Why is bread moldy

The dinner is typically German. Fresh bread, topped with sausage or cheese, is a fine and, above all, delicious thing. Especially since you don't have to stand in the kitchen for long - a big advantage for everyone who works all day and would rather relax in the evening instead of swinging the wooden spoon for hours. So that you can still benefit from it not only on the first day after buying the bread, but also in the days after, it must be stored correctly. Storage is the key to keeping bread fresh longer. Below is everything you should know about bread storage. This also applies if you bake the bread yourself.

Almost one in seven keeps bread incorrectly, according to a survey by Statista from 2017. Because 14 percent of the respondents stated that they keep bread in the refrigerator - which is the worst storage method. In baked goods, water is bound by the starch in the flour. After the baking process, it is gradually released back into the environment. This process is called retrogradation, which is threefold increased by the low temperature in the refrigerator. That means: The bread is not kept fresh in the refrigerator, but dry and old much faster than with other storage methods. It also loses its taste in the refrigerator. Therefore, the refrigerator is not a good place to store bread. The only exception: when it is warm and humid in summer, you can store bread and rolls in the refrigerator. In this weather, baked goods spoil faster outside the refrigerator than inside. However, you have to accept the worse taste.

In general, you should consider three things when storing bread:

  1. A room temperature of 18 to 22 degrees is ideal.

  2. The bread should be stored in such a way that air can circulate, so ideally in a breathable bread box. In the event of an air jam, the moisture given off by the bread can cause mold to develop more quickly.

  3. It must be protected from drying out.

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Paper or plastic - which bag is better?

Bread and rolls from the bakery are usually packed in a paper bag - which is actually a good way to keep the baked goods fresh longer. The paper absorbs the moisture given off by the bread. In addition, the bag prevents the bread from drying out. The baker's bag is usually sufficient for single households. Plastic bags, on the other hand, are not a good choice for storing bread. The moisture cannot escape here, the bread only stays fresh for a very short time and starts to mold very quickly. If you buy bread in advance or bake large quantities of bread yourself, you need a better storage method: the bread box.

The bread box

From wood to metal to ceramics - the bread bin, also known as the bread pot, is available in many different materials and designs. The most important thing is that either the material of the box is breathable or the bread box is equipped with ventilation holes so that the moisture can escape. Bread boxes that have neither one nor the other property are unsuitable for storing bread. They would only make your bread go moldy within a short period of time.

Bread containers are available in different designs. Bread boxes made of stainless steel or sheet metal are popular. These are usually equipped with several air holes on the back, which allows the moisture to escape. The material is easy to clean, but not always tasteless. However, you can easily prevent the transfer of the taste: Simply leave the baked goods in the paper bag. This absorbs the moisture. Even with boxes made of plastic, sufficient ventilation must be ensured through holes, as the material cannot absorb moisture.

Menu Échasse bowl

Not only the storage of bread, rolls and pastries is important - the presentation also plays an important role. Because when food is served appropriately, it tastes better. The Menu Échasse bowl made of smoked glass is ideal to present the food in a tasty way. But the plate is not only ideal for baked goods: small snacks, fruit or finger food are also in good hands here.

With the reinterpretation of the classic elegance of glass vases and bowls, the Échasse series brings a minimalist silhouette with a distinctive, playful note into modern and traditional rooms.

Bread box made from natural materials

In contrast to stainless steel and plastic, bread boxes made from natural materials can absorb moisture. Thanks to the naturally occurring tannic acid in wood, wooden boxes have an antibacterial effect. They also absorb the moisture from the bread, but no longer give it off. Therefore, they are very suitable for storing bread. To prevent the bread in the wooden box from drying out too quickly, pack it in a paper bag. This improves the air circulation in the crate and the bread stays fresh longer.

