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Stopping bread mold
November 30, 2005 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Anyone have tips for keeping bread fresh longer? My wife and I end up throwing out a lot of bread, putting it in the fridge dries it out... anyone got any tricks? Google was surprisingly unhelpful.
posted by Cosine to Food & Drink (29 answers total)
 
What kind of bread? Crusty bakery bread or sliced sandwich bread from the supermarket?
posted by rxrfrx at 11:48 AM on November 30, 2005


Maybe not so "fresh" but for real baked bread (not like Wonder Bread) I throw it in the freezer in some freezer Zip Lock bags. When I want to eat it, I wrap it in some foil and throw it in the oven for a few minutes (about 300 degrees and then check after about 10 minutes). Works for me.
posted by like_neon at 11:50 AM on November 30, 2005


I, too, have had this problem -- the usual mold scourge that appears after 4 or 5 days. I solved it by freezing the bread as soon as it's bought. When it's needed, I just microwave it enough to warm it. I'm not sure how it works for sandwich bread, but it works great for hoagie rolls and hamburger buns.
posted by rolypolyman at 11:53 AM on November 30, 2005


here's a related article from a good source
posted by alkupe at 12:03 PM on November 30, 2005


Second on the freezer/microwave trick. It works fine for pre-sliced bread.
posted by Opposite George at 12:04 PM on November 30, 2005


Yeah, the freezer thing is ok, I was looking for something more convenient though...
posted by Cosine at 12:04 PM on November 30, 2005


ditto. we freeze breads, english muffins, rolls, etc. you can keep them good for a pretty long time. just take out a piece and toast like normal or microwave for needed use.
posted by eatdonuts at 12:04 PM on November 30, 2005


I find that freezing is best, but if you don't want to do that keep it bagged or boxed in a cool, dark place.
posted by PY at 12:05 PM on November 30, 2005


Fresh tasting bread:

Good, fresh bread out of the oven (thinking Zingermans-type bakeries) is one of the greatest joys of life.

For newly-baked bread from the bakery, tell them not to cut it. Cut off slices only as needed, and then of course seal well. Makes it taste fresh about double as long.

And maybe I'm stating the obvious here, but lightly toasting or putting the entire loaf in the oven does wonders for bread.
posted by parma at 12:06 PM on November 30, 2005


Sorry, I was talking mostly about supermarket sliced breads and hot dog buns and such. With bakery bread we do fine using most of the above suggestions, it's teh pre-sliced that is a problem.
posted by Cosine at 12:14 PM on November 30, 2005


I freeze sandwich bread, but keep about 6 or so slices in a tupperware container in the fridge. This means there is always thawed bread when I need to make myself a quick sandwich on the way out the door.
posted by lorimt at 12:19 PM on November 30, 2005


Store it in the microwave. The modern breadbox - relatively airtight.
posted by agregoli at 12:29 PM on November 30, 2005


We put our regular store bought loafs in a Bread Buddy, and keep that in a cabinet. It has helped our bead last a little longer.
Got it at walmart.
posted by sailormouth at 12:33 PM on November 30, 2005


What about dividing the loaf in half and sealing both halves in airtight (or nearly hermetic) resealable bags? Then eat through one half before you open the other.

My thinking is that every time you open the bag up to get a slice, you expose the bread in the bag to the air, which speeds up mold growth and makes it go stale faster.

Or, if you're not totally averse to freezing, once you come home from the grocery store with the bread, you could take the number of slices that normally get thrown away and freeze them in a resealable bag. Once you get toward the end of the loaf, take the frozen slices out to thaw.

Another thought is that when the bread seems ready to turn, take the remaining slices and freeze them. You could then use the bread at a later date for stuff like French toast, croutons or bread crumbs.

Or you could always feed the ducks or chuck it at pigeons.
posted by Sully6 at 12:35 PM on November 30, 2005


Suggestions from this previous thread might be handy.
posted by bibbit at 12:40 PM on November 30, 2005


If you do freeze bread (and I think that's the best solution to your problem), you should wrap it twice to keep the freezer burn away. It makes a HUGE difference when you defrost the bread.
posted by NYCnosh at 12:41 PM on November 30, 2005


Freeze, as long as you toast, you don't get real bad freezer burn (I regularly toast 3 month old bread that was frozen in the bag it came in and it's fine). If you freeze in the original bag, make sure shuffle the bread a bit so it's not all sitting together, otherwise it'll be tough to get individual slices off without breaking them.

