How to Prevent Mold Growth on Bread

Keeping bread fresh can be a challenging task for anyone, especially for smaller households and those living in hot, humid climates. Learning to store bread correctly is the easiest way to keep mold away, and to enjoy every loaf to its last crumb.

EditSteps

EditFreezing the Bread

  1. Cut bread into portions or slices. Cutting a frozen loaf is not easy and you won’t have to thaw the whole loaf with every use.
    Prevent Mold Growth on Bread Step 1 Version 2.jpg
  2. Wrap up the loaf tightly. Wrapping the loaf with wax paper or foil will help keep moisture with the loaf and prevent freezer-burn. With soft bread, you can place wax paper between slices to prevent them from sticking together.[1]
    Prevent Mold Growth on Bread Step 2 Version 2.jpg
  3. Place the loaf in a freezer-safe bag. Remove as much air as possible by folding the bag around loaf as you close it after every use. That way the loaf should keep fresh for up to six months.[2]
    Prevent Mold Growth on Bread Step 3 Version 2.jpg
  4. Allow the bread to thaw. When ready to eat, let pieces thaw in foil or paper before reheating, in order to let them reabsorb the moisture that migrated to the wrapping. This will ensure the texture of the bread is the same as the day it was first frozen.[3]
    Prevent Mold Growth on Bread Step 4 Version 2.jpg

EditStoring in Cool, Dry Place

  1. Invest in a breadbox. Place your breadbox in a cool area away from heating elements that can accelerate mold growth. And since mold spores live in oxygen, the container should be airtight to keep the population low.[4]
    Prevent Mold Growth on Bread Step 5 Version 2.jpg
  2. Keep the bread dry. Avoid touching the loaf with wet hands and never seal the loaf with visible moisture around it. This moisture when left at room temperature will accelerate mold growth.[5]
    Prevent Mold Growth on Bread Step 6 Version 2.jpg
  3. Avoid the refrigerator. The temperature range of fridges can help against mold, but will make the bread go stale much faster. Unlike the freezer, the fridge will change the starch alignment in the bread, changing the texture of the bread greatly and quickly. [6]
    Prevent Mold Growth on Bread Step 7 Version 2.jpg

EditMaking Longer Lasting Bread at Home

  1. Incorporate sourdough starter into recipe. Sourdough starter is basically a usable form of wild yeast which increases the bread’s acidity, deterring mold, as well as staleness.[7]
    Prevent Mold Growth on Bread Step 8.jpg
  2. Bake a denser style of bread. A dense loaf with a crisp crust will mold slower, think rustic Italian bread. Working additional flour into dough will increase density, and introducing steam to the baking loaf with a spray bottle will give a crispy crust.[8][9]
    Prevent Mold Growth on Bread Step 9.jpg
  3. Add some natural preservatives. Adding natural preservatives like lecithin or ascorbic acid help maintain moisture while reducing yeast and mold counts. Ingredients like garlic, cinnamon, honey, or clove also naturally fight mold growth, but will obviously influence the flavor significantly. [10][11]
    Prevent Mold Growth on Bread Step 10.jpg

EditTips

  • Stale-tasting bread can be made edible again by baking it in an oven. Baking stale bread can bring back some of its flavor, but this process can only be performed once.
  • To keep partially used loaves fresh for a few hours to a day, place exposed side down on cutting board and leave in open air.[12]

EditWarnings

  • Do not consume bread with any signs of mold.
  • Do not breathe in or smell bread after signs of mold as it may cause respiratory problems.

EditSources and Citations

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