Have you ever thought about sending some of your homemade sourdough to friends and family via the postal service?
It might not have been something you had considered before, but it's definitely possible to mail sourdough across the country and have it arrive fresh and edible.
Here are some tips for how to mail sourdough bread, including packaging and service suggestions.
Packing Your Sourdough For Posting
Ensuring that your sourdough arrives fresh and edible is very important - particularly if your bread will be in the post longer than overnight.
The great thing about sourdough bread is the fermentation process ensures that your bread will not mold like regular yeasted bread will - so long as it's not exposed to moisture.
And as long as it's not cut open, it will stay fairly fresh - although not indefinitely.
In order to maintain the freshness of your sourdough, the following wrapping and packing suggestions are advisable:
How To Mail Sourdough Bread -
- For crusty sourdough bread - wrap in foil or wax paper and then in plastic wrap or place foil wrapped loaf into a zip loc plastic bag.
- For sandwich sourdough bread - wrap in plastic wrap twice or place into a zip loc plastic bag. Try to get most of the air out of the bag before you seal it.
- Vacuum Seal Systems - you can use a vacuum sealed bag for your sourdough, but you don't want to suck all the air out before you seal the bag or your bread will arrive very squished.
- For the final wrap of your bread, why not use a decorative linen bread bag that the recipient can place the bread into once they've opened it.
Once you've wrapped your sourdough bread, it needs to be placed into a box not much bigger than itself.
Then pack some newspaper or bubble wrap in around the bread to ensure it doesn't get knocked around on its journey.
You could place other things in the box too, but you want to make sure that the bread has a little cushioning - you just don't know how it will be handled along the way!
Tips For Mailing Sourdough & Homemade Bread
Packing your sourdough for mailing is fairly simple, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your precious sourdough arrives in perfect condition:
- Use a little raw honey in your sourdough - it is a natural preservative and may help to ensure your sourdough stays fresher for longer.
- Ensure your sourdough has cooled down fully before you pack it. Any warmth left inside your bread will cause it to sweat when it is placed inside a plastic bag or wrapped with anything.
- Think about how your bread will be handled whilst in the mail. Adding an extra layer or placing inside a box will ensure it's not squashed en route.
- Make sure the recipient knows it's coming - you don't want your hard work to go to waste!
- Send your sourdough overnight if possible - you don't want it to be in transit any longer than a few days. Some countries may not have this service available, or it may simply be too expensive for bread. If you are in the USA, you can utilise overnight mail services here.
- Send your sourdough at the beginning of the week - you don't want your bread waiting in transit over the weekend and going stale.
- Pop a note in the box with your bread and let the recipient know that they can spray the sourdough with water and pop it in the oven for a few minutes to freshen it up. It will be just like when you first baked it!
UPS has information about packaging perishable goods and the best mail service to choose here.
This Honey & Oat Sourdough Bread would be perfect to bake and mail to family and friends.
Freezing Your Sourdough For Postage
Freezing your sourdough prior to packing for post may seem like a good idea - however a word of caution.
If you aren't 100% sure how long your sourdough will be in transit for, freezing may not be a good idea.
If your sourdough is frozen and wrapped in plastic, if it defrosts along the way and then gets warm, the sourdough will sweat.
Sourdough is fairly mold resistant, but if it's in a sealed plastic bag with moisture trapped inside it would be a recipe for disaster.
Freezing sourdough is otherwise fine - just not when it's going on an unknown journey through different temperatures. You can read more about freezing sourdough here.
Mail Your Sourdough Starter Instead
Of course, if it is just too hard to mail actual sourdough bread - or it's going to be in transit too long, you could share some of your sourdough starter instead.
It's really easy to dry out your sourdough starter (you'll find full instructions on how to do this here) and then you can pop it into a plastic zip loc or vacuum sealed bag and mail that to your loved ones.
It will easily fit in a letter sized envelope, so postage cost will be minimal. It's a way to share your love of baking that might just inspire them to start their own sourdough journey.
If your family and friends would like to bake their own sourdough, why not send them a copy of my book, Sourdough Made Easy to get them started.
Why Not Post Some Sourdough Crackers?
If you're not sure about sending sourdough bread through the mail or you're worried about lengthy delays, maybe sourdough crackers might be an option.
Sourdough crackers are made from unfed sourdough starter and are baked in the oven. Unlike sourdough bread, they don't have a lot of moisture and will stay fresh for longer.
If you're interested in mailing some sourdough crackers - you'll find a delicious recipe for sourdough crackers with rosemary and parmesan here. Why not pop some in a cute tin.
- Want to make sure the sourdough bread you bake for family and friends has maximum oven spring - check out my top tips for ensuring you get great oven spring!
- Here are some beautiful gift wrap suggestions for your sourdough and artisan bread.