While bread is tasty and loved in most homes, it can get mouldy after a short period. Bread bins are designed to preserve the texture of bread and usually come with different ventilation features for supplying air into the main compartment.
Putting bread in a bread bin may be ideal for maintaining freshness. Still, a loaf of bread, even when sealed in a plastic bag, can sometimes be easily exposed to conditions that foster mould growth due to the ventilation elements of this useful kitchen gadget. Plus, various kitchen sections have humid environments, which might promote mould formation.
However, with the right tips and storage techniques, you can minimise the chances of mould formation. In this post, we will show you how to stop bread from going mouldy in a bread bin.
What Is a Bread Bin?
Commonly manufactured from wood, plastic, or metallic material, a bread bin is a kitchen appliance used to preserve and store homemade bread. Since bread can become extra dry when left in the open, a bread bin creates an optimum environment for storing bread.
If you store something like white french bread in your bread bin, it will stay fresh for a long period compared to storing it in other appliances.
Most bread bins will also offer you a large storage capacity, making it possible to preserve homemade bread and other pastries and baked goods.
While a bread bin is a partially airtight container, it is designed with a few vents to keep the air circulation steady. However, damp air can flow into your bread bin through the vents, creating the optimum conditions for mould growth.
Formation of Mould on Bread
Mould spores are found in the air and can grow on different types of food, including fresh bread. Once mould spores come into contact with a loaf of bread, they will spread quickly and grow on the bread.
Also, mould spores are more likely to grow and develop in environments that provide optimum growth conditions. For instance, a loaf of bread contains starch, which attracts mould spores (white bread contains a lot of starch).
Favourable Conditions for Mould Development
Environments with damp conditions and excess moisture can increase the chances of mould development. However, extra-low temperatures and high temperatures can kill mould spores.
In terms of appearance, mouldy bread is completely different from freshly-baked bread. It might have green, black, yellow, or white patches, depending on the severity of the mould.
Tips and Techniques on How to Stop Bread From Going Mouldy in a Bread Bin
To keep your loaf of bread fresh for longer, we have listed seven tried and tested solutions for keeping moulds at bay.
1. Use a cloth to store the bread.
A cloth bread bag creates a barrier, protecting your bread from external conditions that may cause moss-formation. For instance, if the humidity levels inside the bread bin rise drastically, the cloth will minimise direct contact with the humid environment, keeping bread fresh for a long period.
While a few bread boxes might feature a cloth bread bag that can be used to wrap your loaf, most bread boxes might not offer you a bag. If that’s the case, you should consider using a clean and dry cloth to cover the bread while storing it. Additionally, a brown paper bag is also quite effective in wrapping and keeping loaves of bread fresh for a long period.
Why Using Cloth Bread Bags is Far Better?
Unlike other wraps, most cloth bread bags are manufactured from materials that are quite breathable, maintaining a balance between breathability and humidity to keep bread fresher than other materials.
Cloth bread bags can also maintain airtight conditions to protect your bread from excess humidity inside the bread box.
2. Store one loaf of bread inside the bin.
Most bread bins are designed to preserve a certain number of loaves. Due to this, you should not overload your bread bin with excess pastries as this can increase the humidity levels in the main compartment.
Once this happens, the air circulation in the bin might not be enough to reduce humidity levels. However, larger bread bins have good air ventilation that effectively keeps your bread fresh for a long time.
If your bread bin has limited space, it is advisable to preserve only one loaf of bread to get effective results.
3. Never store bread in plastic wrapping.
Plastic bags can promote mould growth and might not be ideal for preserving loaves of bread. Not to mention, a plastic bag might not have superb ventilation compared to other storage. Unlike cloth bags, plastic bags cannot absorb the moisture that is lost to the environment by the bread. As a result, moisture will accumulate on the plastic wrapping and trigger the mould-formation process.
Due to this, it might not be advisable to store a loaf of bread in the wrapping that it came in. Most bakeries sell loaves of bread covered with plastic wrappings. But instead of keeping loaves in a plastic paper bag, you should wrap them with a cloth, which has superb ventilation properties.
4. Do not slice it.
While a pre-sliced loaf of freshly baked bread saves you from the trouble of slicing bread, it can get exposed to moisture and air. To minimise the chances of mould-formation, you should preserve it in an unsliced form.
If you want to toast it or use a few slices to prepare something, slice the part that you need without touching the unsliced part. If you are used to store-bought bread, you should always opt for unsliced loaves.
