Even in today’s gluten-free world there is something so very wonderful about homemade bread. Even the gluten-free folks have gone on to make incredible gluten-free versions of this ultimate comfort food. Homemade bread is a delight to enjoy, to give, and to receive. Combine that homemade bread with some homemade jam and that is a care package fit for a king and sure to inspire all kinds of good emotions. Make your homemade bread & jam gift basket with these easy ideas and recipes.
These simple little packages of homemade bread and a jar of jam are great holiday or birthday gifts for casual co-workers and neighbors. A basket full of bread and jam is a great way to say thank you to someone hosting you as a guest for the weekend or an evening party or any other reason you might need to say thanks.
The Basket / Container
Go simple, no reason to spend lots of money here. Hit the thrift stores, even some dollar stores will have more than suitable containers. Most folks already have plenty of baskets, boxes, and other containers. Give something they won’t feel bad about donating back to the thrift store if they can’t use it.
Baskets are always great containers, but any container of a suitable size will work. Wood boxes, canvas bags, large metal containers, even large flower pots, etc. Think about the recipient and pick the container that most matches their personality.
Filler for the Container
Tissue paper is always an easy solution to filling the empty spots in a container and making it more festive. However, there are so many other creative and useful solutions:
- tea towels
- vintage embroidered linens for the collector
- cloth napkins
- a yard of nice fabric for the seamstress
- a lap blanket or throw of some sort
Again, think of the recipient and make it meaningful for them. Would I put embroidered linen in a basket for the cabinet maker next door? Probably not, in that case, tissue will work fine and make an excellent fire starter for the wood stove in his shop.
You could even make linen bread bags to package the bread even further inside your basket.
If bread baking isn’t your thing, go with something locally made in a small bakery. However, don’t get stuck in thinking the bread has to be some kind of fancy artisanal creation either, quick breads will work just as nicely here. If you need some recipe ideas, try these:
- Garlic & Herb Bread
- Betty’s Buttermilk Rye Bread
- Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
- Portuguese Sweet Bread
- Potato Bread
- Gluten Free Bread
- No Knead Sourdough
- Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- Sourdough English Muffin Bread
- Country Sourdough with Walnuts & Raisins
For more bread recipes as well as gift giving ideas, be sure to check out my Gift It From Scratch Cookbook.
Again, if you don’t make jam or jelly, choose something locally made from natural ingredients whenever possible. A jar or two will usually suffice in most baskets. When giving jams and jellies from your own creations, pick jars with homegrown or foraged ingredients first. Include notes on the gift tag so that the recipient knows that not only did you make the jam but you grew the apples or foraged the berries yourself. It adds a special touch that almost everyone can appreciate.
Jam Ideas in a Hurry
If you don’t already have jams on your shelves to give, here are some ideas that you can whip up in a hurry:
- Clementine Rum Marmalade
- Stout Beer Jelly
- Spiced Cranberry Jam
- Boozy Bacon Jam (not a canning recipe)
For more recipes and tips for homemade fruit spreads, check out my booklet The Fiercely DIY Guide to Jams, Jellies, & Fruit Butters.
Combining the Bread & Jam
As always it’s most important to consider the recipient’s tastes when giving a gift. Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
- Strawberry Poppy Seed Bread with Lemon Marmalade
- Sourdough with Bacon Jam
- Rye Bread with Beer Jelly
- Cinnamon Raisin Bread with Apple Butter
Rather than fight the crowds at stores this season, look to your own pantry and fill gift baskets full of bread and jam for something so very special and full of love. Do you have a favorite bread and jam combination that you like to give?