Care and Storage of Products and Ingredients

Flour and Bread Mix

Flour and Bread Mix are regarded as shelf stable food products, but they will degrade with inappropriate storage. Knowing how long a product may be stored is equally as important as knowing what conditions to keep it in.

Flour will mature with age; it reaches maturity for performance over several months and will hold for many more months and even years. With Laucke Flours and Bread Mixes the ‘Best-before date’ indicates the period the product is expected to perform to its maximum potential. It is a suggested date we recommend the product be consumed before, even though the integrity of the product is not necessarily compromised after that date.

Climate

Normal pantry storage is fine, extremes of heat, humidity and light need to be avoided.

All wheats and milled flours and therefore Bread Mixes have natural moisture content. The natural level of moisture in a Bread Mix is 12 to 14%. High levels of humidity must not be allowed to accumulate within the storage area or within the actual storage container used to store the Bread Mix. If necessary, store in the refrigerator in tropical environments.

Care must be taken if Bread Mixes are taken from our packaging and stored in a sealed container (eg resealable plastic), as natural moisture from within the product will accumulate as excess humidity in the air above the Bread Mix, leading to high moisture levels in the top layers of Bread Mix and possibly condensation. The container should allow the product to ‘breathe’.

Pests

Insects are in most environments and will always be attracted to a flour-based product. Naturally the best method is prevention. The humble bay leaf is an environmentally friendly method for helping deter insects and meal moths from flour and meal, bean and grains to dried fruits, especially figs and raisins.

To eliminate insects and their eggs take away food and minimise levels of warmth and moisture. Insects are normally active between 18 and 38° C, and at high humidity. Therefore, areas where insects may exist should be clean, cool and dry, and any safe haven should be eliminated or at least regularly cleaned.

  • Put lightly infested product in the freezer for several days to kill insects.
  • Moths lay eggs on packaging and produce cocoons “webbing” and larvae. The larvae are grubs and maggots, they can penetrate packaging. The pack may be sprayed with Pyrethrin, and the “webbing” brushed off.
  • The flour mite is microscopic and breeds very rapidly in humid conditions, affecting the aroma and baking quality after a short period. The Bread Mix may have a greyish powdery deposit over the exposed surface, and enzymes secreted by the mites will degrade the Bread Mix quality. Discard the affected product.

Storage for yeast

Yeast is a living organism that naturally reduces in effectiveness when exposed to air and moisture. A closed sachet of Laucke dry yeast has a shelf life of several years and is unaffected by normally experienced levels of heat, moisture and light. After a sachet of yeast is opened, it will progressively begin to ‘age’ and lose potential baking performance due to exposure to the oxygen and moisture in the atmosphere. The dormant yeast becomes active in the presence of oxygen and attempt to survive in an environment without food. Without food, the yeast perishes and so less yeast spores are available to create the required level of fermentation. The dead yeast spores impart a recognisable change in aroma.

An opened sachet of yeast is best stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight in small airtight container, filled to the top to exclude air. It may also be stored in the sachet, with closure fastened to exclude air. Refrigeration is unnecessary and may be counterproductive due to high moisture levels in refrigerators. If necessary, use freezer in warmer climates, do not use yeast straight out of freezer.

Care and use of Laucke professional baking tin/pan

Laucke has professional steel bread pans/tins available to the public. These heavy gauge bread tins are coated internally with a non-stick compound (Silicone resin – NOT Teflon), that allows baking without the application of a “release agent” to the tin, such as oil. The black paint assists in a more even bake by absorbing heat, assisted externally with a heat absorbent coating. Both coatings are designed for long life, professional use.

Laucke Bread Tins are approximately 21cm long x 10cm high x 11cm deep; hold 2L of water and can be purchased through Laucke customer service 1300 133 331.

Storing baked bread

Laucke recommend home baked bread is consumed within 24 hours of baking, although well-made bread will remain fresh for several days or enjoy toasted for up to four days. We recommend your freshly cooked bread is cooled before storing in a calico bag or in a bread box. Our Bread Mixes do not contain any preservatives and therefore the freshness will deteriorate, like any freshly baked product. Bread keeps well in the freezer, so slice and freeze your fresh bread, to bring out as you need it. For best results do not store bread in the fridge.

Opening Laucke flour bags

Calico and Paper Bags are sewn closed using either a single thread chain stitch or a double thread chain stitch. The chain stitch must be unpicked from one end only. Establish the end by:

  • Stand the bag with the facing side of the bag displaying the formed loop (multiple thread) stitches. The left-hand side of the bag is the starting point to unpick the stitch.
  • Cut off the excess chained thread from the side of the bag, or cut through a loop near the left side of the bag. Gently remove any loose thread.
  • With a single thread chain stitch closure, take the thread on the single stitched (other) face of the bag and pull the thread as it unlocks the last loop of the chain.
  • With a double thread stitch closure, the second thread loops along the facing side of the bag and acts as a safety lock, and this thread must be removed first. Do not pull any thread end on the single thread (other) side of the bag.
  • Find the loose thread end on the left side of the double thread face of the bag. Using a pointed object, flick out this thread from the loop that is retaining it. This will free the last loop of the chain, and the entire thread may now be removed. Now remove the other thread from the other face of the bag.