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How to Keep Bread From Molding (15 Must-Know Tips)

How to Keep Bread From Molding (15 Must-Know Tips)

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There’s nothing better than a fresh loaf of bread, whether you’re enjoying afternoon sandwiches, spreading it with butter and homemade jam, or eating it with a cup of tea. You might buy bread from the supermarket or specialty bakeries or even bake your own loaf. Nevertheless, bread is a staple in all kitchens.

One of the problems I have with bread is how to keep it from molding. It doesn’t take much for just the right amount of moisture to build up for mold to grow. Once mold starts to develop, you’ll have to throw out the entire loaf of bread.

Fortunately, through years of trial and error, I’ve found a few techniques that guarantee mold-free bread. So, keep reading to learn how to keep your fresh bread from molding before you have a chance to enjoy every slice!

1. Store Bread in Your Freezer

Bread In The Freezer

One of the best ways to keep bread from molding is to keep it in the freezer (check out more detailed tips for freezing and defrosting).

If your loaf of bread is unsliced, you’ll want to slice it before freezing. This allows you to pull out individual slices when you need them, instead of the entire loaf. Not only will the bread slices thaw in only minutes, but the loaf will retain its fresh taste for longer.

Once sliced to your preferred thickness, wrap the entire loaf in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then, place it into another plastic bag and seal it tightly. I use thicker freezer bags when I freeze my bread, as I find them to prevent freezer burn.

If stored and wrapped correctly, you can keep bread in the freezer for up to three months.

2. Bread Boxes

Bread boxes aren’t just for looks (although some can improve the interior and atmosphere of your kitchen). They’re also ideal for storing bread to keep it from molding. After all, that’s their main purpose!

There’s no need to wrap your bread, slice it, or store it at a low temperature. Placing the loaf directly into the box should do the trick, keeping mold at bay.

The inside of a bread box has just the right amount of air circulation to keep mold from growing and just enough humidity to keep the bread soft and fresh.

This method has its limitations, though. If you’re a bread enthusiast like myself, you probably have different bread varieties lying around.

Well, I find it’s best not to put more than one loaf into the bread box. The more bread there is, the more humidity will build up in the box.

As for the size of the bread box, the bigger, the better. The material, on the other hand, doesn’t affect the storage efficiency. So, indulge and buy a bread box that matches your kitchen décor.

3. Cloth Bread Bags

If you don’t have a bread box or don’t have room in your kitchen for one, consider purchasing a cloth bread bag. These bags provide an airtight seal on the bread, while still allowing enough airflow and keeping the loaf from drying.

In particular, cloth bread bags work wonders for white French bread, which can easily go stale. Your French bread will remain fresh for up to two days, without a trace of mold.

Here’s a little trick for you: I found that tea towels perform the same job as cloth bread bags. So, you don’t have to purchase a new product.

4. Brown Paper Bag

Bread Rolls In A Paper Bag

If you’re running on a tight budget, or getting a separate bread container seems like a hassle for you, brown paper bags can be a lifesaver. After all, there’s a reason why many bakeries sell their products in these nifty bags.

A simple brown paper bag will keep mold away. Just keep the bag tightly closed and store it out of direct sunlight.

This method works well for hard-crusted, rustic breads and will keep bread fresh for up to two days.

5. Use Beeswax Wrap

Beeswax wraps are a sustainable method of keeping your bread fresh and mold-free for days. These wraps keep all the air and moisture out.

The best part is that beeswax wraps allow you to store the bread wherever. There’s no need to keep these wraps out of the sun, away from moisture, or in cool places. They completely protect the bread from all elements.

As if that wasn’t enough, beeswax wraps are reusable, making them the perfect budget-friendly option.

6. Store in Kitchen Cabinet

Another exceptional place for bread would be the kitchen cabinet. It’s a dry, large space that provides a somewhat airtight seal. Accordingly, there will be just enough air circulation in the cabinet to prevent mold from developing yet not enough air that bread will dry out too quickly.

Ideally, you should choose an empty cabinet. If your kitchen cabinet has spices or other items, their fragrance might seep into the bread. You should pick a cabinet that’s far away from the fridge, where heat and humidity may build up.

7. Avoid Storing in Plastic

Mold needs just the right conditions to grow and storing your bread in a sealed plastic bag is going to provide those conditions – moisture and warmth.

If you absolutely need to keep bread in a plastic bag, keep the bag open and place on your countertop out of the sun. Keeping the bag open will allow some air circulation in the bag, so mold won’t develop.

