Can whole wheat and unbleached flours be stored in the same container instead of storing them separately?

I'd like to pre-mix my flours for all of my baking and store it that way. Since my diet consists mainly of whole wheat, whole grains, natural & organic foods....I don't use white flour by itself. And as I mentioned, whole wheat baking usually calls for some white flour because of the density.

  • Assume you mean in two different "bags" but in one large container of some sort. Correct? – MaxW Feb 25 '18 at 8:55
  • No, mixed together in same container. – Jann Feb 25 '18 at 9:45
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    Are you making a flour blend? – Catija Feb 25 '18 at 13:45
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    Why would you want to? – Jan Doggen Feb 25 '18 at 15:31
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    Are you asking whether this affects the storage lifetime? (@JanDoggen I've often pre-measured and pre-mixed dry ingredients, e.g. for homemade pancake mix, to save time. I'm not sure if this is what the OP has in mind, though, just one possibility.) – Erica Feb 26 '18 at 13:52

Whole wheat flour has a lot of fat in it and will go rancid relatively quickly. It should be used promptly after it is ground or frozen for long term storage. Even if it will be used soon, keeping it cool and sealed from air and light is helpful.

There is no adverse effect from mixing flour types. Keep in mind that separately your white flour would keep much longer but your mix will only last as long as the wheat flour.

  • You should define "use promptly." Information on the internets is all over the board on this. It appears that in general the shelf life of whole wheat flour is many months, refrigerated whole wheat flour will be fine for 6 to 8 months, and white flour would last longer...but "much" longer? How much? Store it in the freezer and the shelf life increases. In any case, for someone who is a regular baker, as the OP appears to be, rancidity will probably not be an issue. – moscafj Feb 28 '18 at 22:35
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    I would think that letting the bag's "use by" date as a reference is the better choice @moscafj The maker is likely to have a better idea of the lifetime of the flour. – Catija Feb 28 '18 at 23:40
  • Thanks so much for the advice! I now know what to do. 😊 – Jann Mar 2 '18 at 2:11

As you've clarified that you only use the unbleached flour mixed with wholewheat, then yes, you can store the blend, and it will keep just as well as the individual flours. So if you get through large quantities always in the same proportions, go for it; if the proportions aren't fixed it seems more trouble than it's worth.

Let's assume you normally make a recipe that uses equal weights of both (50% wholemeal recipes are common in breadmakers for example). A well-mixed 50:50 blend would allow you to just use the same total weight, which is easy. But if you want to make a 70% wholemeal one day (you do, after all, sound like you want to keep up the wholegrain fraction of your diet) you have to fiddle about with the maths. You can also use just the wholemeal for flouring the worksurface or dusting a loaf. It gives the crust a nice flavour and texture, especially if you use stoneground or a similar slightly rough flour. The blend wouldn't have as much of this effect.

If you always make the same recipe, why not add the other dry ingredients (in the correct proportions of course): the baking powder for cakes or quickbreads, the salt and sugar for yeast breads (but probably not the yeast). You could even pack it into containers holding the right quantity as a batch process, essentially assembling your own mixes.

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