I'm sorry if this has been posted in the past but I'm a little perplexed. In all my years of baking and cooking I've never come up with this issue but when I baked bread yesterday and the bread came out fine but had a kind of stale taste to it. I thought I read somewhere that flour, especially unbleached whole grain (like whole wheat) flour can turn if it's been stored too long.
For yesterday's baking I used flour from a bag of King Arthur Flour: Traditional Whole Wheat Flour that is probably at least a year old. I've stored the flour in a zip bag in the cupboard and it looks and smells ok in the bag. In addition I used baking soda from a (unopened) box that was probably at least as old as the flour. Again, it didn't look or smell funny or off to me but... you never know.
In closing, if flour goes stale (1) how long should I expect flour to "last" before I should get new? (2) Is the shelf life different for different types of flour (bleached, whole wheat, unbleached, rye, etc.)? (3) How do you store your flour? I've seen people store theirs in the freezer in a zip bag (but I couldn't really do that because I don't have a stand-up or chest freezer).
TIA for your help.