There are some grocery discounts and bargains that you should take advantage of. But when it comes to baking ingredients, nothing is more precious than having prized ingredients that will make your cake, cookie, bread, or other baked goods the star of the buffet table.
But while bargain ingredients are a deal, you may want to not get too carried away when it comes to these very perishable baking ingredients. Don’t buy these in bulk:
Bugs love flour just like they do rice and other grains! But that’s not all. Flour is not only susceptible to insects, it can also become rancid. Flour is ground up wheat and since it’s been ground, it can go bad faster than if it were still whole. Instead, buy smaller packs of flour to keep it vacuum packed and extend its shelf life.
2 Baking Powder
It’s always good practice to check the effectiveness of the baking powder before using. Baking powder has a definite shelf life. You can test its effectiveness by adding a pinch into hot water. If it bubbles and sizzles, it’s still good to use. If nothing happens, its time to use a new batch.
3 Nuts and Seeds
A big bag of discounted nuts and seeds is enticing but don’t be lured! The oil in nuts and seeds can turn rancid and ruin the flavor of whatever baked good you are making. If you fall for the trap, any you won’t use within a few weeks should be packed and frozen to keep it from becoming rancid. Despite freezing, nuts and seeds should be used and consumed within a few months.
Eggs have a shelf life of a few weeks but despite this, if you notice that the yolks of your eggs are no longer tall, bouncy rounds and the whites have become more watery and is no longer attached to the yolk, it’s time to buy eggs again. But don’t get carried away. Estimate the number of days you and your household consume eggs because it’s easier to separate yolks from fresh eggs than old ones.
If you need “old” whites which whip better than fresh egg whites, you can easily “age” egg whites by leaving it out in room temperature for a few hours.
Whether fresh or dried, yeast has a short shelf life. Dried yeast, once the package is open, begins to deteriorate and might be ineffective in a few months. Fresh yeast in particular is particularly perishable, so store any left overs in the freezer to further its life.
6 Herbs and Spices
Just like you wouldn’t want your prized saffron strands or Spanish smoked paprika to lose its pungency and flavor through time, cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, and other spices should be bought in smaller quantities to ensure it gives your cookies and cakes the best flavor. Ground spices will lose its flavor faster than whole spices, so when possible, grind your own nutmeg, cinnamon, and even black pepper as freshly as possible.
The same goes for herbs. While dried herbs can save you in a pinch when fresh isn’t available, these lose its flavor the longer its kept.
7 Baking Soda
While baking soda doesn’t necessarily have a shelf life, once opened, it can and will absorb odors in and around the area where it is stored. So unless you store it in an air-tight container, you’ll want to toss baking soda once it has absorbed an off-putting odor that you don’t want to taste in your baked goods.