How to Heat Treat Flour - 2 Easy Ways! (2023)

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Wondering how to heat treat flour to make edible cookie dough or other no-bake desserts made with flour? The process is quick and easy. All you need is flour and 20 minutes!

How to Heat Treat Flour - 2 Easy Ways! (1)


  • The Easy Way to Make Raw Flour Safe to Eat
  • How to Heat Treat Flour in the Oven
  • Can You Do This in The Microwave?
  • How to Take The Temperature of Flour
  • Tips for Success
  • Can You Heat Treat Cake Mix?
  • How to Store it
  • Recipes That Use Heat Treated Flour:

The Easy Way to Make Raw Flour Safe to Eat

Did you know that raw flour is one of the reasons you’re not supposed to eat raw cookie dough? I think most people believe it’s due to the raw eggs…but in reality, the flour can make you just as sick!

It may not seem like a regular occurrence as I’m sure most of us have indulged in a spoonful of raw cookie dough over the years, but it’s not something you want to take a chance with – especially when baking raw flour to make it safe to eat is so easy!

When & Why Do You Need to Heat Treat Flour?

Raw flour can contain bacteria like e. coli or salmonella so it’s important to always heat your flour to a temperature of 160F before eating. (This is what makes eating edible cookie dough safe!)

When do you need to heat treat flour? It should always be heated properly before being consumed – but that’s something that likely doesn’t cross your mind as it’s typically used in desserts and other recipes that are cooked.

However, when it comes to using flour in any recipe that’s not baked or cooked, it needs to be heat treated. This includes cake mixes used in things like my no bake funfetti cheesecake. If it contains flour and won’t be baked, the must be heat treated before adding it to the recipe.

How to Heat Treat Flour in the Oven

So, how do you heat treat flour to make it safe for eating? Luckily the process is super quick and easy. The key is just heating the flour to a temperature of at least 160°F.

  1. Preheat and prepare. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Bake. Bake for approximately 7-10 minutes, or until the temperature of the flour reaches 160°F. I recommend stirring the flour once or twice to help break it up.
  3. Sift and cool. Sift the flour through a fine mesh sieve before using and cool completely.
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How to Heat Treat Flour - 2 Easy Ways! (3)
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Can You Do This in The Microwave?

Whether or not you can heat treat flour in the microwave is a question I often receive on my posts. And the answer is yes, you can heat treat flour in the microwave.

The key, as I mentioned above, is getting it to reach a temperature of 160°F.

To do this in the microwave, just cook in 30-second intervals, stir, and continue microwaving until the temperature is reached. It should take just a few minutes.

I will say that this technique is much better if you only need a small amount of flour, like a cup. It’s a bit difficult to microwave large amounts of flour – the oven is definitely better in those situations.

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How to Take The Temperature of Flour

To ensure the flour reaches the appropriate temperature, make a pile of flour with a spatula and insert the thermometer into the flour (but don’t touch the baking sheet). Once it reads 160°F you’re good to go.

Tips for Success

Here are a few helpful hints for baking flour.

  • Sift after heat-treating. Be sure to sift any heat-treated flour, through a fine mesh sieve because the flour gets clumped together when it’s baked.
  • Line the baking sheet. This helps to easily remove the flour from the pan into the sieve.
  • Do not overbake. If the flour is overbaked, it will be toasted and in which case you may not want to use it as it will alter the flavor of the flour.
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Can You Heat Treat Cake Mix?

Yes, you can also use this method to heat treat for cake mix if a recipe calls for raw cake mix like my Cake Batter Whipped Cream or No-Bake Funfetti Cheesecake. Since cake mix is made with raw flour, this is an important step to take!

How to Store it

Once cooled, heat treated flour can be stored in an airtight container. Keep in your pantry or another cool, dry location. I like to heat treat several cups at a time in the oven, so I always have some on hand whenever I want to whip up an edible cookie dough treat.

Recipes That Use Heat Treated Flour:

How to Heat Treat Flour - 2 Easy Ways! (8)


How do you heat treat 2 cups of flour in the microwave? ›

In the Microwave
  1. Spoon the flour into a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Heat on high for 30 second intervals, stirring after each one to break up hot spots and heat it evenly.
  3. Use a food thermometer each time until it reads 165 degrees.
  4. Move the flour to a clean cool bowl and let it cool completely.
Mar 30, 2022

How do you heat treat 2 tablespoons of flour? ›

How to Heat Treat Flour in the Oven
  1. Preheat and prepare. Preheat the oven to 350°F. ...
  2. Bake. Bake for approximately 7-10 minutes, or until the temperature of the flour reaches 160°F. ...
  3. Sift and cool. Sift the flour through a fine mesh sieve before using and cool completely.
Jul 28, 2022

How long to put flour in microwave to heat treat it? ›

Place the flour in the bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval. Stir well to make sure none of the ingredient burns (microwaves have those tricky hot spots). 3. Use an instant-read thermometer to test the grain in several places to make sure it has reached 165°F throughout.

