The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

excess flour

krekdayam's picture

excess flour

1) By making bread frequently, I generate a lot of "scrap" flour, as well as a mix of flour and water from soaking mixing pots to clean them

b)  I have lots of plants

iii) flour contains stored energy 

Can I water patio or house plants with this "contaminated" water without any negative effects? I am concerned about mold, or that for some (unknown) reason, this would kill plants. Anyone have experience or a biochemistry background to provide an answer? Would this serve as fertilizer, or poison?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I would also be concerned about putting flour or flour water directly onto soil around plants.  So I don't do it.  I also clean up pretty well using a little dry flour and scrape most surfaces.  I have very little scrap flour and it goes into the bin.  The rest that gets washed off the spoon or whip is so little it goes down the sink.  I prefer the compost pile for any large dough scraps, it gets mixed then with lots of vegitables scraps, leaves, and coffee grounds and breaks down before being offered to my plants.  

Mini O

Barkalounger's picture

I'm really not sure, either, but if the flour hasn't been processed (bleaching, "enriching", etc.), isn't it simply organic material? I do agree that breaking organics down (as Mini describes) is best, but I don't think you're doing any harm by dumping it right on your plants.



wadam's picture

I don't have very much excess flour, but my bread cleanup gets composted.  It's not quite the same as dumping it on the plants, but I don't see how a bit of floury goodness would hurt them.

fancypantalons's picture

I can tell you this much: plants cannot digest any of the nutrients in flour.  That's why we invented composters (which, likely everyone else here, is where my starter tailings, etc, end up).

As such, I'd strongly advise not doing this.  The plants won't benefit, and you'll increase the odds of getting bugs, mold, or other nasties in the soil.  It just ain't worth it.

LindyD's picture

Check out the third paragraph from the bottom.

As to the water, I think adding it to the compost pile would be a safer bet. Not knowing the type of bacteria that have accumulated or the pH of the water could have an adverse effect on the plant being watered. Fully composted materials don't have that problem. All plants love the stuff.

KristinKLB's picture

This could give you a bad bug problem.