The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Time for Storage of Flour

parsley's picture

Time for Storage of Flour

Another 'lurker' coming into the light. I live in Puerto Rico--in the mountains where the temperatures are mild and humidity is usually high.

I have 2 issues (at least)

STORAGE TIME: I have been happy baking with KAF bread flour which I bring in my suitcase after travels in the US. Now I want to scale up my baking and have access to bulk flours through a food co-op. How much can I buy without serious degradation of quality in 1 month of storage at ambient temperatures(65-82 F)?

BRAND of BREAD FLOUR: emphasis is on organic flours at the co-op. any opinions about Giusto's, Arrowhead Mills or Bob's?

What do folks think about adding GLUTEN (Bob's Mills) to all-purpose flour when making bread?

Thanks for your advice, Patty



rockfish42's picture

If kept in an airtight container and assuming white flour you should be fine buying in whatever amounts you want, as far as whole wheat flour goes you should probably stick to less than 6 months or potentially less than one month depending on who you ask. I like arrowhead's whole rye, bob's cornmeal and rye, and everything from giusto's.

parsley's picture

Rockfish42, Thanks for your feedback.


belfiore's picture

A good quality vacu-sealer would solve the problem of storage. Portion out the bulk into amounts that fit into your "active canister"...basically what you use in a week. Vacuseal it and label with date, type and amount. You're good to go.

My husband has a deadly allergy to soy so we make everything at home and take meals with us when we travel. We have the Cabela's CG-15 Vacuum Sealer.

There are also oxygen absorbers you can put in canisters and sealed bags.

Hope this helps,


(I had to type this twice because it "poofed" in the process so I hope it doesn't post twice!)

IndyRose's picture

So with the vac sealer you get better room temp storage of whole wheat?  How about using a sealer for whole grain?

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I've had AP and Bread flour stored at room temp in ziplock bags (the gallon size freezer bags) without degradation for about 6 months now.  Fridge or freezer would be "better" (as in less likely to spoil) but unless you're going to have it around for over a year I wouldn't really worry about it too much.


BellesAZ's picture

If your flour is chemically processed, several brands have additions that help extend shelf life - that can be a negative if you are hoping to avoid processed flour.  If you are using organics, or simply processed flours in bulk, an airtight container is a good investment.  I use alot of flour, so I have buckets with Gamma lids for my bread and AP flours.  I also add a couple of bay leaves to my flours - not sure if there is anything scientific to it, but my Grandmother did it and said it worked to ward off weevils and other creepies from laying eggs and living in your flour.  Some like to add oxygen absorbers as was suggested above.. I found some more here as well:

Good luck

IndyRose's picture

Thanks,  I have heard about the use of bay leaf for flour.  For whole grains I read about using diatomateous earth food grade. Use no more than 1-1.5%.  See