Nothing is more frustrating than finding little buggers in your bread flour. Oy vey! I knew I shouldn’t have settled for that grocery store flour but I couldn’t help it, I needed it fast. I usually buy in bulk from a reputable company that promises organic goods. I buy in bulk because I hate to run out. Part of the frustration is that this is all my fault. I know better. But one day I went ahead and had my hubby run to the store for a 5-pounder when I realized we were out of bread flour. You can’t trust a grocery store. I know that! I think Safeway is the worst because this makes 3 out of the last 4 bags of flour from them that came with critters. The first three were purchased over a year ago so call it a slip-up if you will, but I should have remembered. Sigh.
I am especially frustrated because one of my goals in life is to be more like Martha Stewart – the ultimate jack of all trades. (In my eyes anyway.) She wouldn’t run out of bread flour. She probably grows her own wheat and mills it with her state-of-the-art equipment exclusively for making bread flour right in her outdoor garden kitchen! She has it like that. Sniff.
So while I expected to try a recipe I found for baguettes, I’ll have to postpone that thought and do a different bread today. (Sandwich wheat maybe?) Look for that soon. Whimper.
I am so determined to end this madness that I decided to get online (my answer to everything) to see what preventative measures to take. Here’s what I learned:
- The official name of the “flour bug” is called a weevil. The name fits.
- Sometimes you can’t prevent it. Sometimes flour has the eggs or exoskeleton remains already in it. Ew. It won’t hurt you, in fact, it’s extra protein. Ew again. To prevent these eggs from hatching, keep the flour in the freezer and use it up quickly.
- If there are hatched bugs already in the flour or appear soon after purchasing it, take it back to the grocery store. This indicates that they’ve had it on their shelves for longer than 6 months. Shame on them.
- To prevent bugs from getting into the flour in the first place you can: toss a few bay leaves into the bag or tape a stick of spearmint gum to the inside of the container (these repel the bugs) or transfer it to an airtight container the moment you buy it and hope it didn’t come with eggs!
- Change your supplier! Demand clean facilities and fresh products.
- Immediately clean the shelf with soapy water where the flour was stored, as well as the shelves around it. Check other foods for bugs too.
- Because weevils are attracted to seeds and grains, they can affect your garden seed too. Make sure this isn’t how the little buggers entered your home.
- Throw infected foods away and take out the trash immediately so they don’t have a chance to spread.
I will certainly post more as I learn about it. All these ideas sound great and hopefully they work because I really don’t like having to put off my plans to make bread! Weevils having that much control over me? Oh no. Not here. If I want to make something I’ll make it… (sorry, I kinda lost it for a moment). But I’ll be making baguettes soon enough.
Here’s what I eventually came up with for making bread that day: The “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Rye” Bread Recipe. It was a “do or don’t and make something just as great” solution. I finally stopped crying.