Author Topic: Cost of baking whole wheat bread  (Read 7557 times)

Credaholic

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Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« on: January 01, 2015, 10:22:51 PM »
I'm considering baking my own whole wheat bread. We go through at least one loaf, maybe closer to two, per week. I was buying Safeway Famous Bakehouse brand, but my Just for You coupons dried up. I was paying around $2.50 per loaf, but now buying their cheaper whole wheat which is $1.99 and sometimes on sale for less.

So does anyone have a light whole wheat recipe that would make baking worth the time? Can't have honey in it, for instance. That would blow the budget. But I get yeast at Costco, always have flour and sugar on hand, etc.

Also considering yogurt and apple sauce since my young family eats a lot! I just don't know if financially it really makes sense with the time commitment added in on top.

milesdividendmd

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Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 10:40:40 PM »
No question, the Tartine method is the absolute best.

It teaches you so much about natural fermentation, and yields Loaves that are so delicious they will blow the local artisanal bakery (let alone Safeway) away.

The only ingredients are flour, water, and natural sourdough (flour and water).



http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016277-tartines-country-bread

I highly recommend procuring the book. It's a great investment.

If easy is more your style, no knead bread is also quite good.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?_r=0.

Enjoy your adventure!

DCJrMustachian

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 01:04:04 AM »
I usually bake my own at cheaper price than any store, and far better quality too. 

Required Ingredients are very simple:
1tsp Sugar
1tsp Yeast
2.5 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt

Add 1 tsp of sugar to a 1 cup warm water (from hot water faucet... do not boil or heat the water)
stir to dissolve sugar & then add yeast.
Let sit while you portion out 2 & 1/2 cups of flour and add salt to taste
Mix in the yeast/water & kneed until you have a ball of dough
cover loosely and let the dough rise for at least one hour
warm up oven with baking stone oven to 450
cook for 15-20 mins until crust starts to darken/brown

Optional but also good: herbs (grow your own for free), ground pepper & artisan flour

Bulk Ingredient Costs:
50 lbs whole wheat flour: $14.49  (225 servings - 6.4/loaf)
25 lbs sugar: $13.99 (2400 servings - 0.6/loaf)
1 lb yeast: $2.99 (159 servings - 2/serving)
16 oz salt: $1.99 (160 servings - 1/serving)

So your total ingredient cost per LOAF is 10 cents.

*Edit* Prices above sourced from this web shop: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/48621/baking-ingredients.html
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 02:40:28 AM by DCJrMustachian »

GuitarStv

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 07:14:50 AM »
Many sourdough bread recipes use only flour, water, and a little salt.  The cost is next to nothing, but it can take a couple batches to get the hang of using a sourdough starter.  We've actually got a whole thread on making your own starter and using sourdough here:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/do-it-yourself-forum!/the-sourdough-thread/

Depending on your reasons for using whole wheat, I'd at least cut the whole wheat in your recipe with 50% (or more) white flour.  Whole wheat flours tend to make bread more dense.  Sourdough's slow fermentation changes white flour into a better digestible form so that it doesn't produce the same insulin spike that fast yeasts do - a white sourdough loaf is better for you than regular whole wheat bread.

Credaholic

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 09:24:40 AM »
I'm just looking for a nice slicing, toastable sandwich bread. I sometimes make more artisanal breads too (like a delicious focaccia last night!) and have been interested in sour dough, so thanks for the tips on getting started there! I didn't know you could "catch" a sourdough starter right in your kitchen!

Still searching for the perfect easy cheap whole wheat recipe. I assume DCJrMustachian's recipe can also be done in a loaf pan?

mginwa

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2015, 09:56:28 AM »
Hmmm I really don't think honey would blow the budget. A couple tablespoons in a batch should come in at around 25 cents or less...

I've done bread and yogurt both to save money and increase deliciousness. They are each pretty easy and satisfying, though they do take a bit of time and attention. I gave up on yogurt, since I don't have a great place for it to ferment anymore (I miss my old oven's pilot light!) but if you have a nice warm place to do it, yogurt can be great at home. Different than store-bought, but great.

Here's a couple recipes I like:
I know you said whole wheat sandwich, but I never found a recipe that I loved. Instead, I have made this a zillion times and it's great, Alton Brown's Oatmeal Bread: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/leftover-oatmeal-bread-recipe.html
I don't make apple sauce, but this is a great recipe for slow cooker apple butter, which is very nearly the same thing: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/crock-pot-slow-cooker-apple-butter-recipe/ I just leave the peels on, you can't tell in the final product and the peel is healthy.

