More often than not, you must have wondered whether the white stuff on your bread is either mold or flour. Even when I purchase new bread from Target or Kroger (since they are close to where I live), I see a white flour-like substance on the bread. Here I share the detailed research that I conducted to help you figure out if it is white mold on your bread or if it is flour.
There is no doubt that bread is made from flour, and you are bound to find flour on the surface of baked bread. Even when I bake bread at my home, I find the powdery white substance to be present on top of the bread. So, if your bread looks fresh, without any funky smell, and has been stored correctly, it should be fine to consume, and the white stuff you see on it is most likely flour. The look of flour on bread would be white, and it would feel powdery when you touch it.
How to differentiate between mold and flour on bread?
It will help you to differentiate between flour and mold if you know what they feel like. I recommend finding the flour in your home and feel it between your fingers. It would feel very smooth and powdery if you rub it with your fingers. I loved playing with flour when I was a small kid, and my mom was baking something. On the other hand, Mold forms in specks, and it can have various colors like white, green, yellow, black, or gray. The color of the mold depends on the species of the spore colonies present on the bread. If you touch the mold present on the bread, you may feel wet. If you try to scrape the white substance on the bread, and if it comes out in pieces of chunks, then it is most likely mold. It would break into pieces due to the moisture present in the moldy bread.
As a rule of thumb, if a white substance appears on your bread out of nowhere and if it wasn’t there before when you bought it, it is most likely mold that has formed on your bread. In this case, the best course of action is to discard the bread without eating any of it. You may be tempted to use the non-moldy-looking section by cutting off the visible mold, but that could be a huge mistake. Mold is not always visible to our eyes since its spores are microscopic, and hence if there is visible mold on one section of the bread, there are most likely more mold spores spread out throughout the bread, which are invisible to the naked eye.
How does mold form on the bread?
Mold can form on the bread if the humidity in the environment surrounding it is high. Hence, if it has been raining for a few days and if it gets humid, your bread may develop mold faster if it is stored outside. Again, the mold can be white or any other color such as green, blue, gray, yellow, or black. Hence, if you find a white substance on bread out of nowhere and you know if it has been humid, there is a very high chance that it is white mold. Toss the bread out and buy a new one.
Improperly closed bread packages can allow moisture to seep into the bread, and it may develop white spots comprised of mold spores. So, if you find white areas on bread stored in a loose container, it most likely has mold growing on it.
How to prevent mold on bread?
There are many steps that you can take to prevent mold from forming on the bread.
Control Humidity: If you store your bread in the pantry, you can take steps to prevent moisture from accumulating, as humidity is the number one factor responsible for mold growth on bread. Especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, your pantry may benefit from a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier works like a vacuum cleaner for moisture, and it removes the humidity from the air by sucking the air dry. It then blows dry air back into the room.
Refrigeration: Bread can last longer when it is stored in the fridge; hence if you plan to use the bread for a long time, keeping it in the refrigerator is the best idea. My wife usually puts all the bread that we buy in the fridge, and they surprisingly last much longer than what they would at room temperature.
How to buy fresh bread without mold?
Buying fresh bread will enable you to enjoy it for a long duration compared to buying bread that is soon to pass its expiry date. Artisan bread may have extra flour on top, and if it concerns you because it can be mold, it is best to avoid such bread. Usually, artisan loaves of bread are sold at a discount at the grocery stores since they are costly and never sold out. So, the grocery stores put them on discount to encourage people to buy them before they reach their expiry date. Hence, artisan bread is at the highest risk of having white mold, which may look like flour because it has probably been sitting on the store shelf for a longer duration. The best recommendation that I can give for buying fresh bread is to check the expiry date printed on the plastic cover. You may be surprised that the grocery stores can often carry expired loaves of bread or ones that are soon to expire. One tip to get the freshest bread from the store is to find the loaves of bread that are stacked way behind all other loaves. Grocery stores prefer to sell the expiring products fast, so they place them in areas that are easy to reach. Hence, if you are looking to buy fresh products or, in this case, bread, be sure to look in the rear section of the bread area, which is hard to reach.
You may encounter white areas on bread either at the grocery stores or either at your home. It is in your best interest to use your judgment to figure out if the white substance can be mold or flour. If you follow the above guide, you should be able to tell the difference between white flour and white mold on bread.