Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Flour in Food Storage & Notes on Hard Red Wheat

Question of the day:  (I haven't done this in a while. I'm glad for the opportunity.)

I have just started my food storage in earnest and... in my eagerness to begin my storage, I went to Costco and bought 300 lbs. of flour. I have come to realize that is A LOT of flour, and I am skeptical that I will go through it before it spoils. I have decided storing flour is probably not the best option.

I have a ton of red wheat in storage, but I have been told that only having red wheat in bread is bad for digestion, and therefore having 1/2 red wheat and 1/2 flour is best. Because I do not wish to store flour as stated above, I am wondering if I can store white wheat to replace the flour and therefore avoid the digestion problems?

I bake all of my own bread, and that is primarily what the wheat in storage would be used for.

Do you have any other suggestions about storing wheat that would help me in my food storage voyage? Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

My Answer: 

Great questions. Well, first of all, hard red wheat is not necessarily BAD for digestion. It depends on the person and their individual digestive system. Though, Hard red wheat is typically harder to digest than others.

I used to store a lot of flour in my food storage. I now only store about 150 lbs for my laziness (when I don't have time to grind flour or energy and just need a quick cup for some cookies or something) and then store several types of grains. As a matter of taste, I do not love to use only hard red wheat. It is too much "heavy" whole wheat flavor and texture for me. I do not enjoy hard red wheat by itself. I do enjoy using hard red wheat in portions, though. I store hard red wheat, hard white wheat, spelt and bread flour. I use the flour, like I said, when I'm being lazy or my kids want to bake something. (At least for now.) Otherwise, I'll grind my own flour from the red, white wheat and spelt - usually in equal portion and use that. The flavor is so much better when I mix my grains. Even if you use 1/2 red wheat and 1/2 flour (so you can use up some of that flour faster than you normally would if you ground all of your own flour for your bread), your bread would be much better than just using whole red wheat and you shouldn't experience such drastic digestive problems.

As a matter of interest, hard white wheat is great in breads and will give your bread a sweeter flavor. Spelt has a bit of a nutty taste to it. So, mixing all of these grains together and storing them for such use is my preferred method.

Does that help?

p.s. Plastic Buckets (5-6 gallons) or large rubbermaid or metal garbage cans are a great way to store your grains (I don't take mine out of the original packaging, though you could) and/or flour. It helps keep the rodents out, helps maintain dryness (supposing things flood sometimes) and basically keeps the air and sunlight off of your food storage.

Until later.


Christina said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you- that perfectly answers my questions! I have never tried spelt, so I will have to give that a try- I like the idea of mixing all three grains. You have definitely helped me to make some important decisions in regards to food storage- information I wish I had before I bought so much flour!

Jamie said...

you are welcome! You'll make it through the flour and be the wiser for it. =)
One idea - a bag of flour or wheat makes a great wedding present if you need some extra help in going through it!


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