Take Stock

Consider your baking center a handy short-term holding place for dry shelf-stable ingredients. Over time all ingredients deteriorate, but heat, light, air and moisture quicken the process. Long-term storage is best in the fridge or freezer, but a cool, dark and dry pantry and less opening and closing of airtight containers will also prolong the life of your food.

Flour, the key ingredient for baking, faces some storage issues. All types of flour can become rancid and may attract tiny insects called weevils. The best defense is to freeze newly purchased flour for two days and then transfer it to airtight, food-grade glass or plastic containers. Shelf life for flours varies by fat content, but generally flours keep well in sealed containers in the refrigerator for several months, and in the freezer for a year or longer. Check out this chart for more ingredient storage info.

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