A bread pot made of clay or ceramic absorbs water through its unglazed surface and transports it to the outside. A practical example of ceramic bread storage is the Roman pot. The floor inside is glazed and therefore easy to clean, while the unglazed lid ensures the necessary exchange of air. The clay not only absorbs moisture from the bread - it returns it when necessary. This material is therefore ideal for storing bread, provided the Roman pot is not completely glazed. Then - like the plastic and stainless steel models - it needs air holes for air exchange. And the effect of moisture return is also taken away by the glaze.

The place for the bread box should be chosen carefully. If it is too close to the hob, the bread would quickly go moldy from the steam. The same goes for the microwave. It is also not advisable to place it directly at the window: The draft ensures that the bread loses moisture and becomes dry more quickly.

A bread box, which is particularly popular at school or in the office, is suitable for on the go. Opened bread or rolls stay fresh until the break without any problems. The snack is also well protected in the bread box, even if the backpack or school bag is handled roughly. A piece of fruit or small snacks can also be transported in the bread box. Another advantage: You save packaging material such as breakfast bags, cling film or aluminum foil.

Pay attention to the shelf life when buying bread

Everyone has experienced it before: The fresh bread that was so delicious yesterday is rock hard and dry today. In that case, you have probably chosen the wrong variety. Because the purchase of the bread already influences the shelf life - or better said, the type of bread purchased. As a rule of thumb, you can remember: Light-colored baked goods do not last as long as dark ones. The high proportion of wheat ensures that the bread dries out faster. The best example are wheat baguettes, which are hard and dry just one day after buying them. If you want to eat the bread over the weekend or on public holidays, you should therefore use rye or whole grain varieties. These stay fresh and juicy for a relatively long time when stored in the bread box.

An overview of the shelf life of breads

  • Wheat bread: two days
  • Rye bread: three to four days
  • Whole grain bread: Seven to nine days

These values ​​only apply if bread is stored in a suitable bread container. If you buy the bread, it is better than whole bread. This has two advantages: According to legal regulations, whole breads cannot be made with preservatives. In addition, pre-cut bread is more prone to dehydration and mold. Tip: Do the same as the baker in the shop and place sliced ​​bread in the bread box with the cut surface facing down. This means that it doesn't dry out as quickly through the open cut surface and stays fresh longer.

Of course, bread that has become dry and boring does not have to be thrown away. Many varieties taste really good again after a round in the toaster. Bread that has hardened can be processed into breadcrumbs, which - if hermetically sealed - can be kept for a few weeks.

Moldy bread - what now?

If the bread becomes moldy, you should dispose of it completely. The spores of the mold have then already permeated the entire bread, even if it is not yet visible everywhere. You should then empty the bread box or bread pot and clean it thoroughly with a mixture of water and vinegar. By the way, it makes sense to regularly clean the bread box with a vinegar-water mixture, as this effectively prevents mold growth. Because even the smallest breadcrumbs can transfer mold spores to the fresh bread. Regular cleaning every 14 days is recommended.

And if you have bought or baked too much bread, you can simply freeze it in freezer bags. The bread can be frozen whole and, if necessary, thawed again overnight at room temperature. It is also possible to freeze individual panes. You can then defrost them individually or put them in the toaster for a few minutes. Bread can be frozen for around four months and - in contrast to refrigeration - does not lose its taste.

Common questions about bread storage

The bread bin is the ideal way to store bread. This can be made of stainless steel, plastic or clay. The box should be air-permeable, for example in that there are air holes on the box. Unglazed clay bread boxes are naturally permeable to air.

Bread can also be stored without a bread bin. Bags made of paper, as you can get them at the bakery, are ideal here. These absorb the moisture from the bread and at the same time ensure that it does not dry out. The storage is sufficient for small amounts of bread.

Bread should not be stored in the refrigerator, as it dries out quickly and also loses its taste. The only exception is when it is warm and humid in summer. Then the bread can be stored in the refrigerator, as in this weather it would spoil faster outside the refrigerator than inside.

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