The past few weeks, weekends especially, have been quite busy and I haven’t had much chance to try out new recipes. Lacking any new exiting breads to post about (next week, I promise!), I thought this was a good opportunity to discuss the cost of making your own bread. Of course there is a price on your time, but if you enjoy baking bread having fresh loaves that save money is an added bonus. Here I’ve highlighted three of my favorite loaves for which the total ingredients cost anywhere from 23 cents to $1.01.
For starters, lets look at the price per pound of many common ingredients. For the purposes of baking I use the metric system but markets operate in pounds. From our local superstore (Meijer) I can get all purpose flour for 59 cents/lb and bread flour for 69 cents/lb. At the local bulk food store (By The Pound) I find semolina flour for 99 cents/lb and hard red wheat berries (for whole wheat flour) for 54 cents/lb. Considering you’ll never come close to using a pound of flour in a loaf, you can already see how little you have to spend.
A great basic wheat bread I like to make is my Lazy Sunday sandwich loaf. When I used to buy this sort of bread it would run about $4/loaf. 61 cents sounds better to me!
|Bread Flour||320 g||10 cents|
|Whole Wheat Flour||190 g||10 cents|
|Instant yeast||1.5 t||19 cents|
|Butter||2 T||17 cents|
|Salt||1.5 t||3 cents|
|Sugar||1.5 T||2 cents|
|Water||1 ¼ C||Negligible|
Of course just because it costs so little doesn’t mean they don’t taste great. In fact one of the best loaves I’ve made, the basic country loaf from Tartine, is also the cheapest at 23 cents.
|Bread Flour||450 g||14 cents|
|Whole Wheat Flour||50 g||3 cents|
|Sourdough Leaven (Includes flour)||100 g||2 cents|
|Salt||10 g||4 cents|
So you see that the basic ingredients are quite cost effective. Even when you get into more expensive specialty items, like the olive oil in this semolina sandwich loaf, it doesn’t cost that much.
|Semolina Flour||420 g||19 cents|
|Instant yeast||1 t||12 cents|
|Sugar||1 T||2 cents|
|Olive oil||¼ C||65 cents|
|Salt||1.5 t||3 cents|
|Water||1 ½ C||Negligible|
Aside from the well established nutritional benefits, now you can see that making your own bread keeps your wallet healthy too!