Aside from a nice slice of fudgy rich, sticky, gooey chocolate cake, a freshly baked piece of bread with a pat of warm grass-fed butter is to die for. It seriously should be considered one of the 7 wonders of the world. Okay, that was a stretch, but bread is awesome. The only downfall is, it gets moldy so fast, but with these tips, I’m about to share you’ll learn how to keep bread from molding.
People often ask, is there a way you can prevent your bread from getting moldy?
Yes and no. How’s that for an ambiguous answer?
The other day while at the local “green” grocery store, we picked up some organic bagels to eat for breakfast the next day.
Everything was planned and timed perfectly to make sure the eggs and bagels were done at the same time. All the perishables were gathered from the refrigerator and were ready to be cooked.
When the first bagel was pulled from the package, it was covered in green fuzzy mold. Talk about a letdown with a gross factor of 16.
Here’s an interesting tidbit. Any type of organic bread will get moldy quicker than commercially produced bread. That’s probably one of the reasons why our bread is loaded with preservatives.
Organic vs commercially sold bread
The commercial bread you buy in the store contains a ton of preservatives to keep the molding process from starting too soon. Where-as, organic bread doesn’t use preservatives; hence, it’s going to get moldy faster.
You see, it doesn’t matter the type of bread you buy. It could be bagels, white, whole wheat, sourdough or even French bread, all bread is going to get moldy. Some may just get moldy quicker than others.
The truth of the matter is, the bread with the most preservatives is the winner in the mold game. It will out-last its competition (organic bread) two-fold. But here’s the decision you’re gonna have to make when it comes to eating preservative-laden commercially processed bread.
Decision one: You’re eating a bunch of preservatives that may or may not cause harm to our bodies in the long run; yet, the bread stays fresh longer.
Decision two: You eat organic bread and have to deal with it molding in the next day or two.
It’s sort of like a double-edge sword. You just gotta weigh the pros and the cons and decided which route you’d like to go.
What are the visible signs of moldy bread?
Mold comes in different colors, shapes, and smells. If you see visible signs of mold that resemble spots in the colors of black, white, green, and blue, you’ll want to make sure you toss that in the trash.
What does moldy bread smell like?
Bread typically shouldn’t have a pungent odor. If it smells like someone poured some vinegar on it or smells like stinky feet, toss it out. The only bread that should have a light funky scent would be sourdough bread.
If you just bought the bread from the grocery store; take it back and either exchange it or get your money back.
How to keep bread from molding
While it’s impossible to prevent the bread from molding these tips should reduce the time it takes for the spores to start growing.
Why keeping bread in the fridge is bad news
There’s a ton of controversy online about whether you should store your bread in the fridge or on the counter. Ultimately the decision is yours to make, but here are a few facts about why you shouldn’t keep your bread in the refrigerator.
Moisture is bread’s worst enemy.
Here’s the biggest problem, and one we can’t control; unless we live in a greenhouse. All mold needs are the right amount of moisture to build up before it starts to grow. Keeping your bread in the fridge is like inviting the mold to come over and crash the party.
Bread needs to be in a cool dry place. How is your refrigerator dry? It’s not. The only cool dry place in your fridge your bread can live a mold-free existence is frozen in the freezer.
According to the academics over at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences division of Polytechnic Institute, and based on their findings, regardless of the type of bread, it’s better to preserve it at room temperature.
Storage ideas on how to keep bread from molding
Once you open the package of your bread, the integrity of it is compromised. Always make sure it’s sealed tightly at all times.
Contrary to popular belief; and one I was guilty of for a hundred years; the microwave is not a bread box. Although a bread box is rather large to sit on many counters; especially if you have a small kitchen, it’s one of the best investments you can get if you’re a bread lover.
Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you make a purchase through these links. You don’t pay anything extra but the commissions help us provide free information on the website.
A bread box is designed to keep the right amount of air circulating and to keep just enough humidity in the box. It takes mold a much longer time to grow in a bread box. The only caveat is, try to keep only one loaf of bread in there at a time. The more bread, the more humidity it will spark.
Not quite sure why that happens but it’s been scientifically proven.
When it comes to bread boxes there’s no difference when it comes to the material it’s made from. Whether its tin, wood, or ceramic, it will do the job and keep your bread fresher than leaving it out on the counter.
If you have a small kitchen or just don’t want a bread box laying around, you can always store your bread in your pantry. The pantry is a great place to keep your bread because there is plenty of space for the air to circulate.
If your pantry is close to the refrigerator, you may want to store it in another cabinet that’s further away. The reason for this is, your fridge does emit heat and humidity. Which as we know, is not bread’s best friend.
Maybe you don’t have a loaf of store-bought bread. Maybe you picked up a few rolls from your local bakery. The best way to keep your fresh baked goods from molding fast is to keep them in the bag you brought them home in.
Freshly baked bread typically won’t mold fast, because it will grow hard and stale before the mold even has a chance to grow. By then, you’ll probably toss it in the trash. Typically, the bread will only remain fresh for 2 days or so.
If your bakery gives you the bread in a plastic bag, you can easily transfer it to a brown paper bag, or a wax-lined bag if you have one available.
Never store your bread in a plastic container or plastic bag
This is an interesting topic. Scientists say bread should never be stored in anything plastic. Okay, I get it since plastic is the most perfect breeding ground for mold to grow. As logical as that is, all of the bread in the grocery store are in plastic bags.
Do those bags have some sort of magical mold deterrent?
Yes, they do. It’s called preservatives.
Many years ago I had a large plastic bread keeper. I always wondered why my bread would get moldy quicker in the container than when I left it on the counter. Funny thing is, the mold started to spread onto the inner walls of the container, holding on for dear life.
Heck, that’s just one more thing we gotta clean. No one has time for that! With that said, keep your bread out of any plastic bread storage containers.
Currently, I keep my bread in the same packaging as I purchased it in. With that said, I’m not going to tell you, you’re gonna need to pull the bread out and place it loosely in a bread box. I keep mine in the bag, in a bread box. I don’t have a solution for this one. Maybe you do.
Picking off the mold
The type of mold that grows on bread isn’t going to kill you or make you sick if you eat it, or pull the moldy piece off the bread before eating it. Now, if you happen to have an undiagnosed allergy to mold, then that’s another story.
Unless you frequently go to the allergy doctor and get tested for the type of mold that grows on bread, you’re not gonna know if you’re allergic to it. As a best practice, it’s always better to throw out the loaf of bread once you see it has mold.
Mold multiplies quicker than bunnies.
Recommended storage for bread
Although these are just recommendations, the bread will mold at different levels due to the environmental conditions that surround it. Try to make a point of looking at your bread before you use it.
- Organic: 1 to 2 days on the counter.
- Commercially manufactured (store-bought) bread:
- Room temperature or in the pantry: 5 to 7 days.
- Refrigerator: 1 to 2 weeks.
- Freezer: 2 to 3 months.
- Pantry: 3 to 5 days
- Refrigerator: 5 to 8 days
I’d love to know how you store your bread and what preventative measures you take to keep bread from molding. Share in a comment.
Until we meet again
P.S. If you’re in the market for bread boxes, these two are amazing and one you should consider purchasing.