My aunt lives in Venezuela. They don't have basics like bread or meat. I have been mailing her food like crackers and canned meat. I want to mail her some type of bread. I don't know what kind would last the longest.
The classic "long-lasting bread" is rather like a very hard cracker - ship's bread or pilot bread. Otherwise flour and yeast (add water and bake after it arrives) would be more suitable.
At some point when I had been reading too much old sailing tales I made some ship's bread - it's about as awful as the tales tell, once aged a bit (it was fairly edible, though fairly dense, when fresh, actually.) The commercially produced "pilot bread" is a bit more friendly for eating.
Long lasting bread - what sailors these days know.
With over 100,000 ocean miles in a small sail boat, and one eye permanently on how much gas we have this is something that we have now got down to a fine art. So, for a 3-4 week passage, wanting bread, but not wanting to bake our own (not wanting to use a lot of gas) we set out to discover what if any 'long-life' bread was available (that does not need chilling or freezing and is to be considered 'warm storage').
Firstly there is the part-baked vacuum packed bread, normally available as either baguettes or rolls. This should have a shelf life of up to 3 months, and takes between 5-10 minutes to bake in the oven. Depends upon where you live, but we can buy this in any supermarket in the bread section, or sometimes in the health food department.
Secondly, we discovered that cheap sliced brown bread, in it's original plastic bag/wrapper lasts for at least a month. It is usable for both sandwiches or toast. I would suggest buying some and leaving it un-opened for a while, then tasting/testing it yourself to ascertain if this works for you.
However it may depend upon where you are based as to what type of bread you can purchase. You should also be aware of customs protocols for exporting/importing food stuffs to ensure that you are not breaking any laws.
This is one type that will last.
In the uk you can purchace long life bread products with an extended shelf life. The longest I've seen is 7 months.
They tend to have a dryer concistency than regular bread rolls, and don't toast well. But the flavour is good. I tend to take them if going camping for a few weeks with limited access to replenishment stops.
If real long-term storage (months) is intended, and an oven (or a dutch oven and a fire) is available at the receiving location, the best solution would be to create a pre-mix that just needs to be mixed with water (maybe adding oil too, which you could send along), kneaded and baked. Package it in truly air and insect tight containers (vacuum sealing, or bail lock jars or good quality clip lock plastic containers).
There are techniques that can keep breads from staling quickly (high oil/low moisture, using partially cooked flour and less gluten structure, maybe using trehalose...), but they will still eventually lose to mold with anything that's isn't very hard and dry in the first place...
You have two options here:
- You go with an industrial bread with a lot of preservative. It will last a long time but I am not sure of the nutritional value.
- You go with a sourdough bread which was proofed at low temperatures and which was put in a cold oven. The cold temperatures during proofing and the start of the baking process ensure that the bread will last longer.
Personally, I'll go with the second option for the natural ingredients and the flavor. But I know some people do not like the taste of sourdough.