to re-use the dusting flour?
February 11, 2007 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Should I put the flour used to dust the counter and/or pizza peel back in the bag?

So I'm a wanna-be baker lately, making pizza and breads. For the first several experiments, I ended up throwing away the extra flour that I used to dust the countertop and pizza peel. But it seems that over time, this would add up to a big waste. Starting yesterday, I decided to start keeping that extra stuff in a separate container, with the idea that I would use flour from the container, not the bag, to dust the counter and the peel from now on.

What do people typically do? Is it ok to just put it all the extra back in the main bag?
posted by jclovebrew to Food & Drink (17 answers total)
 
no.

i think once raw anything, including dough that may contain eggs touches the flour, it should be tossed.
posted by jessica at 8:19 PM on February 11, 2007


First off, use cornmeal to dust your peel (and more importantly the pizza stone) -- the granules act like little ball bearings.

Second, I certainly wouldn't put it back in the bag, as it will have absorbed moisture from the dough. I guess I just figure that the amount of waste and the cost of fresh flour are both so low as to make any benefit from this practice infinitesimal. I'd guess that after making two pizzas I'm throwing away less than 2 T of flour. How much are you throwing away?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:20 PM on February 11, 2007


I don't see any reason not to save it for re-use in this process. I save mine when I can and have not seen any degradation in its usefulness.
posted by bkeene12 at 8:21 PM on February 11, 2007


I might add that I use a combination of corn meal and flour.
posted by bkeene12 at 8:22 PM on February 11, 2007


I agree with jessica... Once the moist dough touches the flour it's not a good idea to put it back in the bag.
posted by amyms at 8:22 PM on February 11, 2007


Oh, that sounds like a bad idea. When you knead the dough on the flour surface, the flour will pick up both oils and bacteria from your hands, and moisture from the dough. Then all that will sit together and breed (well, the bacteria, anyway) in the container.

I'm not much of a baker, but my instinct leads me to question how much flour you're using to dust the counter? If you have enough left over to be concerned about, then you're probably using too much.
posted by Kololo at 8:25 PM on February 11, 2007


I heard wet flour attracts, as a girl in my cooking class referred to them, weasels.
posted by oxford blue at 8:43 PM on February 11, 2007



I heard wet flour attracts, as a girl in my cooking class referred to them, weasels.


She probably meant weevils.
posted by dcjd at 8:49 PM on February 11, 2007


Hmm, I probably am using way too much flour on the surfaces. Two batches ago I threw out what must have been 1/4 to 1/2 a cup. Oddly enough, once I consciously decided that I would start saving the leftovers, I ended up with something like 2 T only. Part of it is that my counter top is not very cooperative and the flour tends to sort of clump up instead of make a nice even covering, so I compensate by throwing more and more on there.

Thanks for the replies so far.
posted by jclovebrew at 8:53 PM on February 11, 2007


maybe save leftovers in a separate bag if you must? otherwise, you might end up ruining all your flour by introducing moisture or bacteria back into the bag.
posted by cubby at 8:59 PM on February 11, 2007


Rather than throwing it out, how about composting it? (I agree that you can't reuse it, although I'm not sure why, besides my mother said not to.)
posted by QIbHom at 10:35 PM on February 11, 2007


Sounds gross. Flour is cheap, maybe you might save a few dollars a year but it seems like your quality of the baked product might not be the best if you did this.
posted by JJ86 at 5:57 AM on February 12, 2007


If you think you're over dusting, try distributing it with a sifter or through a sieve. Then you can dump the unused stuff still in the sifter back in the bag.
posted by nita at 6:51 AM on February 12, 2007


Not that I would save the leftover flour from when I make pizza (or that there even is enough to speak of... probably not even 2T), but I'll just point out that pizza dough does not (that I've ever seen) contain raw eggs, or even anything that I can think of that would be harmful. I would imagine you could eat it raw, if that really called to you. It's really just yeast, water, flour, olive oil, salt...
posted by Inkoate at 7:25 AM on February 12, 2007


Besides, you are BAKING it. wouldn't worry too much about beasties surviving the experience.

It ptobably won't do wonders for the overall freshness of your product. I vote don't save.
posted by hermitosis at 8:57 AM on February 12, 2007


Take a clean sponge or cloth and wipe the counter before you flour it for kneading dough or rolling pie crust - it will form a nice layer of flour. I'd be fugal with the flour, but not re-use it.
posted by theora55 at 9:15 AM on February 12, 2007


Part of it is that my counter top is not very cooperative and the flour tends to sort of clump up instead of make a nice even covering, so I compensate by throwing more and more on there.

OK, somebody correct me if this is not a good idea for some reason, but here is how I get flour evenly distributed over my countertop:

1. Wipe countertop with a CLEAN, damp cloth so that the countertop is just barely dampened. Emphasis on "just barely."

2. Sweep a small amount of flour over the just barely damp countertop. The flour sticks in a thin, even layer.

3. Wait a minute or two for the remaining moisture to evaporate. Proceed to knead or roll out dough.

4. While kneading/rolling, add more flour in tiny amounts as needed. The moisture where the dough has been in contact with the countertop should help it stick in place.

Basically, I try to replicate on my countertop the process of greasing and flouring a pan, but with water instead of grease.

On preview, what theora55 said.
posted by Orinda at 9:34 AM on February 12, 2007


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