Nothing beats having a fresh loaf of bread for your morning toast, a sandwich for your lunch, or even a jam-smothered slice to accompany your afternoon tea.
Unfortunately, as versatile as bread may be, it does not keep well. It only takes adequate warmth, oxygen, and moisture for mold to grow — all of which occur naturally.
Luckily, all hope is not lost for bread lovers. With a few insights highlighted in this article, you will learn several new tricks to keep your bread from molding. Read on to find out more.
1. Freeze Your Bread
As with all other foodstuffs, freezing is the most obvious and probably the easiest way to ensure your bread doesn’t mold. Luckily, freezing your bread to keep it from molding requires little.
Once your bread is cut to your desired thickness, it’s time to wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. While you can wrap all the bread slices together, consider wrapping them in small batches — that is, the number of slices you will eat per sitting.
This way, you only take what you need and leave the rest frozen. It also saves you the stress of repeatedly wrapping the bread. Once wrapped, place the slice batches in ziplock bags or airtight containers.
If you are wondering why you need to protect your bread with that many layers, it is to keep the bread from drying by locking in the moisture while protecting it from freezer burn.
The best part is that the bread slices will be ready for you once allowed to thaw for a few minutes. Alternatively, leave the slices on your kitchen counter overnight and enjoy them in the morning.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Freeze your bread when it is fresh. Otherwise, it risks drying out on your kitchen counter, which lowers its quality.
- Always ensure your bread is cool enough before freezing. Wrapping warm or hot bread will cause condensation, which wets and soaks your bread.
- Ensure that the plastic wrap is tightly wrapped around the bread. Have at least two layers of plastic wrap with the second layer enfolding in the alternate direction.
- Yeast loaves of bread should not exceed one month in the freezer as they risk drying out due to their low moisture content. Quick breads, on the other hand, can last for up to 3 months.
- Remember to unwrap the plastic wrap when defrosting your bread to prevent water droplets from pooling as it defrosts.
- Besides defrosting, you can choose to reheat your bread. A few minutes in the toaster, oven, or microwave will do.
2. Bread bags
Another easy way to keep your bread from molding is by utilizing bread bags.
This significantly reduces the rate at which mold spores grow, keeping your bread fresh for up to 5 days.
A large tea towel will give the same results when wrapped around your bread. Linen bread bags work best on leaner or less dense bread like baguettes.
3. Bread Boxes
Bread boxes are another fun way to keep your bread fresh while adding a touch of class to your kitchen space.
If you are wondering how they work, bread boxes feature small holes that allow the perfect balance of humidity and air circulation and thereby keep your bread fresh.
Simply place your bread directly into the bread box without wrapping it in plastic wrap, a plastic bag, or even a bread bag, and you are good to go.
That being said, ensure that you only have one loaf in the bread box at any given time to prevent humidity buildup which can then affect your bread.
Besides size, bread boxes also come in various materials from ceramic to bamboo and enamel. All these materials will do a great job of keeping your bread fresh.
Keep in mind, however, that some wooden boxes may harbor mold. As such, bread box materials that you can easily sterilize are the best.
Here are some benefits of having bread boxes:
- Easily accessible
- Stores bread at room temperature making it convenient
- Helps maintain hygienic standards
- Can be used for other baked foods like cakes
4. Brown Bread Bags
Have you ever wondered why bakeries sell their bread in brown paper bags?
Well, it’s because brown bags are great at keeping bread fresh and preventing mold as long as you tightly close the bag and store it away from direct sunlight.
Parchment paper works in the same way as brown bread bags and is especially great for crispy or hard-crusted loaves of bread. With these, you can count on your bread being fresh for up to two days
5. Storage Location
Where you store your bread is as important as how you store it. As you might have read on most store-bought bread packaging, loaves are best stored in a cool, dry place.
In some cases, you will see companies recommending that bread be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This makes your kitchen counter, deep drawer, or cabinet the best candidates for storing bread.
6. Avoid Plastic
Being living organisms, mold spores require certain conditions to grow — air, moisture, and warmth, all of which plastic bags will gladly offer.
Therefore, avoid plastic at all costs if you want to keep your bread from molding. If you can’t, be sure to leave the bag open and place it on your kitchen counter out of the sun.
This allows air circulation and prevents moisture from collecting which ultimately prevents mold growth.
7. Avoid Pre-Sliced Bread
Pre-slicing bread increases the surface area exposed to air which then increases its chances of becoming moldy. With this in mind, it is, therefore, paramount to only purchase whole loaves and only slice what you need.
Even then, there is a right and wrong way to slice your bread. To keep your loaves fresh and always cut into the center as opposed to the end and push the halves together before storing them.
By doing this, no part of your bread is exposed to open air meaning it remains fresh with the end crusts locking in enough moisture to stay soft without molding.
8. Consider the Type of Bread
Darker hard-crusted breads, such as whole wheat, rye, whole grain, and sourdough have a longer shelf life and are slow to grow mold.
Thidoesn’t’t mean that they should not be stored using any of the methods herein. On the other hand, white and French loaves are more prone to developing mold.
As such, it is important to keep these away in well-ventilated spaces to keep them fresh. With this in mind, consider buying bread that matches your rate of consumption to avoid wastage.
Keeping your bread from molding doesn’t require any extraordinary action. You only need to focus on keeping the three components of mold growth — moisture, air, and warmth — at a minimum to enjoy your bread for longer.
Keep in mind, however, that preventing mold growth doesn’t guarantee that your bread will not go stale. Luckily, toasting your slices or heating the loaf is all it takes to revive your bread.