By Joseph Parish
I store up on a lot of food in the event that we have an emergency or a situation develops where food may not be readily available. As such, I on occasion, purchase food in bulk. A sample of this would be flour. However, flour as everyone knows can readily become buggy.
When it involves purchasing bulk amounts of flour, I can place it into 5 gallon plastic buckets with lids and store it for a long time. Let’s face it with the prices of food continually rising, the 25 pound sacks are actually less expensive than the smaller ones, however you really don’t want to waste money by having it go buggy or bad on you.
The popular seal-a-meal machines just do not successfully do the trick. They don’t really protect your flour and a different method is certainly in order.
I have generally discovered that flour will not go buggy if it isn't already buggy to begin with. Nevertheless, the only way to ensure this is to freeze the flour in your freezer. The simplest means of accomplishing this is to place small quantities of flour into jars, bags or one of the wife’s Tupperware containers, then freeze it for three days. At the end of the three days remove it from the freezer and let it sit for on a counter or table for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks refreeze it again for another three days. Repeat this process one more time.
Freezing the flour will readily kill any of the adult bugs which may be hovering within it however it does not kill the eggs, therefore you must freeze it to kill the adults then take it out of the freezer and let the eggs hatch and then refreeze it again to kill additional adults. A repeat of this process usually will usually kill the last of the bugs.
You could also place the flour in jars and dry heat packs the jars. This process would be similar in results to sealing the flour in the #10 cans with using the O2 packets.
I personally purchase my flour in the 25 pound packages and divide it up into one gallon sized Ziplocs. In each Ziploc I place 10 cups of flour. I next place the flour packs into the freezer for a matter of two weeks. This will kill anything that might be waiting in my flour. I remove the packs from the freezer and let them come to room temperature on the counter. Make sure to cover them with a towel because of its humidity and the resulting condensation could become a problem if you do not. After I feel that they are safe from both the adult bugs and eggs I stack them in a 5 gallon plastic bucket and place the lid on them.
I make bread with the major portion of the flour and most recipes call for about 3 cups of flour per bread. If I make 3 loaves of bread that leaves one cup for dusting, etc. By placing the 10 cups of flour in each gallon bag it becomes the perfect way to store just what you need for baking.
If you plan to store wheat berries the procedure is slightly different. You can safely store it similarly as I have discussed above however there is also another means of accomplishing the storage and that is a 5-gallon bucket with a 1/3 cup of dry ice chunk added. Place 3 to 4 inches of wheat in the bottom of the bucket. Next add the chunk of dry ice. Keep in mind that should you place the dry ice directly on the plastic bucket you could possibly crack it. Now fill the rest of the bucket with the wheat. Put the lid on the bucket loosely and wait half an hour for the CO2 to dissipate. Since the CO2 is heavier then the Oxygen it pushes all the O2 out of the bucket. Then you merely have to put the lid on tightly. Keep an eye on it for another hour. Should the bucket begin to bulge at all then just burp it as you would a Tupperware container?
Bugs simply cannot grow in an anaerobic environment. Good luck in storing up your flour. In ending I would like to leave you with an Olive Oil Bread recipe. This is a quick and easy bread which goes exceptionally well with pastas or Italian foods.
1/2 cup of warm water (Approximately 110° F)
2 1/4 teaspoons of dry yeast
1 teaspoon of white sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
Take a large mixing bowl and combine the warm water, the yeast, your teaspoon of sugar, the salt and the olive oil together. Stir in about 2 cups of the flour and create a small ball. Knead in the additional ½ cup of flour so that the dough is not sticky but soft. Place your kneaded dough in a greased bowl. Cover the bowl and let it rise until the dough has doubled in size. Proceed to punch down dough and then form it into a small ball or into a loaf shape. Place your bread onto a greased cookie tray. Cover the tray and let it rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375° F. Bake your bread for about 35 minutes making sure it gets a golden brown color to it. Should you desire a glazed or shiny affect simply brush an egg white with one tablespoon of water onto the bread during its last 5 minutes of baking.
Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish