Save Money by Baking Your Own Bread

Baking your own bread is an excellent way to provide fresh, delicious food for pennies. When you compare the price of bread at the supermarket which typically runs from about $1.08 to $3.99 a loaf, the savings add up quickly. the glass knife

Why bake your own bread? Advantages for making your own bread include:

• Cost. Home-baked bread can be made for as little as 25 cents up to just under a dollar.
• Freshness. Nothing beats bread right from the oven.
• No preservatives.
• You can control the source of fat, thus preventing hydrogenated fats (substitute butter, oil, or non-hydrogenated spreads for margarine or shortening).
• You can control the amount of salt.
• Selections of add-ins like nuts, seeds, or raisins.
• The appetizing smell of baking bread wafting through your kitchen.

Controlling Cost. Two factors affect the cost of making bread: ingredient cost and energy use. Ingredient cost is the biggest factor in how much bread costs to make. In general, simpler recipes with few ingredients will be the most cost effective options. Flour is usually the biggest contributor to cost, because of the amount used. All-Purpose flour is the least expensive flour. Recipes which call for it will be less expensive to make than recipes demanding specialty flours. In the price calculations for this article, the All-Purpose Flour assumes a price of $1.98 for five pounds. You can reduce this by buying in bulk. If you are trying to make the least expensive bread possible within a category of bread type, look for a short ingredient list. Choose breads using All-Purpose Flour, white sugar if the bread requires a source of sugar, oil for the source of fat, no add-ins, and eliminate the salt. When using all these cost trimming methods, you can expect to make yeast bread for about 35 cents and flat bread for about 30 cents.

Energy use is dominated by baking time so that is the factor considered in this article. The shorter the baking time, the less expensive the bread. Flat breads are great energy savers. In the rough cost estimates provided here, you will see that breads with longer cooking times can be very economical.

Yeast Bread. The least expensive yeast bread to make is sourdough bread without using the shortcut of commercial yeast. This is because the yeast is grown from the yeast present on the flour (not from the air as commonly claimed) and no purchase of yeast is necessary. However, sourdough starters take time to develop and maintain. True sourdoughs are fun for experienced bakers and often a trial for beginners. If you are interested in learning more, search on “starting sourdough cultures”. If you do not have the time to create and maintain a starter for sourdough, for a few cents more, you can make a traditional white bread.

Traditional yeast white bread uses only a few ingredients and is simple to make. You can make a traditional white bread for about 30 to 35 cents. Breads which require specialty flours like whole wheat, pumpernickel, and rye will cost more (usually between 37 to 75 cents), but are still much less expensive than buying an equivalent bread at the store. Adding seeds, nuts, or raisins also increases the cost of a loaf slightly. These ingredients are used very sparingly (usually two tablespoons to as much as a quarter cup), so the additional cost is low.