Don’t wait for Christmas to give that special someone a loaf of delicious homemade bread. Many occasions — birthdays, anniversaries, accomplishing a special goal, to accompany a special meal, and even “just because” are all great opportunities for sharing your homemade bread.
Unlike 50 years ago, homemade bread is a rare and much-appreciated commodity in many homes. In our crazy-busy world, the fact that you take the time to prepare this tasty treat is also a gift.
On average, a loaf of homemade white bread, made with high quality bread flour, costs about $1.50. Whole grain bread costs range from $2.00 to around $3.50, making this homemade product a very cost-effective present.
Before you start baking, consider what types of bread your recipient will appreciate. Many people enjoy white bread; others prefer wheat, rye, multi-grain, etc. If your recipient is easy to please, that makes the baking even easier!
If you don’t typically make bread with whole grain flours, you can still produce a cost-effective loaf by purchasing one- or two-pound packages of the flour(s) you need. Even flours costing $2 per pound can make an inexpensive gift. Whatever you don’t use for this current gift can easily be stored in the freezer until you need it.
While a full loaf of bread is a wonderful gift, don’t rule out the fact that a small loaf of bread may be appropriate. There are numerous pan sizes that would allow you to mix a standard batch of dough and divide it into two or three small pans. You might also consider giving all the small loaves you make as the gift. In a one- or two-person household, the small loaves may be most appropriate.
Once the bread is baked, it should be thoroughly cooled before it’s wrapped in any manner. Wrapping options are endless, including a simple bag with a ribbon, card or tag attached. Other wrapping materials could include parchment paper, tissue paper, even a box if you have the appropriate size on hand.
You may also want to include a note about the ingredients in your bread. This information could prove useful if the bread is offered/served to someone who experiences food sensitivities or allergies.
Storage directions could also be noted on a small card or tag. You may want to indicate that a successful way to freeze home-made bread is to slice it, separate the slices with plastic wrap, enclose it in a plastic bag, and place it in the freezer. This simple tip could help your gift recipient prolong the freshness of the bread if they don’t intend to consume it right away.
Further recommendations could include suggestions for using the bread to make sandwiches, toast, French toast, or something special you know the recipient enjoys.
Depending on your recipient’s preferences, you might include a small jar of jam, honey, or peanut butter. You could also make a flavored butter such as cinnamon or honey butter, garlic or herbed butter and include it as part of your gift.
Photo by Loretta Sorensen.
Long time journalist Loretta Sorensen is the author of Secrets To Baking Your Best Bread Ever! and regularly shares information about whole grains and bread baking. You’ll find her book on her blog site at www.bakeyourbestever.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Country Store at Our Dakota Horse Tales. Her weekly bread baking posts are featured at Mother Earth Living, GRIT Magazine, Our Dakota Horse Tales, and on Pinterest and Facebook.