The best place to store every type of flour

Flour

Once upon a time, flour wasn't fancy. Maybe two or three types graced the shelves of small, neighborhood grocery stores. But now, you can find flours from every grain, nut, and legume imaginable. It's great to have this kind of variety, but it rasies the question: do different flours require different storage solutions? The answer is yes, and indexed blog The Kitchn asked the experts at King Arthur Flour and Bob's Red Mill for their advice on the best flour storage methods.

They divvied up the flours into three main categories: refined, whole grain, and the broad category of nut/alternative. Refined flours are basic flours including all-purpose, pastry, and cake flour, that are made "by removing the germ and bran from wheat before crushing, resulting in flours that do not have much oil and thus have a longer shelf life," according to Cassidy Stockton of Bob's Red Mill. You can store them on a shelf at cool room temperature for up to two years.

Next up you have whole grain flours, including whole wheat, spelt, quinoa, buckwheat, oat, and rye flours. Since they contain the germ of the seed, which has a lot of oil in it, whole grain flours will go rancid more quickly. Oil becomes rancid with exposure to air, so these flours need special treatment. The freezer is your best bet, but if it's full, the refrigerator is a good alternative.

The final catch-all category that includes nut meals and flours (such as almond or hazelnut) and others like coconut flour, wheat germ, and flaxseed meal, also calls for special treatment. Head over to The Kitchn to find out how to store these flours, plus learn more storage tips.

Photo courtesy The Kitchn

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