Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Expired Flour... what will happen if I use it?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Home & Family » Cooking & Baking Group Donate to DU
 
Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-27-06 08:06 PM
Original message
Expired Flour... what will happen if I use it?
I have an unopened 5 lb bag of Arrowhead Mills organic whole grain pastry flour. It expired April 2005.

Dare I use it to bake a cake? I've never used pastry flour, and I don't know what stale flour will do to a cake. :shrug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-27-06 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. whole grain contains the wheat germ yes? if so the oils in the germ
may have gone rancid

bake some cookies and test it :shrug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-27-06 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. I don't know how you've stored it, but
open the bag and give it the sniff test. Some companies nitrogen pack their whole grains and shelled nuts to retard spoilage. Not sure if they'd do it there, and if they did, they probably expected the gas to dissipate and be replaced with nasty oxygen slightly past April, 2005. However, be brave and open the bag. You'll know if the flour has gone severely rancid.

If it passes the sniff test, take a pinch and put it on your tongue. Rancid oils (which is what go bad in whole grain flours) will give you a hot sensation on your tongue.

Personally, I'd toss it if the bag doesn't specify "nitrogen packed." April 2005 was a LOOOONG time ago, and my guess is that the flour is unusable. The cake would be foul. If you're going to spend time baking, use the best ingredients you can get. April 2005 flour aint them.

To get longer life from whole grain specialty flours, store them in sealed plastic tubs in the freezer if you're not going to use them until they're 9 months out of date; store them in the fridge if you intend to keep them around more than a couple of days.

(whole wheat bread flour should be used for bread. Use whole wheat pastry flour for everything else, like quick breads, biscuits, muffins, and, yes, pastry)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-27-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. You answered my unasked question...
"How can I tell if it's rancid?" :)

I know, I know... I should buy my flour only as much as I use it. But I remember when this went on sale (what a price!) and I thought I'd stock up for holiday baking -- 2004.

I was hoping I could get away with using the old flour, but I suspect I'll be going to the grocery store tomorrow. If I had more time I'd make a test recipe, but tonight... my reality check says, "nah."

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-27-06 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Rancid oil and grain has a pungent "off" smell to it. You will know it
If you absoultely HAVE to bake before you can buy new flour, please sift it also..there could be "critters" that hatched and are waiting to float to the top after you have added the other ingredients..

Toss it out and send someone on a kamikaze run to the gorcery store.. that's what i would do :)

You can freeze flour if you don;t use it fast enough..

I transfer my flour from the bag into one of these.. and I use that new seal wrap on the top too (for a second line of defense)

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-27-06 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Gee, you're fancy
I have 20 year old ice cream tubs from those wonderful days when I didn't realize what was causing my chronic diarrhea and one plastic Cape Cod Potato Chips pail with a lid left over from my ex's fascination with grease chips.

They work.

Some day I'll have enough money for SQUARE containers.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-27-06 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Mine don;t match.. I find them on sale sometimes.
Kmart I think.. I use the cottage cheese containers for leftovers.. That way when I toss them I don;t have to try and save the conatiner :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
17. I love those jars and I find them in the thrift store all the time
sometimes they need new gaskets, but those are available easily

the press and seal is a good idea too!

since I buy most of my grain style products in bulk from the health food store, these jars are the mainstay of my kitchen. I also keep my coffee beans and bulk teas in them

I use blue painter's tape and a sharpie to label them. the painter's tape peels right off and doesn't leave tape residue behind when it's time to clean them and change the contents
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
liberalnurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-29-06 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. I use King Arthur's Flour but I
assume Arrowhead Flour has a consumer contact number where you can ask them. Then again, they may stick to the script and back the expiration date just in case. It is worth a try.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
8. Do more than the sniff test for rancidity. Take a close look...
before you get your hands in it.

I once had a bag of flour for making bread in the bread machine but then just stopped making bread for quite awhile. Next time I decided to do some bread, I opened the container and didn't notice any off smell so was getting ready to get started. But then I noticed a slight undulation, and when I looked more closely, the whole thing was undulating. Those buggers were the same color as flour and probably would have made a higher protein bread. Some sort of smilie should go here but I can't find a good one. I know it's not this one: :9
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I think you need this smilie...
:puke:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Miller moths and their larvae
are another great reason to store whole grain flours in the freezer. There may be eggs there, but they're small enough to sift with the flour and you won't notice them. Degerminated white flours aren't quite as attractive to miller moths, but just in case, sift it at some point in the baking process.

