'Best Before' Date Stamp Correction:
Some Astoria Mills gluten free mixes have a best-by sticker overlay. Please note that the expiry date on a run of mixes was unintentionally stamped incorrectly at the factory.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
Since Astoria Mills mixes are non-perishable dry food blends meant to be long storage staple food items in their unopened state the usual implications of 'best before' dates used for food items like cheeses, eggs, dairy or fresh vegetables does not apply.
Plain flour mixes #1, 2 and 3 will last even after opening for 3 to 5 years stored in a cool dry place. Mix #4 and Mix #6 are best kept in the freezer after opening in order to maintain the fresh taste of the sprouted chia and sprouted flax. Mix #5 and Mix #7 have a shelf life of 3 to 5 years when unopened and stored in a cool dry place. Room temperature is fine even after opening and re-sealing. If you live in a hot humid climate we suggest storing in the freezer. Storing in the refrigerator after opening can be too humid and cause clumping.
In a gluten free kitchen there are always new things you discover to make your cooking and baking even better and my kitchen is also an ever evolving round of new ideas.
I am sort of one of those free cooks who uses a pinch of this and that, and when asked how did you do that, well… in formulating mixes for Astoria Mills, I have had to get really scientific as well as creative. After all, cooking and especially baking are both a science and an art!
So I am creating this Special 'Update' Page where I will post new things that work better, things I discover along the way, answers to questions and sharing feedback from home bakers and commercial bakeries using Astoria Mills gluten free mixes.
Tip 1. When you get your mixes, it is best to start with easy recipes first. Because each bag of mix holds quite a bit, use a recipe with a smaller amount on your first try. For instance with breads, start by making a 2 cup batch first, that way you have 2 more batches before you run out.
Tip about the first rise for breads. I am finding that as yeast is a living organism and temperature really matters, that sometimes you don't need the whole rise of 2 hours. Sometimes it is better to give the yeast an initial time to wake up of only a half hour to an hour and then shape and give the buns etc. more time to rise after being shaped. If the dough rises too much initially, it won't have the umpf to rise as much the second time after being shaped. Or if you are working in a really warm kitchen, the dough could over proof. Every kitchen is different and you can even get different results on different days due to the barometric pressure. So go easy, it all tastes good anyway!
Pastry tip: I've been making my pastry recipe for years with my Astoria Mills Pastry Mix #2 and often now don't even have to look at the recipe, I just can feel when it is right. Recently I made a larger batch of pastry to freeze, some for pies, some for tarts. I do this so I can just add the fillings later, it saves me time. Well, I was at the cottage and ran out of Mix #2 as I was working the dough. So I just grabbed some All Purpose Flour - Mix #1 (alone the pastry would be too hard) and finished it by adding about a handful or so. Well, my husband raved about this pastry, he liked the butter tarts better, he said the pastry had a better texture. Like the wheat tarts I suppose him mom used to make. So, you can still follow the recipe exactly as it is in my e-cookbook or go ahead and add a couple of tablespoons of Mix #1 and see what you think.
Like many of you, if we are going on a day trip or outing, I have to plan on something to take along to eat. Recently, we were going on a trip for a couple of days and I was not sure if we would be able to find restaurants along the way, or even have time to stop. So I made a batch of bagels to take along. I am always trying to add more nutrition and some extra protein rather that having all starch for snacks or lunch. So in this case, I made a batch of Astoria Mills Pizza & Bagel - Mix #5 adding about 1/4 cup of Astoria Mills Aztec Harvest Blend - Mix #4 for added whole grain goodness and feeling good about the Teff and Quinoa as well as sprouted seeds and chia in there. Then I threw in some walnut pieces too. Well, they were delicious and very welcome lunch and snacks on our trip. You might want to try that too. Also, I just shaped them like bagels, and baked them, not worrying about the water bath step of 'real' bagels, they worked out fine and took less time.
Storing Astoria Mills mixes and shelf life. Un-opened Astoria Mills mixes have a shelf life of 24 months when stored in proper conditions. Average home temperatures of about 70 degrees. You can store mixes in the freezer or refrigerator wrapped in a plastic zip lock style freezer bag to protect from additional moisture. Bread mixes contain yeast which becomes activated on contact with moisture so keeping mixes dry is important. Aztec Harvest Blend and Brown Bread - Mix #6 contain sprouted seeds which should be kept in a cool place or freezer after opening.
I am always happy to answer questions about baking and the mixes via email -see contact info at www.astoriamills.ca
It is all about being creative, having fun and enjoying a delicious and healthy gluten free diet.
Waffles are always a treat and so easy to make with Astoria Mills
All Purpose Flour - Mix #1
Founding Principles - Astoria Mills, a desire to feed people on a gluten free diet better foods, a commitment to quality, a spirit of innovation and a willingness to expand, even if it means taking a few risks.