Yogurt... here's how I do it. Bring milk (I use skim or 1%, 1/2 gal) just barely to a boil, turn off immediately and strain into a metal bowl. Whisk in 1/3 to 1/2 cup nonfat dried milk (optional, adds protein and helps thicken a little). Let it cool to lukewarm, then whisk in the starter. Whole Foods sells one in powder form that I've had great results with. I've never had good results trying to start from a commercial yogurt. Pour into containers (I always preportioned the milk into 1/2 cup dishes or tupperwares for ease of use), cover, and set in a warm place for 6-12 hours. Refrigerate and enjoy. You can use 1/2 cup of your homemade yogurt as the starter next time. Mine usually lasted 4-6 cycles before it started acting tired and I would start over with a new packet of starter.

Bread is really fun, but mileage does vary and things like flour and yeast and water are different in different parts of the country. I do get better results when I use bread flour over AP, so when I'm going for a whole wheat loaf I do 50/50 bread flour to whole wheat flour. I tried to do a wild starter once and it didn't work out. I have had great luck pinching off a bit of another loaf, growing it slowly over time in the fridge by adding water and flour every other day or so, and then using that as the basis for my next loaf. You get the delicious slow fermentation effect and it's an extremely low-commitment (read: lazy) way to do homemade bread if you bake regularly. Start with a piece the size of a golf ball and keep adding to it. Stay on the wet side of what final dough feels like while you're growing it, keep it well covered up in tupperware or a bowl with saran wrap, and it's great. Just turn it into dough and add salt in your final stage with a regular rise.

People swear by Peter Reinhart's bread recipes. Here's one you might try: http://centerstagewellness.com/peter-reinharts-whole-wheat-sandwich-bread/

Good luck!

FiguringItOut

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2015, 12:33:43 PM »
@DCJrMustachian Where do you get a pound of yeast for $2.99?  That is the price not heard of in my neck of the woods.

thecornercat

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2015, 01:05:24 PM »
I use my Vitamix to make Whole Wheat Bread, but I expect the recipe can be adapted for other kneading methods:
https://www.vitamix.com/Find-Recipes/W/H/Whole-Wheat-Bread


It makes one loaf, which is the perfect size for us. The honey/salt/oil/lemon juice are optional. (I never put honey, but I do use the other ingredients.) So the only ingredients you need are water, active dry yeast, and whole wheat flour.


When I make this recipe, I replace 1/4 c whole whole wheat flour with 1/2 c flaxseed, but again, that's optional.

Holyoak

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2015, 01:27:02 PM »
I make a few loaves week, and they cost about .50 cents per loaf with basic white.  All are very simple, with just a little variation of ingredients to get the desired result...  I'll add toasted sesame seeds in the dough, and sesame and poppy seeds on the outside, maybe carmelized onions and poppy seeds, all of it plus flax...  Really can't go wrong.  I buy my hi gluten flour in bulk at an Amish market, along with 1 lb vacuum bags of SAF quick rise yeast (for a whopping $4.25).  All loaves are made by hand, and bake quickly.

Pretty std recipe is:

2 1/2-3 cups bread flour
1 1/2-2 tsp yeast
1 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 Tbs oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus a bit more of warm water.

Combine everything, and get to the right "stickiness" with additional flour/water.  Knead for five minutes, and allow rise till about doubled in a place with a cup of steaming water, punch down and allow to rise again.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 22 mins or so.  So easy, and you can not believe how chewy and perfect it tastes!  And toasted with fresh butter...  Better than...

For example, here is a loaf that made some damn fine Rubens.  Just subbed about 1/2 cup dark rye flour with the rest white, and a few Tsp of caraway seeds.




mm1970

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2015, 01:54:08 PM »
@DCJrMustachian Where do you get a pound of yeast for $2.99?  That is the price not heard of in my neck of the woods.
Big box stores like Costco or Smart and Final (maybe Sams?)  Here in California, it used to be $3 for 2lb, now it's closer to $5 for 2 lb.

http://www2.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10178379&whse=BD_115&topnav=bd

Catbert

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2015, 02:07:18 PM »
@DCJrMustachian Where do you get a pound of yeast for $2.99?  That is the price not heard of in my neck of the woods.
Big box stores like Costco or Smart and Final (maybe Sams?)  Here in California, it used to be $3 for 2lb, now it's closer to $5 for 2 lb.

http://www2.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10178379&whse=BD_115&topnav=bd

And it stores seemingly forever in the freezer.  I keep an 8 oz jar in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer.  Seriously keeps for at least several years.

