I’ve been baking so much that I’m going through 10 to 15 pounds of flour a week. I’ve decided it’s time to find a way to store my flour that doesn’t involve the bags they come in. For some reason, I can’t seem to measure out the flour without getting it all over.
I’ve recently purchased a kitchen island that I’m using as my baking center. It has two shelves below where I’m storing my food processor and other small appliances. Sadly, the shelves are just a 1/4″ too short to hold my bread machine and Kitchen-Aid mixer, so they’re still taking up counter space. Everything else I that I can store below, I am. This includes other baking ingredients that I’ve stored in Ikea glass containers. But I needed something larger for the flour and sugar, and Ikea didn’t offer a solution.
Other great storage ideas for quart, gallon, 1.5 gallon, and 2-gallon glass jars:
Pantry Organization Tips: Why Glass is Better
My biggest dilemma is that I didn’t know what size I needed. I knew I wanted glass as I’m removing plastic from our lives as much as possible. When I can’t eliminate it, I’m switching to BPA-free plastic. So that narrowed down my search a bit. Plus, glass is excellent for keeping out pantry critters, so your flour and sugar stay bug-free (unless the bugs are inside the flour and then it keeps that infestation from getting out. Yuck!)
I realize that adding 5 to 10 lbs of flour to an already heavy glass is going to make it cumbersome, but I’m going to store it on the top of my kitchen island/baking center. The convenience of having my flour and baking supplies in one spot is going to be fabulous (at least I’ve convinced myself of that).
Finding the right size glass container was difficult because flour is measured dry (lbs in this case) and glass jars are measured in liquid weights (quarts and gallons). I was a math wizard in high school 30 years ago, but for the life of me, I wasn’t sure what size to buy and sadly, I couldn’t find a site that helped.
I finally think I’ve figured out the equivalent measurements and purchased several Anchor Hocking jars from Amazon (free shipping!). I purposely bought ones with rubber gaskets, so there’s less chance of chips of glass getting into the flour or sugar from careless handling of the lid. Plus, it seals the containers with an air-tight seal meaning that they’ll stay moisture free. The gasket versions are more expensive, by just a few dollars, but since these containers will likely outlive me, it’s an expense I don’t mind.
Here is how I calculated the sizes I needed. I purchased one 2-1/2 gallon jar which should hold 10 lbs of flour and two packs of 32 oz jars Anchor Hocking Emma Jars (each package has four jars for eight total). Each of these 32 oz jars should hold 1lb of dry goods like sugar. I chose the Anchor Hocking 32 oz jars over the one quart-size wide-mouth Mason Jars purely because of the no-screw aluminum lids on the Emma jars.
|1 lb flour||4 cups||1 quart (32 oz)|
|5 lbs flour||20 cups||1-1/4 gallons (5 quarts)|
|10 lbs flour||40 cups||2-1/2 gallons (10 quarts)|
White flour has a shelf-life of 6-12 months depending on where you live and the amount of heat and humidity in your home. Be sure to store it in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. If you purchase more flour than you can use up in just a few weeks time, save the extra in the freezer (at 40F), tightly sealed in plastic, for up to two years. It can also be kept tightly sealed in the refrigerator. For best results, bring it to room temperature (65-70 degrees) before using, or it may not react correctly in your recipe.
Whole Wheat Flour has a shelf-life of 1-3 months at room temp (65-70 degrees). Because it has a natural oil, it can go rancid quickly. To keep it longer, refrigerate it, tightly sealed to prevent it from absorbing moisture from the refrigerator. It should stay fresh in the fridge for up to 6 months. It can also be stored in the freezer (40F), tightly wrapped, for up to 12 months. Refrigerated or frozen flour is best used at room temp.