Fresh Ingredients = Tasty Bread


Loretta Sorensen

If you're like me, I hate throwing out any kind of food.

However, when it comes to producing that beautiful, aromatic, melt-in-your-mouth loaf of bread, don't gamble on flour that's 12 months old or more. Even if it's been stored in the freezer.

My experience with flour I've had on the shelf that long has not been good. My bread didn't raise, the taste wasn't the best and my baking efforts were disappointing to say the least.

Keep in mind that, unless you're grinding your own flour, what you buy in the store has been in that bag for at least 8 weeks before it reached your store. Nothing wrong with it at that point, but its quality will continue to deteriorate for each week that you keep it on the shelf.

I like to keep my flour in a clear container — either glass or plastic — and I label it with the date that I purchased it to ensure that I don't accidentally use flour that I bought more than 12 months ago. Ideally you should use your flour and yeast within 6 to 10 months of the purchase date. You'll see the best results with those fresher ingredients.

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