The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Method and Cost to ship bread

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varda's picture
varda

Method and Cost to ship bread

Hi,  I wanted to ship a loaf of bread within the United States.   Since I would like it to get to its destination relatively fresh, I was planning to overnight it the day after baking and freezing.   USPS costs around $40 for a large enough overnight package, which is higher than I had hoped given it's just a loaf of bread.  Has anyone done this?   What is the most cost-effective way to get it there fresh?   Thanks.  -Varda

EdY MI's picture
EdY MI

I occasionally send bread from Michigan to my son and daughter in New England via USPS Priority Mail. The bread is not frozen beforehand, but simply double bagged in plastic, and generally arrives in two to three days. The cost is under $10. Certainly not the same freshness as on the day of bake, and I avoid the summer months, but no complaints on the receiving end yet.

Ed

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I once shipped a package with different breads from Maine to North Carolina, also with USPS. It was the least expensive option.

If you send whole grain breads or 100% rye breads they stay relatively fresh (I would not mail entirely white breads - they will be stale when they arrive). I wrapped them first in a brown paper bag to absorb moisture, then in plastic.

Karin

Candango's picture
Candango

Varda,

     I suggest you try the post office.  I have done this with sourdough rye and with a sourdough white with pepperjack cheese baked into it. Obviously I wanted to get it  from DC to Arizona as quickly and economically as possible.  So I let the bread cool, then sliced each loaf, and then packed about a third of a loaf into a quart size resealable zip plastic bag.  The Post office has special mailer boxes for Flat Rate Express mail.  If it fits into the box, regardless of the weight (up to 70 lbs), it goes, for one price.  They have several sizes (S,M,L) each with its own price, and several variations of each size.  Using one of the configurations of the medium box, I found that I could ship about a loaf and a half (three zip bags).  I think the cost was about twelve dollars.  Check www.usps.com.  I froze the bread before packing it, just it case it needed extra travel time.  The package was delivered in three days.  The bread was fresh and quickly devoured.

  It is a lot less expensive than using some of the other carriers.  Wish you luck.

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

varda's picture
varda

So if I back down to priority then cost goes way down, time goes up a day or two.   May be the best solution.   Thanks so much for your responses.   I'll send it out tomorrow.   -Varda

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

Let me start by saying that I have never shipped bread anywhere but locally, so I may be totally out to lunch here. However, I thought this predicament over and came up with a suggestion that I would try if ever the shipping "opportunity" arose.

How about par-baking the loaves, freezing them, then shipping them? The recipient would need to finish off the bake and they would therefore be nearly fresh, or at least a lot fresher than 2-day bread.

To par bake, just do whatever you would normally do, but stop the bake about 80-90% of the way thru.

I think that may be worth a try.

Cheers

varda's picture
varda

"fancy" bread in supermarkets are done right?   The baker parbakes and then the grocery store finishes it off so consumers can buy it "fresh."  Since I'm sending to a bread civilian, I'm not sure how this would turn out.   Thanks for the suggestion.  

This is what I did do:   On Sunday, I baked, cooled, froze wrapped in paper towels and then plastic.   On Tuesday I put it in a box and shipped it priority mail USPS which cost me $11.   They said it would get there Thursday.    I will check in with my friend to see what condition it arrives in, but since she has never tasted my bread, she may just be polite if it's a total wreck.   I can't really ask her to photograph it and send me back pictures.   Hopefully it's the thought that counts. 

-Varda

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

"Fancy" no! Lame attempt at "artisanal" yes

Anyway, you could just include a note like "Do not freeze. Bake thawed loaf, at 450F for 8 minutes." No bread baking expertise required (just like a supermarket). It would arrive pretty much thawed out I assume, so I would hestitate to re-freeze.

Before any supermarket guys get PO'd at me: there is no reason on Earth why supermarket bakery departments can't be high-end bakeries and/or pastry shops. In fact, They would have some serious advantages over us. Hmmmmm, maybe there's an opportunity here.

Cheers