Leftover flour is a bummer.
It’s just sitting there, taking up space and making your kitchen look cluttered.
Sure you could toss it in the compost bin or feed it to the birds.
But I’ve got some other ideas for what to do with leftover flour.
Let’s check them out.
Make bread crumbs
Making breadcrumbs from your leftover flour is easy.
Just mix the flour with a little bit of water and spread it on a baking dish.
Bake it at 250 degrees for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so until it’s dry and crisp.
Let it cool completely before scraping into some kind of storage container.
Use it in a recipe for pancakes or waffles
I love pancakes and waffles, but I hate it when I’m out of flour.
If you have just a little bit leftover in that container, don’t throw it away.
Just add about 1/2 cup to your pancake or waffle batter next time you make some.
Add it to soup, stew, and chili for more flavor and thickness
This method works great for any kind of soup, stew, or chili.
If you’re making a beef stew, for example, stir about 1/2 cup flour into the cold water you used to rinse out your beef.
Then pour that mixture into your stew and cook as usual.
The flour will thicken up your soup so nicely.
Make gravy for your mashed potatoes
If you’ve still got some of that turkey or chicken fat in the pan after frying up Thanksgiving dinner, don’t throw it out.
Just add a little bit of flour and stir until smooth.
Then pour in a little broth and whisk until it thickens to a nice consistency.
Pour over your mashed potatoes and YUM.
Make a roux for your next cream soup or chowder recipe
A roux is just flour that has been cooked in fat, usually butter or oil.
The most common use of a roux is to thicken creamy soups and chowders like the one you’re making with those leftover Thanksgiving potatoes.
Just whisk about 1/4 cup of flour with a little cold water and pour it into the hot soup/chowder.
It will thicken it right up.
Mix with eggs and add to meatballs before frying them up
Adding a little flour to meatballs not only helps to hold them all together and reduce the number of breadcrumbs you need, it also gives them a nice texture.
Just mix about 2 tablespoons of flour with enough water to make a smooth paste, then stir into an egg before adding your ground beef or turkey.
Create a crustless quiche
By mixing leftover flour with milk and baking powder then add your favorite vegetables or cheese on top of it in an oven-safe dish.
You can get really creative with a crustless quiche.
Add your favorite cooked meat and vegetables to the top, then pour in a mixture of 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons melted butter or oil, 2 cups milk, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and salt and pepper.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Turn it into homemade pasta dough
You can do this by combining it with eggs, salt, olive oil, and water in a food processor.
Who knew you could make your own pasta? It’s so easy.
Just combine 1/4 cup flour with an egg, a dash of salt, and water in a food processor.
Then pulse until combined.
You can also do this by hand if you don’t have the equipment to use the food processor just yet.
Pour it out onto a floured surface and knead until it’s smooth.
If the dough is too sticky, just add more flour one teaspoon at a time until you get the right consistency.
Use it in muffins
The secret is to replace 1/4 of the dry ingredients in your muffin recipe with the leftover flour.
Every now and then, I have to throw out a batch of muffins because they didn’t rise properly.
It’s always too bad to see them go, but just scoop out about 1/4 cup of flour for each cup you’re adding back in.
Add it into your mixture along with a little bit of baking powder.
Make some chocolate or vanilla cakes
You can add your leftover flour to cake batter when making chocolate or vanilla cakes for extra moistness.
Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting is my favorite, so I’m always trying to find a way to make it extra moist.
Just add a tablespoon or two of flour in with the wet ingredients before adding your dry ones.
Make salmon patties
You can do this with canned salmon, leftover flour, egg, and onion then fry the patties in oil until browned on both sides.
Salmon patties are a delicious take on hamburgers that work just as well for lunch or dinner.
Combine 1 can of drained salmon, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon onion (finely chopped), salt, and pepper.
Mix everything together by hand until combined.
Then form about 6 patties out of the mix, coat with a little flour, and fry in oil until browned on both sides.
Make some homemade tortilla chips
You can make homemade tortilla chips with 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, salt, and hot water.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl, adding 1 tablespoon of water until you get the right consistency for the dough.
Roll into small balls then flatten into thin disks with your hands or a rolling pin.
Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until golden and crispy.
Can you use flour 2 years out of date?
Flour usually stays good for 6-8 months after the date on the package.
Whole wheat flour lasts for 4-6 months longer than regular flour. (source)
Why is flour stored in paper bags?
The flour is stored in paper bags so it can get oxidized, which is important for keeping the flour fresh.
If you see an old bag, it will be made of a net that lets a lot of air get in.
However, this also allows bugs to get in, so today those bags are not used.
Can you store flour in ziplock bags?
Yes, you can do so.
The container will keep out moisture and protect the flour from pests. (source)
How do you know if the flour is bad?
You can smell it.
Fresh flour has a neutral smell, but bad flour smells different – it might be stale, musty, or sour.
It might also look discolored.
Additionally, if your flour has come into contact with water or moisture, large clumps of mold may appear. (source)
How long does flour last in airtight containers?
The flour will last for up to 8 months if it is stored in an airtight container in a dark and cool place.
If you fridge it, it can last for up to a year.
Does freezing flour affect baking?
No, freezing flour does not affect how it is baked.
If you have the flour stored in a larger bag or a container, pour some on a baking sheet and spread it out into a thin layer.
It’s important to incorporate leftover flour into new dishes and recipes, so you don’t have food go to waste.
If it’s been a while since your last baking session or if you want a creative way to use up the remaining flour in your pantry, consider the tips I’ve shared with you above.
And remember that no matter how much of an expert baker you are, there will be times when something doesn’t turn out quite right.
That’s why it’s always best practice to keep some old flour on hand for emergencies.