My wholemeal flour has gone rancid.
I have gradually been becoming aware that my breads made with wholemeal flour have been losing their beautiful delicate flavours and aroma - but didn't really think too much about it till last night when I stuck my nose into the flour bin and recognised the strong and unpleasant whiff of rancidity.
This is Laucke wholemeal flour, bought maybe 5 months ago - and I still have 4 kilos left of the 10 kilo bag.
Now I'm wondering a couple of things:
• What is the optimum shelf life of commercial wholemeal flour (I say commercial, because home-ground has a much shorter life due to includ the wheat germ)?
• And the other obvious question is what can be done to extend its shelf life?
I also wonder if other whole flours - such as rye - deteriorate in the same way. I have yet to see any deterioration in my whole-rye flour, but it was a much more recent purchase.
I do know that whole wheat flour's life can be extended by freezing it - if you have the freezer space! That's not an option for me, for that sort of quantity. I do have a vacuum-sealing setup, and I would think that the reduction in available oxygen must have some benefit. Has anyone tried that?
Buying in smaller quantities more often would be better, but unfortunately you have to buy what you can get, and that usually means 10kg bags.