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I bake large quantities of bread like 50kg a day. People are complaining that the butter bread, when I slice it, is like a sponge in texture and gets moldy in three days. How can I get a firmer texture and delay mold growth? The ingredients I use are margarine, flour, milk, nutmeg, yeast, vanilla extract, sugar and salt. I don't add eggs.

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    Welcome to the site! I'm sorry to say I don't understand your question. What do you mean by 'when I slide is like sponge' ?
    – GdD
    Nov 17, 2020 at 13:03
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    @GdD probably “slice”. But we need more details anyway.
    – Stephie
    Nov 17, 2020 at 13:18
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    This might be more an issue with setting expectations, so people know what the texture and shelf-life of your bread and aren't surprised. If you want to change the texture so it's less spongy, you might try cooking it slightly longer so it's drier inside. This might also increase the time before it molds, but home-baked bread is never going to compete with factory made bread with preservatives and such. But see cooking.stackexchange.com/q/7804/67
    – Joe
    Nov 17, 2020 at 15:02

2 Answers 2

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Mold grows on bread because mold spores in the air, or on hands or other surfaces, get transferred to the bread. Bread has plenty of nutrients for these spores to grow. Mold growth is enhanced by temperatures over 70 degrees F (21C). Humidity and moisture also favor mold growth.

There are a couple of things you can recommend or do to reduce mold growth.

Bread should be handled with clean hands.

Bread should be kept well wrapped.

Refrigeration dramatically slows mold growth.

Freezing virtually stops mold growth.

If not freezing, consume bread as soon as possible.

Margarine and milk help keep the texture soft, and reduce staling. If you want a firmer texture, you might consider a formula without these ingredients.

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Moist breads will get moldy faster than dryer breads, and moister breads also are more open, i.e. a have spongier texture, so reducing the milk in your recipe may help resolve both of those complaints. I would suggest you reduce the milk by 5% and see how that improves the situation, then keep reducing it by 5% until you get the texture you want. Reducing the moisture will make the bread less open, if it gets too tight add a bit more milk.

Take notes on the changes you do so you remember what works and what does not for your recipe.

There are answers about how to use preservatives in bread here.

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  • When you recommend reducing the milk, are you suggesting simply leaving it out, or replacing it with water? (leaving it out will remove moisture, but it going to change the dough more significantly)
    – Joe
    Nov 19, 2020 at 15:44
  • Reducing the milk means leaving some of it out @Joe. The point it to change the texture of the dough.
    – GdD
    Nov 19, 2020 at 15:57
  • You're still going to change it by moving to water. (less sugar, for one)
    – Joe
    Nov 19, 2020 at 17:06
  • @Joe, changing from milk to water will make other changes, that's not what I'm saying to do in my answer though.
    – GdD
    Nov 19, 2020 at 17:41

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