The Moldy Mistake You Need To Avoid With Freshly Baked Bread

The last thing any of us want to find creeping over our bread is blue-green fuzzy mold. The annoyance is all the worse if you went through the effort of baking the bread yourself. However, it's not the bread that is naturally susceptible to mold. Rather, it's the common method in which we store it. 

Plastic is simultaneously bread's best friend and worst enemy. It can help retain the loaf's natural moisture but also turn that same moisture against it in the form of mold. If you haven't allowed your fresh bread to cool beforehand or are storing it at warmer temperatures, you are creating the perfect humid environment within the plastic for mold growth. 

This mold growth does not happen immediately, however. While mold will eventually grow on all bread that is stored in plastic, there is a definitive time window in which you should consume it before mold has a chance to entrench itself.

Keep your bread away from plastic depending on humidity

Depending on the type of bread you've made, you have about a week in which to eat it before the mold takes hold. Enriched breads, like pain de mie, brioche, or challah, tend to dry out quickly. So while it is advisable to store these in plastic in order to maintain their soft and chewy character, they will begin to mold within five to seven days of storage. Of course, this depends on how hot it is in your kitchen, so try keeping the bread in a room-temperature steady environment of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sourdough breads are more forgiving when wrapped in plastic because its natural acids can help prevent mold growth. They'll generally last for around five days but are best eaten within the first day for the best quality. Unfortunately, they tend to lose their classic crust owing to the moisture buildup inside the plastic. However, that's nothing that can't easily be remedied with a toaster.

Of course, the best way to store bread long term is by putting it in the freezer. This is especially good if you are baking in bulk and know that you won't use certain loaves for a number of days. You can freeze the bread portioned or as a whole, and it will last between four to six months.