How can I reuse or recycle mouldy bread?

We’ve had an email from Milly:

I know about making breadcrumbs with stale bread but is there anything that can be done with bread that’s gone a bit mouldy? I don’t mean eat it of course but compost it?

Obviously the best thing to do is avoid it going mouldy in the first place – freeze it if you don’t have time to use it up or turn it into breadcrumbs there and then. But sometimes loaves have a tendency to turn in a blink of an eye so it’s harder to avoid.

Bread is one of those things that some people compost and others don’t. It will break down quite quickly but in an open, slow going compost heap, it might attract vermin to the pile even quicker. It’s also not going to add that much goodness to the heap either so you might decide it’s not worth the risk. But then what do you do with it instead?

Any suggestions? Do you compost bread?

(Photo of non-moldy bread because looking for a photo of moldy bread was making me too queasy!)

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6 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle mouldy bread?”

  1. Bellen says:

    First – if bread is only a little moldy, like a few spots, I pick off the mold and rebag the bread – the old bag will contain mold spores – and use it checking each time for mold. Usually there isn’t any more. This is not something new to do, my grandparents, who would be in their 120′s, did it.

    Second – I always compost bread, when it’s so far gone that there’s no other use for it, but I crumble it and soak it in water before adding it to the pile. Or I crumble, soak, and then dig a hole in the garden between plants and bury it. Never had a problem with vermin either way.

  2. I too cut the mould off if it is only on a few places but great tip about changing the bag it is kept in – I didn’t think about that! We rarely have any bread left over but if there is too much to use when I start picking the mould off I get the blender out and turn it into breadcrumbs to go in the freezer.

  3. Nicole says:

    I usually just give it to the birds

  4. Juliet van Ree says:

    The type of mould on bread is usually of the Penicillium type, so in most cases it is pretty harmless (at least that was what I was told by my bf who works in food safety).

    That being said, I really hate eating anything with mould on it, because it just looks wrong.

    So I always feed it to my chickens and/or rats. They really enjoy it and I don’t feel guilty for wasting food.

    Composting is also possible in my experience, but I just don’t use it that often since I have the chickens and the rats.

    Also when I was little my mom used to dry the bread on the stove and took me and my sister out to feed it to the birds in the park. We always liked it!

  5. CountryGeek says:

    All those feeding to birds please remember that bread is bad for birds and well all animals.
    Multiseeded breads are probably better than white and wholemeal.

  6. Countrygirl66 says:

    I either re-use my bread by making bread pudding/bread & butter puddings OR I feed it to the birds.
    This is totally ok to feed bread birds/ducks etc as long as you do not feed them DRY bread as when the animal drinks water the bread swells in their throat.
    I useually blend stale bread into breadcrums add that to a block of melted lard,then mix in bird seed & mealworms for homemade bird food

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