The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mold disaster

AnnieT's picture

Mold disaster

Maybe disaster is a bit dramatic but I am hoping someone will be able to help me. I was about to shape the boule, using Susan's sourdough recipe, when I noticed tiny black specks in the rice flour coating the linen liner in my banneton. (Pays to out on my glasses once in a while!) Upon further inspection I found that the mold was well established in the linen. Luckily the banneton came with two liners. I hadn't washed the liner because I thought the idea was to get it well seasoned with rice flour and I was very complacent about the fact that my dough didn't stick. I always line it with parchment for the NKB but not for the sourdough. So can I wash the brown linen liner with bleach - I imagine it would be a pain to completely rinse out the odor? Or do I have to toss the liner? Lemon juice and sunshine would be safer but sunshine is in short supply up here in WA. Has anyone else had this happen, and can anyone suggest a remedy? I look forward to any help, thank you, A.


TableBread's picture

Annie, sorry to hear about your mold misfortune.  Perhaps a 'darker' (I lived in Silverdale for a couple of years) solution would be to soak it in some very concentrated lemon water.  Maybe the acid in the lemon will kill the infestation without killing your liner.  I think bleach would have an unintended effect on the tastes of your bread for a while.

Let us know what you end up trying so, this is a good thing to know how to handle.

And don't feel bad I heard the same thing about liners.




Ramona's picture

I think this will help you and is safe to use.  A great antiseptic, without harsh chemicals.  In my laundry, I also use it in place of bleach for my whites. 

ehanner's picture

I make a point to bang the baskets in the sink and dry them out in a still warm oven so they get bone dry after use. I also hang my linen couch fabric over the handle on the oven to get them really dry before I fold them up and store them in a plastic bag.

As for your current problem of moldy liners, I would say mix yourself a batch of soapy cool water with about a Tablespoon or so of household bleach to a gallon of water and hand scrub the fabric until the  flour is dissolved. Rinse repeatedly in fresh warm water and pat dry with dry towels. Hang the liners to dry on the oven handle till dry. The chlorine oder if any will dissipate after a short time. If you try to dry the liner in a cloths dryer I think it will shrink. Hope this helps.


AnnieT's picture

Many thanks, TableBread, Ramona and Eric for the commiserations and advice. Have to admit I panicked a bit and made a mild bleach solution and left it to soak overnight. I would like to try the peroxide, Ramona. Should I use it neat or dilute it? I haven't checked on the liner yet this morning but I am going to be very careful to dry the one I used in its place. Thanks again, A.