When giving gifts many of us are searching for something that will not only delight, but express our care and love. The perfect gift is something thoughtful and from the heart such as homemade bread.
But with people living all around the country and globe, how can we send our tasty treats with them arriving in delicious condition? Let’s take a look at some considerations and ways to ensure your bread arrives looking and tasting amazing!
First, consider the type of bread you are sending. Breads such a banana and pumpkin bread tend to be hardier and fare better over time versus yeast-based bread.
Also consider a sourdough as they tend to last longer as well. Yet don’t shy away from yeast-breads, but take into consideration that they tend to be a bit more fickle requiring more care and speedy delivery.
Breads should be packed in a sturdy box; avoid padded envelops. The United States Postal Service recommends that breads should be “wrapped twice in plastic wrap and sealed inside a gallon-size plastic bag, or wrapped again in foil” before boxing.
Make sure that there is sufficient padding (i.e. crumpled up paper, packing peanuts, bubble wrap) to secure your bread in the box. Write “perishable” on the outside of the box as well to indicate the urgency of the package contents.
For visual learners, this YouTube video shows you how to ship a loaf of bread through the mail: How to ship a loaf of bread easily through the mail.
Bake and Ship
The first method is to simply bake your bread and ship it as soon as it cools down. The catch is shipping should be done via overnight, two-day or priority delivery to ensure the bread arrives fresh.
Also, we recommend not shipping it on a Thursday or Friday as its arrival may be delayed by the weekend. If you are shipping internationally, definitely opt for the overnight or two-day delivery.
Parisian boulangerie Poilane successfully ships its breads and cookies to the United States using two-day shipping.
Par baking your bread is another option. Par baking, short of partially baking, is the process of baking the bread dough only 80% of the way then quickly freezing the bread.
This process kills the yeast’s future power, creates a stable inside (allowing for longer shelf life) but does not brown the crust. This will allow the recipient to finish the baking process to enjoy the aromas and browning of the bread by baking it for an additional 10-15 minutes at normal temperatures.
Fully Cooked and Freezing
While you can freeze and ship your fully-baked bread, the bread may thaw in transit resulting in bread becoming stale. Whether completely baked or par baked, you also must take extra care in sealing your package in watertight plastic so the thawing does not cause leaking.
Consider using cold gel packs to keep your bread cold. Dry ice can be used for domestic shipping through USPS, but not for international shipments. For more information and direction on shipping frozen breads, please see the USPS website.
No matter if you choose to completely bake or par bake your bread, if you choose to bake zucchini bread or cinnamon bread, remember to take these points into consideration to ensure your bread arrives ready to enjoy!
There are many great bakeries in the USA, but what if you want to ship baguettes from a boulangerie in France? Or focaccia from a special panetteria in Italy? Or some tasty bolillos from a panaderia in Mexico?
The above concerns apply when shipping bread internationally into the USA. In addition, however, you will need to register the shipment with the USA FDA using the "prior notice" process.
Getting prior notices through the USA FDA can be a chore. However, consider using the PriorNotify app to automate the process.
The PriorNotify app works with a variety of e-commerce platforms. It also allow you to manage your sellers, producers, and shippers.
And of course, if you don’t have time to bake, but wish to send a thoughtful treat to someone you love, check out RudiGourmand.com for gourmet delights from around the world.