Giving homemade bread to someone is a special gift. However, if you live beyond driving distance from your loved one, you may need to ship your bread. Unlike many store-bought breads, homemade bread contains no preservatives, which makes it healthy and delicious, but also more vulnerable to staleness and spoiling. Proper packaging and speedy shipping are key to ensuring the arrival of a fresh and tasty loaf of bread.
Remove your bread from the oven and allow it to cool on the counter. A piping hot loaf of bread releases moist steam into the package, which can cause sogginess and premature molding.
Insert your cooled loaf into a bag appropriate for the type of bread. For soft-crust bread, use a thick zip-seal plastic bag. For hard-crusted breads, like French bread, use a foil lined bag inside a zip-seal bag. The double layer of bags means you can remove the plastic bag upon arrival and pop the loaf into the oven immediately for quick heating.
Squeeze all the air out of the bag, regardless of the bag's material type. The sides of the storage bag should cling tightly to the loaf.
Place the plastic bag into a small cardboard box, slightly larger than the loaf itself. Tightly pack any remaining space with wadded newspaper to buffer movement that occurs during shipping, which could cause the bread to arrive flattened or deformed. Seal the box with packaging tape and write in the appropriate destination and return addresses on top of the package.
Take the box to the post office for next-day shipping. The freshness of homemade bread is what makes it special, faster shipping ensures the bread arrives fresher. If you are unable to afford next-day shipping, use the fastest shipping option possible, but no more than two days.