5. Keep the bread bin in a cool, dry and dark place.
Once you place the loaf of bread inside a bread bin, you have to store the bread bin in a cool place with just enough humidity to maintain the texture of the fresh loaf. For instance, an empty cabinet might be ideal for keeping a bread box. Apart from that, your bread box should not be close to appliances that emit a lot of heat.
Examples of such appliances include refrigerators, kettles, and ovens, as they can affect the texture of bread, making it dry.
Moreover, it would help if you did not place your bread bin close to wet sections of the kitchen. Do not position it close to a tap or a dish drainer. The humidity levels in such sections are quite high, increasing the risk of mould formation. If you live in a place with a high humid climate, you should store your bread box in a well-aerated compartment.
As air circulates into the bread bin, the overall humidity level inside the bin will rise drastically. As a result, mould will grow on the loaf of bread after a certain period when the humidity inside the bin increases.
6. Make sure that the bread bin is completely dry.
While some bread bins might be manufactured from metal or plastic, others are made from wood. Furthermore, some bread bins will offer you a lid manufactured from wood and can also be used as a chopping board. Wood is a material that absorbs water quite easily, so wooden bread boxes might dry off after a long time once they get cleaned.
If you are using a wooden bread bin to preserve loaves of bread, you should check whether the bread bin is completely dry or not before you place a loaf of bread inside the bin. Moreover, keep the bread bin away from damp places or environments with too much moisture. Wood can absorb water easily from such places.
7. Clean the bread bin before you use it again.
To minimise the chances of mould formation, you should clean your bread bin before using it again to store a loaf of bread. This might eliminate any mould spores that might have grown in the loaf stored in the bin.
Cleaning your bin and drying it makes it easier to remove any dampness in the main compartment.
In addition, once the bin dries off completely, it will lessen the chances of mould formation by creating an environment that inhibits that.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between stale bread and bread with mould?
Unedible bread can either be referred to as stale bread or mouldy. If bread is exposed to air for a long period, the moisture inside the bread will be drawn out or lost. As a result, the bread will become dry and rigid, making it hard for you to consume it. Dry, hard, and rigid bread that doesn’t have a soft texture is known as stale bread.
On the other hand, if you see green or white patches on a loaf of bread, it will be referred to as mouldy bread.
Is mould toxic to humans?
Bread with mould poses a risk to your health since it contains toxins harmful to humans. Due to this, you should never eat anything mouldy, mouldy bread or mouldy bread products. Apart from that, since mould produces spores, it might trigger an allergic reaction that might cause breathing complications and health issues.
How long does it take for mould to form?
The average amount of time mould takes to grow on bread is about 8-12 days. However, the growth rate might be different depending on the type of bread. Apart from that, homemade bread might get mouldy after a short period because it doesn’t have any additional preservatives. On the other hand, bread bought from stores might take a long time before it gets mouldy due to its preservative.
What should I do if my bread gets mouldy?
If a loaf of bread gets mouldy, you should get rid of it. Even if the mould might be on a small section, it can affect your health. If a few slices are mouldy, you should dispose of the whole bread.
Is it safe to store bread in the fridge?
You can store your bread in the fridge, but the biggest setback is that a refrigerator might affect the texture of your bread.
Additionally, if a loaf of bread is stored inside a fridge for a long period, it might absorb some odour. Storing bread inside a bread box saves it from such odours instead.
Refrigerated bread might also become stale after a certain period.
Preserve Your Bread Effectively
And that is it on how to stop bread from going mouldy in a bread bin. As there is nothing more dismal than not being able to have your favourite bread for breakfast, it’s important to know how to preserve it.
Remember to always keep pastries and baked products in a cool and dry compartment to get effective results. Do not place your bread bin close to the tap or other wet places in the kitchen.
Make sure that you wrap loaves of bread with a cloth or a bread bag instead of using a plastic bag to keep them fresh for longer.
Avoid storing your bread box in places with direct sunlight. Direct sunlight creates optimum conditions (a warm environment), which increases the chances of mould formation. Additionally, direct sunlight heat affects the bread texture, making it dry.
With these few recommendations, you easily preserve a loaf of bread for a long period!
Let us know if you have any other tips for maintaining bread fresh, and leave a comment below!
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Tom is a former chef turned full-time food blogger. He has always been passionate about food, and loves nothing more than experimenting in the kitchen and sharing his recipes with others. Tom’s blog is one of the most popular food blogs on the internet, and he has won numerous awards for his cooking. When he’s not blogging or cooking, Tom enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.