So, rancid is a bad thing?

Started by Jersey Pie Boy, January 30, 2016, 11:09:14 AM

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Jersey Pie Boy

Okay, so yeah I know...I shouldn't have done it, but what the heck..I thought maybe I'd get lucky. I go through a lot of WW flour..mainly for breads, and I make quite a few..for a home baker who's mainly the only one in the house who eats WW bread (not counting the 10-15 percent I'll often slip into white bread).

So I thought while I was at RD, I'd pick up a nice big 50lb bag of GM WW. Divided it nicely into two large food safe buckets and have been happily baking..But toward the bottom of bucket #1, I noticed an unfortunate aroma. Yup, the beginning of rancid flour. Well, I probably baked a few loaves with it and I'm neither gagging nor deceased (had a slice toasted just a few minutes ago) , but once you know for sure, well..out it went.

So, other than   buying bag after bag of supermarket flour..which I kind of hate doing..and other than milling my own flour, which I'll do right around the time I purchase a combine and grow my own there a source for say, 10 lb  bags, or a multi-pack of 5 #'s? On Monday, I'll try calling the local restaurant distributor and see if they have something, but clearly 50# is too much for me for a flour that's as prone to spoilage as WW. I'm thinking 25 would be great..I could bag a few pounds and freeze them to move the contents along a little faster. 

Any thoughts?


Bill, I also like to use some ww, but only 25 to 30 % and rarely go full on 100% ww.  It will last a long time in the freezer, but it's too fragile and prone to spoilage otherwise.  I can't keep a 5 lb bag more than a month at RT here in the summer before it starts turning.  I used to keep all my ww in the fridge or freezer, but then you gotta warm it up for the mixing or the whole process goes outta whack unless you are used to using cold flour in your recipe. 
Risa sin camisa, sinvergüenza.


You might want to try a local organic food store.  We have one here called Organic Food Depot, and you can order bulk quantities, and you don't have to go as large as at RD. 
Current Ovens  -  Qube 16, BS, Halo Versa 16
Mixers .  Famag IM-5S,  Bosch Compact, Electrolux ( ANK
Mills - Retsel, Lee .

The Dough Doctor

It's the germ oil in the whole wheat that the culprit here. Since the rancid flavors are easily distilled off during baking we rarely detect the rancidity in fresh baked product (think pizza) or in bread for that matter, but the rancidity returns with a vengeance after the product sets a while after cooling (think bread). With this in mind you might be just fine using the flour to make your pizzas if you're planning to eat them while they're still hot, but take a pass on the bread since it is typically consumed over a day or more during which time rancidity will raise its ugly head. Not a problem consuming rancid product so don't bank on someone cashing in on your life insurance just yet.
I agree that freezing whole-wheat flour is the best way to keeps forever in the freezer. Since rancidity is an oxidative reaction, hence its name "oxidative rancidity" putting your fresh whole-wheat flour in the freezer as soon as possible will slow the reaction preventing the development of the characteristic flavor in the flour so you could break the large bag down into smaller bags for freezer storage, then when you want to use the flour just remove some from a bag (I scale it into bowl) reseal the bag and put it back into the freezer, the flour in the bowl should be covered and set aside (I do it overnight) to warm-up. If your flour was fresh when you put it in the freezer you don't need to worry about it becoming rancid over night, it could take weeks for the rancidity to develop to a detectable level, so if you're planning to do a lot of baking during the week you could also take out a whole weeks supply...........but, don't put any unused flour back into the fridge, and never put it back into the bag from which you removed it as this can result in the entire bag going rancid faster than the others.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Jersey Pie Boy

Thanks Reesa, Barry, Tom..Good advice. I previously always kept my WW in the freezer but thought I'd be okay taking a shot. But the WW shot back  ;)

I think my problem is freezer space..  As it is, I've taken the freezer over..there's a ton of bread, leftover pizza, cheese, sauce. If I could find a 25 lb bag, I'd probably be fine (organic store idea is a good one..I'll check a place down the road) ! 

(section below probably not worth considering...diod some research and it seems that it's like WWW...and I decided that's not something I  like..not the tenderness of white, and not the nuttiness of for me, probably not going to work. Will stick with GM and KA

Tom, you would know this: I was considering using some whole wheat atta flour from the local Indian  store (there are many here) They have 20 lb bags which would be great...but not sure that type of flour would work for bread and pizza...and I'm not planning on making Indian breads (might, but not often)   But maybe it would be fine? GUess I could try a small bag and experiment..



I'd still look at getting a grain grinder.   The added nutrition and flavor from fresh ground is worth the investment of a couple hundred bucks.

Jersey Pie Boy

Okay, thanks..never say never, right?


At my RD the GM whole wheat was only $14/50lb
At that price you can afford to waste a lot and still be way ahead of shipping, or the prices on some "organic" type WW on a 25 lb bag.

Why not store say 15 lbs in your pantry, put 10 lbs or so in the freezer; and give 25 lbs away to friends, neighbors, or someone at church that bakes?  I do that with every bag of pastry flour that I buy, and every so often someone drops off a nice tray of pastries or cup cakes.
All the best, Dave

The Dough Doctor

Atta flour is a typical flour used for making flat bread type products. It is actually a durum type flour so I would suggest doing a little experimenting with it to see how it impacts the pizza after it has had a chance to sit around for 20 to 30-minutes after baking. The gluten is somewhat different in durum flours than what we find in our more typical patent grade flours that we commonly use, it is this difference that can cause the pizza crust to become quite crispy when first baked but as the pizza cools it becomes so tough that you have to gnaw off a piece to eat it. You can always blend it with your regular flour too, a blend of 75% regular flour and 25% durum flour is probably as high as you will want to go if you have to blend it.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Jersey Pie Boy

It's a good idea Moose...Not sure I could get away with 15 lbs unfrozen, but as you point out, I almost can't miss coming out ahead over small  quantiities. I'll grab a bag next time I'm at RD. That said, anyone on the board here want half the bag next time I buy one? I know whole wheat flour isn't as easy a sell as others..but it sure bakes great bread. I sometimes, though rarely, make pizza with it. I've had good luck with Villa Roma's formula, but I'm still not a huge fan.

Tom, thanks for the thoughts/explanation on the atta flour.  .I'll put that on my 'To Experiment With" list