If you don't like toasted bread, maybe try NYCnosh's suggestion.
posted by fishfucker at 12:44 PM on November 30, 2005


How much longer? Longer on the counter or longer in the fridge? What kind of time frame are we talking here? (Seeing rolypolyman's comment about mold after fiove days makes me ask -- he must live on a boat in the tropics. Bread should go much longer without mold than that. It might be hard as a rock but should not be moldy.)
posted by Dick Paris at 1:23 PM on November 30, 2005


I'm talking double-bagged on the counter. It usually molds in about 4-5 days.
posted by Cosine at 1:33 PM on November 30, 2005


I like my wonder-type bread toasty and crisp, so freezing until toasting just before use works for me.
posted by rxrfrx at 1:35 PM on November 30, 2005


I don't know if I'm hallucinating but I feel like Pillsbury sliced bread lasts a really long time on the shelf compared to other brands. Pretty yummy tasting too (I like Honey White). I suspect it's a lot of preservatives and other artificial ingredients but there's my two bit anecdote.

Hmmm, their website even quotes "long-lasting freshness" so maybe I'm not hallucinating and they are doing something specifically to make it last longer.
posted by like_neon at 2:05 PM on November 30, 2005


If you're talking about good quality, crusty bread, this advice comes from Zingerman's itself:

Don't preslice it. Don't put it in a plastic bag (unless you freeze it). Don't put it in the fridge. (fridge and bags will encourage sogginess)

Leave it out on the counter, cut side down.

When you want to revive it, hold it under the tap for a few seconds wetting the outside. Pop it in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.

Voila! Newly fresh bread!

This obviously won't work forever, but freezing and wetting and re-heating works well too.
posted by o2b at 2:46 PM on November 30, 2005


When it becomes irredeemably crusty and dried out make bread crumbs, or bread pudding. There are endless yummy possibilities for stale bread.
posted by Sara Anne at 2:50 PM on November 30, 2005



Don't ever leave the bag open. Open up the twisty tie, get your bread out, and close it right back up. I eat Italian style white bread and my bread takes up to 3 or 4 weeks to get moldy. It goes stale long before that. You might have some kind of mold that is hanging around in the place that you keep your bread, so you might want to clean it off with some bleach. I just keep my bread on the counter, the light may help prevent mold.

As a side note, I dislike freezing bread. You have to toast it after it's frozen, and then you're not eating bread, you're eating toast. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by jefeweiss at 2:56 PM on November 30, 2005


Bakery products will usually mold because of a combination of heat, air, and moisture. Prevent it by storing it in a cooler place and let it dry out a little. Also try to remove as much air as possible from the bag before you seal it. Unless in the heat of summer will I have bread get moldy on the counter. And I'm not talking wonder bread here.
posted by JJ86 at 3:00 PM on November 30, 2005


Good bread is never the same even the day after baking. Freeze it as soon as you get it home. Thaw in the microwave (on low) just enough to cut it reasonably easily.
Here's the secret: Mist it evenly with filtered water. Pop in toaster or oven until warm. Comes out just like fresh baked. I disagree with jefeweiss--it doesn't need to be toasted. I got this tip is from Michael Lansky of Terra Breads--that amazing bakery in Vancouver.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:07 PM on November 30, 2005


If you want to freeze sliced bread but don't want toast, you can defrost by just letting it sit out for 15 minutes or so. If you cover the bread with a kitchen towel and flip it over after about 10 minutes, it comes out almost like new.

It's a pain, but it works.
posted by kdern at 4:10 PM on November 30, 2005


stop buying so much bread at once!
posted by soma lkzx at 6:59 PM on November 30, 2005


Breadbox, that's what it's for. Never put bread in the fridge -- either the freezer or the counter is better because bread mold thrives at ~40'F.
posted by crabintheocean at 7:23 PM on November 30, 2005


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