Usually you'll know there are miller moth larvae present because there are webs and/or egg casings near the top of the storage cannister.

As disgusting as they seem, they actually indicate a certain quality of the flour you're using: whole grain, no preservatives, no fumigation, and no insecticides. If the bugs won't eat it, maybe we shouldn't, either.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. We once had a similar problem ..... Indian Meal Moths
(Indian as in the subcontinent, not Native Americans)

They apparantly came in a bag of rice we bought at an Asian market. Soon enough they were in our breakfast cereals, flour, corn meal .... any grain-based food. Including pet foods! And they even got *inside* sealed tupperware. From time to time, we'd even see them flying ... as in flying out of our kitchen cabinets when we opened it. YECH.

We have a regular bug service and it took them almost a year to declare us meal moth free.

These little bastards are tenacious!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. You DID?!?
:wow: You really need to establish more hygienic household standards!

I recently made oatmeal cookies with um, "expired" oatmeal... They were TERRIBLE.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. We had eensy teensy little weevily critters once.
had to set up a big ole folding table, and empty out the entire pantry.. anything that was not "formally" sealed, got tossed.. Better safe than sorry..

It was kind of nice to have extra room in my pantry too :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I remember seeing those a lot
when I was a kid -- those little shells in the flour. I STILL check out flour for those things before I make anything. I don't know if the flour is different now or we just don't keep it as long, but I haven't seen any since (still check, though).

The moths H2S mentioned were definitely the worst. They got into EVERYthing -- sealed tupperware type containers, even!! We only buy rice that comes in plastic jars now, and I still hyper-check everything. :puke:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I use these things religiously and haven't had any critters since
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. I Can't Do Anything to Get Rid of Them!
Edited on Fri Feb-03-06 07:34 PM by Crisco
The only thing I can do is religiously seal everything in zip-lock bags. Everything. Flours, sugars, cornstarch .. everything in my pantry that resembles any kind of grain goes into a zip-lock as soon as it comes through the door.

It keeps them out of my grains but the second I let up, they're back. :(

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. They're tenacious, all right
As I said earlier, we have a monthly bug service. They sprayed where the moths were visible.

The moths moved.

They set up sex lures to trap the males. That helped.

Between spraying and the sex lures .... and a very deep and thorough clean-out of all food and pet food storage areas ..... we got rid of them. But it took, it seemed, forever to do it.

One word of caution ...... all of the bulk warehouse stores (Costco, BJ's, :::::shudder::::: Sam's Club, etc.) allow you to take boxes to carry your treasures home. Be wary of those boxes. They are often - very often - a way to introduce new species into your abode. Fresh produce boxes are the worst. Next are any boxes that held grain-based products - even cookies or chips. Your best bet is to stay with boxes that formerly held non-food items or frozen food.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. cock roaches LOVE the box glue too
I have aquired several large canvas bags that I take shopping with me every time

better for the environment, less chance of "hitchhikers" and some stores even give me a $0.05 bag credit for every bag I use.

I run em thru the laundry every couple months and they look like new. I pick them up in thrift stores for $2-3 apiece.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Oh, gawd, take every dry ingredient OUT of boxes
and put it into tightly sealed glass or Lexan jars, first thing. It only taxes a second to make a label or to write on glass with a Sharpie. You'll starve the bugs and save your ingredients. Some of the bugs in the desert chew through any inner packaging that has been devised.

I've done that for so many years (Boston being the cockroach capital of the world and NM being home to other hungry uglies) that I just sort of take it as a given that everybody else does it, too.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Those canvas shopping bags are great.
I'm sure the ones I have have paid for themselves with the $.05 credits from grocery stores. (Well, some of them were free so they paid for themselves before I used them.) Plus they're stronger and less likely to break or tear, and they're easier to carry because the cloth handles don't cut into your hands when they're heavily loaded.

Once however, I had a tofu container leak in one, and the stain has never come out.

I have bags with several different companies names and logos on them--a couple Trader Joe's, one from Vitamin World, and a couple from banks (oddly enough). It's interesting to see which bags the packers pick first to fill. In grocery stores, the Trader Joe's bags are always the last to be picked. At Trader Joe's, of course, they always use the TJ bags first. It's like they're all trained to use their competitors bags last.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
18. you'll have to adjust your cooking time
by 9 months
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Oct 25th 2014, 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Home & Family » Cooking & Baking Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC