Simple recipes with flour
August 2, 2006 6:04 AM   Subscribe

I've got a 10lb bag of all purpose flour. What easy-to-prepare foods can I make with it?

I've also got some eggs, milk and sugar but not a lot of other ingredients in the apartment. I don't have a breadmaker either, but I've got some baking trays. Simple recipe suggestions would be awesome.
posted by raydexter to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Shortbread? Scones (you'll need to make self-raising flour)? British pancakes?
posted by methylsalicylate at 6:13 AM on August 2, 2006

Add butter to those ingredients and you've got a cake. Add cocoa and you've got a chocolate cake.
posted by reklaw at 6:25 AM on August 2, 2006

Pizza dough, which also freezes great.
posted by Atom12 at 6:28 AM on August 2, 2006

Pancakes, or crepes!
posted by defreckled at 6:33 AM on August 2, 2006

papier mache projects?
posted by Julnyes at 6:35 AM on August 2, 2006

If you have some yeast you could make some bread!
posted by tomble at 6:38 AM on August 2, 2006

I have a couple of recipes on every notepad/PDA/phone I carry, 'cause you never know when you'll want to make scones or a sauce. These scones are a nice thing to do in the morning if you're a houseguest, and most people will have everything in their pantries.

2c flour
1/4c sugar
4 teasp. baking bowder
1/2 teasp. salt.
Cut in 4oz of butter to pea-sized lumps.

add 2/3c milk (or buttermilk), combine.

stir in 2/3c currants (optional)

knead until just elastic, 8-10 times.
roll out into 8-10" round, divide into 6 triangles

place on greased sheet. Brush with egg-wash (optional)
Bake 15-22 min (depends on thickness) @425F

- add 1 Tablsp. citrus zest
- 1 1/3c flour + 1c bran for flour
- replace milk with 3/4c yogurt + 2T milk
- use dried cranberries instead of currents (my favourite)
posted by bonehead at 6:58 AM on August 2, 2006 [4 favorites]

Or tortillas:

1-1/2c (7oz) flour + a bit extra
1/4t salt
2T lard (or other fat: shortening works but is completely tasteless. DON'T use butter or margerine)
~1/2c warm water.

Combine flour and salt. Cut in lard. Mix in water a few T at a time until loose dough forms.
Knead on dusted flour until smooth and very elastic.

Wrap dough (in plastic wrap), rest it for several hours.

Divide into six balls. Flour your work surface. Roll out each doughball quite thin.

In a medium-hot cast iron skillet, cook until brown spots begin to appear (<1 minute). flip and cook>
Store in an air-tight (ziplock) bag.
posted by bonehead at 7:04 AM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]

Further to bonehead's scone recipe, it's also a good way of using milk that's gone off, and they'll rise higher.
posted by methylsalicylate at 7:06 AM on August 2, 2006

Response by poster: bonehead: I'm preparing your recipe at this very moment ;)
posted by raydexter at 7:07 AM on August 2, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone btw. They're all best answers.
posted by raydexter at 7:08 AM on August 2, 2006

Add some potatoes and you can make gnocchi!

I've even made it without the egg, following a vegan recipe that was pretty much just "mashed potatoes and flour" (recipe from *Vegan with a Vengeance* cookbook).
posted by cadge at 7:15 AM on August 2, 2006

Response by poster: When does flour expire anyway. There's a date on the bag: July 15 2005. That's the date it got packed, right?
posted by raydexter at 7:22 AM on August 2, 2006

Make bread. Bread is easy to prepare and is really more about process than anything else. Keep your eyes open for his Bread episode. It is unfortunately, a process that is time-consuming, but if you have a Saturday free, it's not bad.

My general process for any recipe is:
1. proof the yeast (let is dissolve in warm water with a tiny bit of honey or sugar)
2. Mix up the sponge, if the recipe calls for it (this is a partial mix of liquid and flour), while you're mixing, put a spaghetti sauce jar half full of water with a wooden chopstick (or some toothpicks) in your microwave for 6-8 minutes on high. Put the sponge in the microwave and let it sit (not run!) until it's doubled.
3. For every rise, follow the process in step 2. It makes the rise time significantly shorter.
posted by plinth at 7:24 AM on August 2, 2006

As long as it doesn't get wet or full of maggots, flour will keep forever.
posted by Anonymous at 7:25 AM on August 2, 2006

Best answer: It's not uncommon to find bugs in flour, particularly in summer. If it's a small bag, I keep mine in the fridge. Otherwise invest $2 in an airtight cannister big enough for an entire bag.
posted by bonehead at 7:42 AM on August 2, 2006

Response by poster: The scones turned out great bonehead. I slathered on some zucchini jam a neighbourly old lady gave me (it tastes better than it sounds) and now I have a hot breakfast in front of me.

Cheers and many thanks!
posted by raydexter at 7:54 AM on August 2, 2006

Mix equal parts butter(must be real butter, fake stuff won't work) and flour, cook until you make a paste. This is called a roux. Add sugar and let it cool until it's warm so the eggs don't scramble, and start mixing whole eggs into it, maybe 2 per cup of flour. You want a gloppy yellow mess that looks smooth and just barely doesn't hold it's shape. Drop into a muffin pan or on a baking sheet in big spoonfuls and put in a 400F preheated oven. You should get hollow little cream puff like things. Fill with whopped cream or strawberries, drizzle with chocolate syrup, whatever suits you.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:01 AM on August 2, 2006

I'm glad you like them. That recipe is really bulletproof and lends itself very well to all kinds of variations. Play with it!

The best thing about baking is that if you screw up you're only really out time---the ingredients are so cheap as to be hardly worth accounting for them.
posted by bonehead at 8:30 AM on August 2, 2006

If you want your flour to keep, when you first bring it home put it in the freezer for 24 hours. Remove, store in air-tight canisters if possible. (Without the freezing, canisters aren't enough.)

Also, if you happen to have any more ingredients around, you might try Snacksby's -- I ran a search on the ingredients you mentioned, but the addition of, say, butter or baking soda would widen your possible recipes a bit.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:33 AM on August 2, 2006

Pasta - you can dry and store.

Shortcrust pasty - you can freeze
posted by jannw at 9:52 AM on August 2, 2006

How ambitious are you? And do you mind a multi-day recipe?

Find an empty, clean glass jar. Mix up a few tablespoons of flour (whole wheat is best for this part, but hey) and a couple tablespoons of filtered water (bottled or from the brita pitcher, whatever, but don't use plain tap water because it's chorinated). Let it sit out for a while on the countertop or windowsill. When you next think about it, fold a paper towel and attach it to the cup with a rubber band so it covers the top. For the next few days, mix up another batch of flour/water and stir it into the first batch. At some point you should see bubbles, a foamy head, and some evidence that wild yeast have moved in! Now we can have fun.

You will need:
1 cup starter (the goo in the jar)
6 cups flour
1.5 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt

In the evening, heat up the water just enough to melt the butter. Mix in the salt and sugar. In a big bowl -- if you have a heavy duty mixer with breadhook, use that -- stir the water mixture into 2.5 cups of the flour. Add the starter. Gradually add more flour. When you can no longer stir, knead it on a clean surface. Continue to add flour until it is kinda solid and elastic. By hand, this will take a minimum of 10 minutes. Using the big mixer, it goes faster and I usually only knead in the last half cup by hand.

Roll it into a ball. Spray a clean big bowl with non-stick spray, put the dough ball in and then turn it over, so you have a little non-stick stuff on top. Put some plastic wrap down directly on the dough ball, and stick the whole thing someplace free of drafts. The oven works nicely. Go to bed.

In the morning, your ball should be big! Punch it down, turn it out onto a floured surface, divide it in two, and walk away for a few minutes. This is a great time to get out your baking sheets, grease them, have a cup of coffee, empty the dishwasher, etc.. Come back and shape your two loaves. You can put them in loaf pans, or make spheres, but I do long oval shapes. Use a knife to make slits about a half centimeter deep every 3 cm or so.

In an hour or two, fire up the oven to 375. When it gets there put them in for 30-35 minutes. I turn them and switch racks halfway through. I also use a spray bottle to put some moisture in the oven (makes the surface more elastic and less prone to split). When they are lightly browned and sound a little hollow if you thump them, take them out, remove them from the pan, and let them cool. Enjoy some wild sourdough bread!

People think making bread is hard, but it really isn't. Your friends will be truly impressed if you make this.
posted by ilsa at 9:56 AM on August 2, 2006 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: All the recipes sound good, and I'll try them all (heck, I got a 10lb bag of flour)!
posted by raydexter at 11:18 AM on August 2, 2006

combine with equal parts cold malty beer for a bitchin' batter for seafood.
posted by heeeraldo at 10:15 PM on August 2, 2006

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