There is something good for the soul with holiday bread baking. It embodies the whole season of enjoying the smells of delectable memories and the giving of special gifts. When I bake I have a favorite holiday movie playing or Christmas music blaring. You just can’t beat the feeling it gives you.
My list for bread giving includes neighbors, close friends and family. Once upon a time when the children were little we baked enough bread for teachers, coaches babysitters and others who helped us in our daily lives of living and learning.
In the past few years the types of bread I bake have changed to a healthier variety. This year I baked Banana-Date Flaxseed and Pear Poppy Seed with a hint of Cardamom. These are tasty breads that also give the gift of health since they are packed full of high quality ingredients rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system and lower your body stress. Add a cup of green tea to your slice of holiday bread and you are set for a perfect moment of health-inducing deliciousness.
Some helpful hints:
- Make your list for bread gifting ahead of bread baking so you know how many loaves you will ultimately need and can plan for the quantity of ingredients you will need to buy.
- Be alert to coupons and sales on ingredients. Many baking ingredients store well and keep a long time so you can stock up weeks in advance to save money and make preparation easier. Even last minute you can save just by comparing prices on flour and sugar.
- Buy aluminum foil bread pans to make storage and transporting easier.
- Fill the bread pans to ⅔ full; the foil pans are a little smaller so they fit less in them. It is easy to make a mess if you over fill.
- Always bake multiple loaves of the same type of bread at one time. You save a lot of time this way in prep work and clean up.
- Breads freeze well so you can start your bread baking weeks in advance of giving to make it all doable in time for the holidays. Just make sure the bread is thoroughly cooled before you freeze it and wrap in aluminum foil well. Or if you bake the week of the holiday you can still freeze to keep it fresh until you gift it.
- Breads can be mailed to loved ones. To do this, make sure to freeze the bread before mailing and mail with a frozen ice pack. Then choose priority or 2-day delivery to make sure the bread does not spend too much time in transit. It makes a great last minute gift too since it requires fast delivery regardless.
- Wrapping the bread in foil and then tying it up with ribbon makes for a festive package. It is always a good idea to put the type of bread you are giving on your card or sticker so people can remember what they will be eating.
With your own bread making and giving you can create happy memories for yourself and those you care about. If you have children or a friend who enjoys baking you can make baking a fun pastime with others. My daughter and I spent many a happy hour during the holidays baking bread together. Somehow those memories of bread making get brought up in conversation every year and put smiles on our faces.
Happy Healthy Holidays!