8. Kitchen Drawer

If you have a deep enough kitchen drawer, it should act like a kitchen cabinet. Even if the drawer isn’t large enough, you can slice the bread and store it there.

I’ve found this is a great place to keep rustic artisan bread fresh for up to two days. Just wrap the bread in a clean tea towel with the sliced end facing down.

9. Place the Bread in the Oven

If you’re looking for a cool, dry place to store your bread, simply place the bread loaf in an unused oven or microwave. These locations are spacious enough to accommodate however many loaves of bread you might have.

Furthermore, they’re free from scents and fragrant spices that might alter the flavor of your tasty bread. Just make sure you don’t accidentally turn on the oven while your precious bread is inside!

10. Avoid Storing in Plastic

Moldy Bread

Plastic bags offer the optimal growing conditions for mold, including moisture and warmth. Leaving the bread unbagged would be a better option.

If you absolutely need to store bread in a plastic bag, keep the bag open and place it on a dry countertop. The open bag allows some air circulation, preventing the mold from developing. 

11. Keep Bread Out of the Fridge

No matter what anyone else tells you, your fridge is not the place to store bread. In fact, putting bread in the fridge will guarantee that it goes stale in as little as one day.

You might be preventing the growth of mold, but you’re also reducing the shelf life of the bread and ruining its flavor and texture.

As the starch in the bread starts to crystalize, the moisture moves from the middle of the loaf to the outer crust. The result: a dry, crumbly interior, and a hard exterior.

12. The Type of Bread Matters

Some breads will get moldy quicker than others. The top culprit for mold and staleness is French and white bread, as these have a softer crust. You’ll need to store both well away from direct airflow to keep them fresh for longer than a day.

Darker breads, such as rye, sourdough, whole wheat, and whole grain, take longer to grow mold. Still, storing them using one of my done-and-tested methods should preserve their taste and texture.

13. Avoid Pre-Sliced Bread

Pre-sliced bread means more of the bread’s fluffy interior is exposed to the air. Naturally, it’s more susceptible to mold. It’ll also go stale a lot faster.

So, going for whole loaves is better when buying bread. Not only will it remain fresh for longer, but you’ll also control the thickness of your bread whenever you’re making a sandwich.

13. Slice Bread From the Middle

Another way to keep unsliced loaves of bread fresh and mold-free is to cut into the middle rather than from the end. This exposes less of the bread’s interior to air, as the crust will remain intact. Just keep pushing the bread together again before you store it.

14. Reviving Stale Bread

Keeping bread from molding doesn’t mean it’ll remain fresh. That said, there’s no need to throw out those last few slices of bread just because they’re stale.

You can revive stale bread in just minutes by placing some slices in a warm oven. Make sure you’re lining a baking tray with parchment paper, so the bread doesn’t stick. Additionally, don’t leave the bread in the oven for over five minutes.

If this seems like too much work for you, check out some other uses for your leftover bread!

15. Toast the Bread

Healthy Homemade Avocado Toast

If your bread is starting to go stale, instead of throwing the entire loaf away, toast it! Toasted bread with a simple butter spread makes for a good morning, noon, and night.

Final Thoughts

You no longer have to throw leftover bread away after just a day or two. Instead, using some of my methods will keep mold a problem of the past, keeping your home-baked or purchased loaves fresh and tasty for days.

If your home is anything like mine, though, chances are fresh bread doesn’t last longer than a couple of days!

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Cynthia

Thursday 2nd of June 2022

Great ideas! I just made two dozen yeast rolls on Sunday and noticed mold already. I stored it in plastic on the counter top. Lesson learned

Olivia maher

Tuesday 31st of May 2022

these were all so helpful for me. because I had to do an assignment on mouldy bread and how to stop it from moulding up. thank you

Michael Viola

Sunday 6th of June 2021

cloth bags are no good, bread will go stale in 2 days, what about vacuum sealed bags?

Linda

Monday 3rd of January 2022

@Christy B, freeze bread before vacuum sealing: will not crush bread.

Christy B

Saturday 25th of September 2021

@Michael Viola, I forgot to mention that I used a hard container for vacuum sealing. A bag will crush the bread as air is removed...

Christy B

Saturday 25th of September 2021

@Michael Viola, I tried vacuum sealing store bought croissants. They still grew mold, but it did buy a couple extra days.

Sharon

Monday 21st of September 2020

Thank you Sarah for all your advice on bread & how to keep it fresh. I bookmarked your page so I can come back and learn more. Have a great week. Today is Monday, 9/21/2020

Abrahem

Sunday 20th of September 2020

So it's possible to store bread in the fridge as long as I'm going to heat it up in the oven , right ?