Can you heat treat flour on the stove? ›

The FDA has shared that raw flour can contain harmful bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. By heating the flour, you are essentially cooking it! This kills any harmful bacteria that may be present and makes raw flour safe to consume.

How do you know if flour is heat treated enough? ›

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread a thing layer of flour on the cookies sheet (or the exact amount you need for your recipe). Bake flour for about 5 minutes and use a food thermometer to check the temperature. It should read 160 degrees.

What happens if I don't heat treat flour? ›

Regular flour that has not been heat-treated can contain nasty bacteria like E. Coli. You've probably heard about it on the news or on the internet when batches of flour get recalled because they've been making people sick.

How do you heat treat flour without burning it? ›

How to Heat Treat Flour in the Oven
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Bake in 1-2 minute intervals, stirring well in between to ensure the flour doesn't burn, for up to 4-5 minutes total.
  4. With a thermometer, ensure the flour has reached a temperature of 165 degrees.
Sep 1, 2022

How do you heat flour without a microwave? ›

How to Bake Flour
  1. Preheat the oven. Turn the oven on to 350°F.
  2. Spread flour on the baking sheet. Make sure you spread it in an even layer. in the process that you want to list.
  3. Cook. Heat for about 5 minutes or so, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the flour reads 160 degrees. Cool competely before using.
Jul 12, 2022

How do you bring flour to room temperature? ›

To quickly bring flour to room temperature, spread it in a thin layer on a baking sheet and let sit for about 30 minutes.

How to make 2 tablespoons of self rising flour? ›

Making self-rising flour at home is easy. Just use this basic formula: For every 1 cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon fine salt. Whisk the ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl or put them in a glass jar and shake well.

Is it OK to microwave flour? ›

These harmful strains of bacteria can be killed at high temperatures. So, you should heat your flour to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to make it safe for consumption. By microwaving your flour in short increments, you'll also help ensure it doesn't burn or clump together.

Does heat treated flour taste different? ›

As you can taste from our mind-blowingly delicious cookie dough, heat-treated flour doesn't change the way it tastes OR bakes (yes, you can bake Doughp cookie dough, also!), so there is no difference in how it will mix in with the rest of your ingredients.

What happens if flour gets too hot? ›

"Hot homes, over 78°F, will accelerate the oils in the flour going bad." The type will dictate how long flour lasts in your cupboard. "White flour is best for longevity.

What temperature kills E coli in flour? ›

Also, make sure to clean up your prep area to avoid any cross contamination of ingredients, including flour and eggs. Make sure that you bake or cook your foods to at least 160 °F, to kill any potential E. Coli.

Can you eat a little bit of raw flour? ›

Though it might appear safe, you should not eat raw flour as it could make you sick. It's likely you never thought to scoop up a spoonful to eat from the bag, but raw flour can be found in cookie dough, brownie and cake batter and bread dough.

Does heat ruin flour? ›

flour damaged by heat exceding 60°C, which renders it useless for baking due to damage to the gluten proteins. If it is milled, the flour makes loaves that are small, pale and knobbly with a heavy crumb texture.

How do you make raw flour safe in the microwave? ›

The trick is to microwave the flour until it reaches 160°F, effectively killing off problematic bacteria. If you don't have a thermometer, a good rule of thumb is to microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds on high, stirring after 15 second intervals. Then go on with the recipe without worry!

Does flour melt in hot water? ›

Generally, flour does not dissolve in water as it consists of starch granules, proteins and lipids that are all insoluble in water due to their molecular structure. Instead of dissolving in water, flour will absorb water to form a sticky suspension.

Can you use flour 2 years out of date? ›

Most packaged flours have expiration dates — also called best-by dates — printed on the bag to indicate how long they'll stay fresh. However, these labels aren't mandatory and don't denote safety. Thus, your flour may still be safe to eat even after the best-by date (9).

Is it better to store flour in glass or plastic? ›

You can easily store up to 2kg of flour in a 5L plastic container. They are also stackable which ensures they are easy to store in your pantry and use your space effectively. Plastic containers can be better than glass because it eliminates the risk of shattering in the freezer or from being dropped.

Can you store flour in ziplock bags? ›

Flour storage shall be airtight.

At a minimum, put the whole bag into a three-gallon zip-top plastic bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing and storing in your cool, dark location.

