JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How do you stop bread going mouldy?

Some advice, please: how do you stop fresh bread going mouldy? I've found a very good webpage full of advice about using a breadbin (I probably should use more boiling water to keep the mould at bay), but I'm wondering what the bakers amongst you do.

I bake all the bread we eat, and mostly we eat it up quickly ... but not always, and then we occasionally find that a loaf has gone mouldy. We keep it in a terracotta crock (glazed inside but not out) which is covered with a wooden lid. I'd be happy to make a change to this arrangement, but I don't want to keep bread in the freezer.

What do you do? I'd really welcome your tips, especially if you bake your own bread ...

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Kirschstein said...

I keep my bread in the fridge, and if possible in an air tight bag.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I'm not much for freezing bread either and they word is refrigerating it is actually worse than the freezer. There are times I'll put bread in the fridge but then I mostly am knowing it's going to be for toast.
Now, I'm trying to train myself or learn how to cut recipes down so I don't have too much for us to eat before it goes.
Generally, breads made with starters take longer to go bad than those made with commercial yeast - why, I don't know.

Sam said...

Do you add salt to your bread? that should help preserve it. I make my own bread and find it goes dry and stale way before it goes mouldy.

Telephone Triage said...

bread should be kept damp free...damp gets the fungus on them I guess.

Joanna said...

Sam, I think you've put your finger on it ... I don't use much salt in my bread. But I wouldn't want you to think that it all goes mouldy - mostly we eat it up double quick, and I make breadcrumbs/panzanella etc ... it's just when it does go mouldy, it really irritates me to see it go to waste

Tanna, interesting about the starters / commercial yeast. I'm not keen on bread that's been in the fridge, but I have the luxury of living in a temperate country which makes that mostly unnecessary.

TT, yes, I think the mould comes here when the air is damp, and, of course, May here is prime thunderstorm time

Thanks all



Baking Soda said...

Mmm I don't think the amount of salt used in bread will help preserve it. I think the character of the crock you are using for storing is at fault here, I think it's not allowing for ventilation enough.

I use an old-fashioned bread tin (this one:, you know that I bake almost all our bread, I never have mould. After a few days (!) maybe stale, maybe drier than I would like but no mould.

pickleandpreserve said...

I would be inclined to think of this problem a different way.
Just be glad your bread is going mouldy, at least you know it's not full of the preservatives that keep mass produced bread 'fresh' for days. is a common mould inhibitor.

ostwestwind said...

Salt in bread does not work as a preservative in bread.

To homemade bread a preservative should not be added. You should try sourdough breads and a damp free environment.

I think your bread bin is just right, what hydration do you use normally for your breads?

Ulrike @ K├╝chenlatein

Trish said...

We live on the west coast and I am assuming our climate is very similar. I can't think of a single thing that, if left on the counter in any shape, form or container, won't mould! It is just DAMP here and that is all there is to it! What my mom used to do though, if we were nearing the 'lifespan' of bread or buns that she made...she would make what we called 'rusks' out of them....I can't remember the german word. But she would put them in a low and slow oven to dry out. Then we would use them to have grilled cheese and tomato open faced sandwiches etc. ....Real good. Also, I used them to cut up and again, in the oven - check my website...I make croutons. No two ways about it though...a rainy humid climate like ours will not let bread keep on the counter...that is just the way it is!

eric said...

Change the wooden top for an earthenware one - or something that isn't fibrous. Mould spores will hole up in nice humid wood until enticed out by floury aromas. Like kids do when bread's baking in the kitchen.


Joanna said...

Thanks Eric. I now scald the terracotta pot at least once a week with boiling water and then air dry it. That has improved matters hugely. But if I have problems in the summer, I will remember what you said, and improvise a terracotta lid instead of the wooden one.