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Monday Q&A

Last Monday I completely forgot that I was supposed to do a Q&A post, and I wrote about something entirely different. Oops. Hopefully I will be a little more together this week. :p

Before I answer a question, though, I wanted to include this promised photo of the snake rolls I made the other week. I just use the basic roll dough…I make round rolls and arrange them on a baking sheet in the shape of a roll. Raisins make the eyes, and you can use almost anything for the tongue. This one is a broccoli stem, but I’ve also used a green onion and a carrot. Just cut it into a flat shape and use a knife to make a forked end for the tongue.


Lori sent in several flour questions:

1. How do you store it? How long does it stay good for?

I store mine in my laundry room, on a big sturdy shelving unit(it can hold 100 pounds of flour(on one shelf!) with no problems.) Despite my lack of fancy storage, I’ve never had a problem with mites or bugs or any other sort of pest. If you tend to have bug problems, you might want to store your flour in the freezer or put it into an airtight container.

As long as the flour has no bugs in it, it should be safe to eat pretty much forever. It might start to taste a little off after the expiration date, though, so just keep an eye on the date stamped on the bag.

I personally have never stored flour for very long…I’d say six months has been about the max just because I go through it pretty quickly.

2. Do you use unbleached AP flour in your bread, or do you use bread flour? Bread flour, at my grocery store, is so much more expensive than AP flour, and never on sale!

I’ve actually never used bread flour…I don’t think I’ve bought a bag in my life. Cook’s Illustrated actually did a test on a bunch of different flours and concluded that Gold Medal unbleached flour(which I’ve been using forever) was the best for yeast baking, so that made me doubly sure that I don’t need to spend money on bread flour.

For those of you that don’t know, bread flour has a higher gluten content in it, which makes it a little easier to turn out a dough that is stretchy(which helps it to rise better). In my 16 years of baking bread, though, I’ve really never seen the need for it, even when I’m baking with lower gluten flours like whole wheat.

I generally use unbleached all purpose flour for all of my baking, whether I’m doing yeast dough, muffins, pancakes, cookies, or cakes. It’s much easier than keeping cake flour, bread flour, bleached flour, and unbleached flour around, and it saves a lot of space in my not-very-large kitchen.

So I say save your money and buy the flour that actually goes on sale every once in a while(like at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter!).


If you have a question that you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, leave a comment here, or send an email to thefrugalgirl {at} gmail {dot} come and put “Q&A” in the subject line. 🙂

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Tuesday 21st of April 2009

If you are concerned about using a flour without enough gluten, you can buy gluten by itself. It looks like flour, and you add a Tablespoon or two to your bread dough when you add the flour (maybe one TB per cup of flour?). You can probably get it at a health food bulk bin, or try azurestandard dotcom, or Bob's Red Mill (I don't know their web address).


Tuesday 21st of April 2009

I just bought a 50lb bag of high gluten flour( 14% protein) for baking bagels. I went to a wholesale place in Buffalo that someone told me about. It only cost me 17.30 for the bag. I see lots of bagels/pizza dough in my future. I prefer HG flour for bagels because I like chewy bagels.


Tuesday 21st of April 2009

While I use AP for a lot I do find there are certain applications where bread (or cake) flour just work better. One example where I will swap them out for different uses is in making cookies. I made my lady friend some Chewy Chocolate Chunk cookies using the Alton Brown's variation on the Toll House recipe and instead of the chocolate chips breaking up some Easter chocolate.

I mostly use AP but I usually have bread flour around the house. I can't make pizza dough with AP. It's not pizza dough with AP; it's just well ... not stretchy enough.


Monday 20th of April 2009

Ack! So cute!! I wonder if 2 adult males and a teenage girl will find it as amusing as I do.


Monday 20th of April 2009

That snake bread is too precious! I want to make one, even though there are no little ones in my home anymore...however, I think the 20 year old will get a real kick out of it. Thanks!

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