DCJrMustachian

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2015, 02:28:26 PM »
@DCJrMustachian Where do you get a pound of yeast for $2.99?  That is the price not heard of in my neck of the woods.
Big box stores like Costco or Smart and Final (maybe Sams?)  Here in California, it used to be $3 for 2lb, now it's closer to $5 for 2 lb.

http://www2.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10178379&whse=BD_115&topnav=bd

I live in an urban area without any big-box discount stores, and live alone so I usually shop at Trader Joes or buy fancier ingredients in smaller quantities at the Whole Foods across the street.  But I have bought some staples in bulk online and in the process found a good website, from where I derived the above prices: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/48621/baking-ingredients.html

Lkxe

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2015, 02:31:22 PM »
We don't use a loaf a week but we buy Nature's Own for $2 (sale 2/4) at the Safeway and freeze it. All other bread products get whipped up by my lovely baking husband. We eat more homemade English muffins, bagels, pretzels, garlic bread ( makes great pizza crust) and dinner rolls than sandwich bread. We just haven't found a good slicing bread recipe. I think it's the pan- longer and leaner. I like bread made with white wheat (TJ"s, King Soopers) It's softer.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 02:34:25 PM by Lkxe »

FiguringItOut

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2015, 03:08:22 PM »
@DCJrMustachian Where do you get a pound of yeast for $2.99?  That is the price not heard of in my neck of the woods.
Big box stores like Costco or Smart and Final (maybe Sams?)  Here in California, it used to be $3 for 2lb, now it's closer to $5 for 2 lb.

http://www2.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10178379&whse=BD_115&topnav=bd

I live in an urban area without any big-box discount stores, and live alone so I usually shop at Trader Joes or buy fancier ingredients in smaller quantities at the Whole Foods across the street.  But I have bought some staples in bulk online and in the process found a good website, from where I derived the above prices: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/48621/baking-ingredients.html

@mm1970 Thank you so much for the link to webstaurantstore.  I already ordered yeast from them. 

My local BJ's has a 1lb jar of east for $8.99.  Local grocery stores only carry those small foil packets for absurd amount of money.

Thanks again.

Little Nell

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2015, 07:28:46 PM »
i buy bulk baking yeast at the local alternative grocery.
Much cheaper than the little packets.

Gerard

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2015, 07:56:06 PM »
The no-knead recipe mentioned up-thread
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?_r=0
is very good, and the long rest and wet dough means you can make it with 100% whole wheat flour (instead of a mix with white flour) and still get something excellent. It uses very little yeast, about a quarter teaspoon, which makes the cost of yeast almost irrelevant. I've been making a loaf for about 55 cents up here in expensive Canada. I tweak the recipe by proofing the yeast in a little sugar and water first, and by skipping the second rise (I just use a dampened rubber spatula to scrape the wet dough into the preheated pan). I make the dough in the late evening, and bake it when I come home at dinnertime the next day.

Elderwood17

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2015, 08:03:12 PM »
We discovered the Dollar Store near us sells the exact same whole wheat bread for a dollar a loaf with the exact same expiration dae as is sold at the grocery store in the same complex!  The grocery store charges $2.69.   We cannot figure it out.  The only issue is the supply is sporadic so we tend to buy two at a time and stick one on the freezer.

DCJrMustachian

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2015, 01:02:10 AM »
Yes my recipe will work in a loaf pan although you may need to cook a few mins longer.  Also instead of making sandwich bread for slicing, once you are making it yourself you may want to think about making rolls instead of loaves, as they don't get stale on the sliced end and taste better with a sandwich.

FYI you make pizza the same way!

PEIslander

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2015, 03:34:39 AM »
Does anyone have a 220v Kill-O-Watt meter and can tell us how much energy is used to bake a loaf of bread in a conventional electric oven?

Where I live we have very high electrical rates and so the cost of baking is not negligible. Ingredients bought at my local grocery store cost me more than replies in this thread  suggests.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Cost of baking whole wheat bread
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2015, 08:02:46 AM »
Answering the apple sauce question. I made 35L last fall in a day. I used crab apples from my tree and some sugar. I boiled the apples and canned the juice from the pot as well, delicious cider. Overall it's really easy.

If you can get free or really cheap apples then it's worth it. I wouldn't buy regular apples to make sauce.