
Whole grain flour is especially vulnerable to rancidity (oxidation of the delicate oils); keep your in-use stock in the refrigerator or root cellar at all times, and store your bulk stock in the freezer (1).
Tip>> Put a bay leaf in the flour canister to help protect against insect infestations (1).
Tip>> If you already have flour weevils or other pantry pests, use those “pantry pest” traps available in most hardware stores to trap them. Put these traps in the back corners of your cupboards.