“I thought sourdough bread wasn't supposed to mold that fast!” is a common email we receive.
Recently, Julie P. sent an image and info about her sourdough bread woes… including what she thinks is mold at 3 days. She too is wondering if her sourdough bread should have molded that quickly.
And, she's asking for guidance on lightening up her loaf. The dough was dense and didn't seem to get baked all the way through when following my recipe for No-Knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread.
Julie, let's troubleshoot your bread woes on today's #AskWardee… so it turns out great next time! 🙂
Read, listen, or watch below!
Q: Does Sourdough Bread Get Moldy?
Julie P. asked:
Thank you for your past help. I tried to make the loaf pan and roll sourdough bread per the recipe (No-Knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread). It didn't go really well. The dough didn't rise and then the bread was very dense, no air pockets even though cooked the correct time. What went wrong? Do you have suggestions?
Also, after three days it molded. See attached picture (above). Is that normal for it to mold that fast? I want to try again but would love some guidance as to what to do differently. Thank you so much.
Troubleshooting Your Sourdough Bread
I'm happy to help, Julie!
Are the dark spots what you're thinking is mold? If so, I don't think that's mold — that's where the baking soda didn't get mixed in well enough.
Your bread does look underdone, which can happen with a denser dough that you've mentioned. A longer bake would help.
So would improving the texture of the dough so it's not so heavy. I give many tips on lighter, less dense bread in this Ask Wardee #053: Less Dense Sourdough Bread.
Even though I talk about using small amounts of flour for feeding (in episode #18), keep in mind that you should also make sure the starter is getting enough food to support the work of rising bread dough. It's different for everyone. Your clue to whether your starter is strong enough is the daily activity it shows — bubbles, yeasty/fresh smell, etc.
If your starter doesn't rise the bread and isn't as active, it might need to be fed more at each feeding or might need more frequent daily feedings, like three instead of two. Go with small-enough amounts of flour so you don't overwhelm your life and to be frugal with flour, but not with amounts so small that the starter suffers and doesn't perform well.
When You Try Again…
When making the No-Knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread (pictured above), try again by:
- Taking the day or two leading up to baking and give the starter plenty of food and TLC so it's really strong and active. This also ensures it has plenty of acid to react with the baking soda to add extra lift.
- If you aren't already, use fresh-milled flour for a lighter result — the mill we love and use daily is the Mockmill home stone grain mill. (Limited time: get 2 free eBook packages from me with your purchase!)
- Sift your flour before making the dough (if not using fresh-milled flour).
- Rising your dough at a warm room temperature.
- Those brown spots in your bread are signs the baking soda wasn't worked in well enough — so do a few more folds to ensure it is mixed throughout.
- Bake longer if the dough is dense, so it cooks all the way through. You can cover the top with parchment paper near the end so it doesn't get too brown.
What About Mold?
Even though sourdough bread's natural composition resists mold, due to the vinegar produced by the sourdough starter's organisms, it does still mold eventually. How long depends on the doneness of the dough, how it's stored, and the humidity/temperature conditions.
Certainly, if it's not baked all the way through, it can mold in three days … or less! If it's humid or warm, any bread will mold in three days or less.
I don't like to keep our bread at room temperature as long as three days because homemade bread dries out faster. I pre-slice it and keep in the freezer and take out just what's needed for that day, or even on the spot to put in the toaster because it's pre-sliced. Then you have fresh bread on any day.
Also… the toaster can help bake under-done bread a little more. Keep it in the freezer until toasting and it will maintain its current state without molding. 🙂
- FREE No-Knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread Recipe
- Mockmill home stone grain mill — Limited time: get 2 free eBook packages from me with your purchase!
- Ask Wardee #053: Less Dense Sourdough Bread
- #AskWardee 018: What's Your Daily Sourdough Routine?
- How To Make An Einkorn Sourdough Starter
What Is The #AskWardee Show?
The #AskWardee Show is the live weekly show devoted to answering your niggling questions about Traditional Cooking: whether it's your sourdough starter, your sauerkraut, preserving foods, broth, superfoods or anything else to do with Traditional Cooking.
I share tips and resources, plus answer your questions about Traditional Cooking!
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How long does your sourdough bread last? How do you ensure a light, well-baked loaf?
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