Food might not be one of the official love languages (rude!), but we can think of no better way to show your appreciation and care for someone than baking them a delicious treat. And in times when we can’t be together to literally break bread with one another, you might be looking at options like shipping some loaves across the country—or even the world—so your loved ones can enjoy them. Luckily, mailing bread is pretty easy if you follow a few key steps.
Make sure you’re baking the right thing.
While we have no doubt that your friends and family would love a delicious cinnamon roll to arrive in the mail, be picky about what kind of bread you’re going to send them. Quick loaves like pumpkin bread and zucchini bread have a much longer shelf-life than many yeast breads or more intricate baked goods.
This isn’t to say you can’t mail the sourdough loaf you worked so hard on (it is very trendy right now), but breads like this tend to be a little trickier to package and can go stale more quickly. Freezing your yeast-based breads can also help keep them fresh, but it’s ultimately about getting them into your loved ones’ hands ASAP.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure your bread is cool before you place it in the box to send. How you package it depends on the type of bread you’re sending. For instance, soft breads should be wrapped twice in plastic wrap and then again in either a gallon plastic bag or foil, according to USPS. Harder, yeast-y breads can be wrapped in foil and then in plastic.
Choose a box that’s only slightly larger than whatever you’re baking—too big and it can shift around, too small and it could squish your beloved bread. Feel free to pad it with some newspaper or packing materials, too. Make sure the box is sealed tightly and you should also include a return address on the inside and outside, just in case. King Arthur Flour shared some super-helpful visuals on packaging in this post.
Ship it right away.
For maximum freshness, be sure to bring it to your local post office or shipping service right away so it gets to its destination as quickly as possible. You’ll also probably want to pay for priority shipping—and don’t send it too close to a weekend or you’ll risk it getting stuck in transit.
Make sure it’s marked correctly.
Even if you’re not tipping off the recipient as to what’s inside, the box holding your goods should be marked “perishable” just to be sure it’s opened and the bread is devoured as quickly as possible.