Storing Flour in the Freezer

Does flour stored in the freezer make yeast doughs rise more slowly?

Does flour stored in the freezer make yeast doughs rise more slowly?

To find out, we made two batches of bread dough: one with room-temperature flour (70 degrees) and one with flour from the freezer (15 degrees). We placed both doughs in a warm place, monitoring their temperatures for an hour while they rose. The batch made with room-temperature flour was consistently about 10 degrees warmer, and it doubled about 30 minutes faster. The doughs even looked different. The room-temperature batch was soft, light, and airy during the initial 40 minutes of rise; the frozen flour batch appeared firm and taut.

We suggest that if you store your flour in the freezer, bring it to room temperature before you make your dough. To save time, you can microwave it at 10-second intervals, stirring after each stint. It took us just 20 seconds to warm up 2 cups of flour.

THE BOTTOM LINE Bring frozen flour to room temperature before using or be patient while your dough slowly rises.

COLD FLOUR

COLD FLOUR: The frozen flour batch appeared firm and taut during the initial 40 minutes of rise. 

ROOM TEMPERATURE FLOUR

ROOM TEMPERATURE FLOUR: The room-temperature batch was soft, light, and airy during the initial 40 minutes of rise.

This is a members' feature.