The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

mailing bread / introduction

ericb's picture

mailing bread / introduction

Hello, fellow bakers!

After lurking for many years on this forum, I wanted to introduce myself before asking my first question.

I have been baking bread for about six years now, although it always seems like it's only been a few months. I think this is because I am constantly refining my techniques and trying new recipes, thanks primarily to this forum. There is so much good advice (and good will) here!

My current favorite bread to bake is white sourdough, with just a touch of whole wheat. I do cheat with a bit of yeast, because I find that it allows me to time my baking schedule around my work schedule (I learned this from an excellent Pain de Campagne recipe floating around here somewhere; I wish I could find the link!).

I always think it's interesting to see what other home bakers are involved in, so here's what I do when I'm not baking. I live in and work Kentucky all my life. I make a living as the Systems Administrator for an ad agency. My big secret is that I hate computers and technology, but they keep paying me to do it. It's hard to say "No" to that in this economy! My secret passion is healthcare, though, and I hope to one day be able to go to nursing school. In the meantime, I keep myself busy by riding my bike and (of course) baking bread!

Anyway, my primarily reason for posting is that I want to get some advice on how to mail or ship bread. My mother-in-law lives several states away, and I have been meaning for several weeks now to send her a few loaves as a "thank-you" for a recent birthday present. She's within 1-day UPS Ground, and 3 days of Priority Mail. I was wondering if any of you have any tips about how to ship bread so that it doesn't arrive stale? Should I wrap in it plastic, or would paper be better? Would 3-day Priority mail work? Maybe there's no trick to it, and the answer is "just put it in the mail, dummy!," and I'm OK with that advice.

Wow, I've rambled on far longer than I intended. Better get back to work!

Thanks for your advice!




LindyD's picture

I’m not going to welcome you to TFL, Eric, since you’ve been here longer than I. Nice that you’ve surfaced, though.

I’d opt for next day delivery. I work in the legal field and UPS is the only company we can count on to get our documents to their destinations by 10:30 a.m. the next day. Brown is very good in our rural area.

I’d just place the sourdough loaves in paper bags, then in a sturdy box large enough to contain them but not so large they bounce around, and send them for next day delivery.

Sourdough tastes better the next day and the bread would still be fresh enough for your MIL to freeze if she won’t use it all in a short time.

I imagine express mail through the postal service might work, but if you go that route, be sure the mailing container can’t be squished.

Have you tried Hamelman’s Vermont sourdough recipe? You mix it, retard it overnight, then bake when you are ready. It’s an easy bake for a hectic work schedule....and no need to use packaged yeasties!

tlmcca's picture


Our son lives in New York and we recently sent a loaf to him via priority mail from the St. Louis, MO area. We froze the loaf before mailing hoping that would help. Delivery time was 2 days at a cost of about $11. Since the price is the same no matter the weight I plan to send 2 loafs next time.