Does baking powder go bad? ›

If you have an unopened can of baking powder, please reference the expiration date on the bottom of the can. This date is two years after the day it was manufactured. If you have an opened can of baking powder, please use it within six months.

Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder? ›

Substituting for baking powder is a little more complicated. If you have baking soda, but you don't have baking powder, you'll need to use baking soda plus an acid, such as cream of tartar. For every teaspoon of baking powder, you'll want to substitute in ¼ tsp of baking soda with ½ tsp of cream of tartar.

What is cake flour? ›

Cake flour is a light, finely milled flour with a lower protein content than all-purpose flour. Cake flour is milled from soft wheat and contains the lowest amount of protein when compared to other flours, around 5 to 8%.

Do you pack down flour when baking? ›

Use a large spoon to scoop flour out of the bag and deposit it in a measuring cup. Do not pack or press the flour down; simply let it fall into the measuring cup. Continue scooping until you've filled the measuring cup, then use the back of a butter knife to level off the top (without pressing it down).

Should I pat down the flour in the measuring cups? ›

Spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Gently pile it in until it forms a heap above the rim of the measuring cup. Don't pack the flour down. Scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level the flour.

Do you put flour first or water? ›

If you put the flour in the bowl first it will be more difficult to fully hydrate the flour, often requiring several minutes longer mixing time. But if the water goes in first the flour is actually hydrated faster, which will shorten the total mixing time by several minutes.

Is supermarket flour heat treated? ›

Flour is raw, not having been cooked in any way after wheat is milled, bagged and sent off to grocery stores. Many food bloggers and chefs suggest microwaving flour or spreading it on a baking sheet and putting it in the oven to kill any potential foodborne pathogens.

Can you eat raw almond flour? ›

Unlike flour milled from grains, it's okay to eat almond flour raw, so go ahead and taste a bit of it if you're interested.

How do you heat treat cake mix? ›

Note about dry cake mix: Cake mix should be heat treated to kill any potential bacteria in raw flour, you can quickly heat treat it by spreading it out onto a baking sheet and toasting it at 350°F for 5 minutes.

Does Betty Crocker use Heat-treated flour? ›

No-Bake Bites Cookie Dough are safe to eat raw because we use heat treated flour. Ready in 15 minutes or less, these delicious bites can be enjoyed frozen or refrigerated.

Is it OK to use expired flour? ›

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), expiration dates do not constitute safety. Expired flour can be safe to use if the flour is still good.

Can flour expire? ›

"The typical shelf life of all-purpose flour is about 1 year or longer from when it's milled," Adams says. But if you've forgotten when you bough that bag of flour or you've transferred your flour from its original packaging into a separate container, the next best way to tell if your flour has gone bad is to smell it.

Why does flour expire? ›

Just like a bottle of olive oil can turn rancid in your pantry, the fats in some flours can spoil. The homogenous, highly refined all-purpose flour commonly found in grocery stores contains less fat than some gluten-free flours, like buckwheat flour, coconut flour, and nut flours, like almond flour.

What happens if you eat flour that isn't heat treated? ›

Raw Dough Can Contain Germs That Make You Sick

Flour doesn't look like a raw food, but most flour is raw. That means it hasn't been treated to kill germs that cause food poisoning, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella.

What does it mean to heat treat flour? ›

Heat-treating the flour ensures that the bad bacteria are killed, so that the flour can be used in no-bake desserts and more. Luckily, heat-treating flour is quite easy. The simplest way to do this is by putting flour into a bowl and microwaving it on high until it's 165 degrees.

Can you burn flour in the microwave? ›

If you microwave your flour for a long time without any breaks to stir it, there's a good chance that only certain spots will be heated through while other spots never reach the crucial 165 degrees Fahrenheit. These heat spots could result in the flour burning altogether.

What is the difference between flour and heat treated flour? ›

Heat-treated flour heats away the bacteria, making your flour safe to eat raw. You're essentially pre-baking the flour before it's used in the cookie dough! That's why we can sell you raw cookie dough, knowing that you will be perfectly safe!

How common is salmonella in flour? ›

But salmonella outbreaks in dry foods like flour are not at all uncommon. As we've mentioned before, salmonella is one hell of a resilient bacteria group—it will adapt to tolerate whatever stress it is exposed to.

Does flour go bad? ›

Expired flour can be safe to use if the flour is still good. However, flour does go bad, which you can determine from smell and appearance. If the quality has deteriorated and you use it, whatever you make will mirror those deficiencies.

Is it safe to eat unheated flour? ›

Processing raw grains into flour does not kill harmful bacteria. Many foods made with flour also contain raw eggs, which may contain harmful bacteria. Cooking is the only way to be sure that foods made with flour and raw eggs are safe. Never eat or taste raw flour, dough, or batter.

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