Author Topic: Is it cheaper to make your own bread  (Read 2282 times)

hgjjgkj

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Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« on: June 19, 2019, 09:54:06 PM »
Anyone had any luck with this? I read a lot of mixed opinions online pertaining to whether or not it is actually cheaper to make your own

seemsright

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2019, 10:08:38 PM »
Have you seen the cost of a loaf of bread? I spent $1.68 on a the cheap bread that has milk in it for the husband. The bread I bought that does not have milk in it (I am HIGHLY allergic to dairy) was $3.79 for a small loaf.

Yes it is cheaper to make your own bread. Making bread is a art and I have spent a very long time learning how to make bread. If I buy flour, yeast and salt in massive bulk I can make a loaf of bread for under $.50 including the energy costs to bake the bread.

It is coming up with the time to bake bread every day or so. We find that the fresh bread just goes stale so fast.

The one thing I am able to do is make scratch english muffins that stay okay. We freeze half and I only have to make those a couple times a month. We use them for breakfast sandwiches.

Syonyk

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2019, 10:38:42 PM »
Can I make bread cheaper than I can buy cheap bread from the store?

I don't think so.

Can I make bread cheaper than anything remotely comparable in quality from the store?

Yes.

Is the bread I make free from all the nonsense that means store bought bread doesn't mold for weeks, when home made bread molds in a few days?

Yes.

Is home made bread, straight out of the bread machine, with a nice bit of butter melted into the warm bread that only barely holds up to the knife, radically better than anything store bought?

Also yes.

kei te pai

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2019, 11:29:53 PM »
I make a delicious sourdough for about a quarter the price of a comparable artisan loaf. I bake once a week or so. One small loaf gets eaten on baking day, and the day after. The rest is sliced and frozen in 4-6 piece packets.

Imma

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2019, 12:38:32 AM »
Baking from scratch is usually not cheaper than the very cheapest store bought option, but is cheaper than the option comparable in quality, especially if you can access a wholesale store and buy ingredients in bulk. Start off with smaller quantities though - baking bread sounds (and is!) fun but find out if you still enjoy it one month in. I am just too busy to bake bread all the time (I don't use a machine so kneading takes time) but it's one of the things I will certainly do much more often when I'm FIREd.

Knapptyme

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2019, 04:31:01 AM »
Can I make bread cheaper than I can buy cheap bread from the store?

I don't think so.

Can I make bread cheaper than anything remotely comparable in quality from the store?

Yes.

Is the bread I make free from all the nonsense that means store bought bread doesn't mold for weeks, when home made bread molds in a few days?

Yes.

Is home made bread, straight out of the bread machine, with a nice bit of butter melted into the warm bread that only barely holds up to the knife, radically better than anything store bought?

Also yes.
My wife makes sourdough bread weekly. It's fantastic and inexpensive and healthy, but I'll add one more...

Is leaning a useful skill more valuable compared to just finding the cheapest solution?

Yes.

nereo

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2019, 05:44:30 AM »
There was a thread on this ages ago, but I can't seem to dig it up.

Short answer, yes, provided you don't account for your labor.  Basic bread has four ingredients - flour, water, salt and yeast.
Per loaf:
  • Flour (250 grams): 44˘
  • Water (180-200 grams):  < 1˘
  • Salt (15 grams): <1˘
  • Yeast (15 grams): 11˘
Total ingredient cost: ~55˘ - (see below)

Electricity depends on whether you are currently heating your home or not and what your electricity rates are.  If you are the heat from a typical oven merely reduces your heating bill by a equivalent amount. If not, running an oven for an hour uses roughly 2-3kw.  Depending on your electricity rates that adds another 10˘-30˘ to your total cost for 45 minutes of use.  Obviously if you bake two loaves simultaneously it cuts useage in half.  If you are also running the a/c, well, that's going to more than double your electricity cost as it will force your air conditioner to run longer. 

Ingredient cost based on typical grocery store prices for bulk items near me (e.g. a 10lb sack of good bread flour from King Arthur costs $8). Tap water runs < 2˘/gallon (~0.01˘ for 200mL) You can get even lower costs if you are buying at CostCo or Aldi's (e.g. a 25lb sack of flour costs about as much at CostCo as a 10lb bag does at my local Co-op, cutting the per-loaf cost roughly in half.)

If you use natural starter you can eliminate the yeast cost entirely and improve flavor for a modest bump in flour.  of course you can also add all sorts of other things to bread - nuts and oats and fruit milk and eggs and stuff, which will add considerably cost, but IME it still won't push the cost-per-loaf above $1.50, far below what I can by 'artisan' loaves for of equal quality.

Labor.  Of course if you calculate  an hourly-wage  for yourself this all goes out the window.  Even at federal minimum wage ($7.25/hr) baking a loaf might add $3 to the total cost given the active time it takes to mix, bake and clean up from making a loaf of bread (roughly 15-20 minutes).  Again, less if you bake multiple loaves at a time.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 05:53:02 AM by nereo »

mistymoney

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2019, 06:16:13 AM »
when I first started making bread - the cost of those little packs of yeast was practically the cost of a loaf abread (aside from the cheapo wonderbread type stuff).

So I gave up - until I found the 2 pound pack of yeast at costco for like 5-10 dollars. then it is a good deal.

herbgeek

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2019, 06:18:55 AM »
When I do make bread, I use a no knead method with very little yeast ( 1 gram).  Very little work, just time (about 18 hrs rising).  The only work is in the original mixing with a spoon (2-3 minutes to gather the ingredients and stir) and the final shaping (maybe a couple of minutes).  If you bake it in a dutch oven, you get that nice crispy bakery crust,  but if you don't, you can still get it somewhat crispy by spraying with water every 2 minutes - 3 times, baking it, then turning the oven off and letting it sit in the oven an additional 5 minutes.

Its a good skill to have, everyone is impressed with homemade bread, and bread is a cheap base for appetizers (crostini, oil dips) and leftovers make a good bread salad (panzanella).  Also really good with soup as a cheap and filling meal.

FindingFI

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2019, 06:23:15 AM »
When I do make bread, I use a no knead method with very little yeast ( 1 gram).  Very little work, just time (about 18 hrs rising).  The only work is in the original mixing with a spoon (2-3 minutes to gather the ingredients and stir) and the final shaping (maybe a couple of minutes).  If you bake it in a dutch oven, you get that nice crispy bakery crust,  but if you don't, you can still get it somewhat crispy by spraying with water every 2 minutes - 3 times, baking it, then turning the oven off and letting it sit in the oven an additional 5 minutes.

Its a good skill to have, everyone is impressed with homemade bread, and bread is a cheap base for appetizers (crostini, oil dips) and leftovers make a good bread salad (panzanella).  Also really good with soup as a cheap and filling meal.

Another one for the no-knead method. I have no experience in traditional bread making, but this recipes comes out great every time and takes little to no time and effort on my part, just some planning ahead to make sure it has enough time to rise.
https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-noknead-bread-home-109343

hgjjgkj

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2019, 06:35:11 AM »
when I first started making bread - the cost of those little packs of yeast was practically the cost of a loaf abread (aside from the cheapo wonderbread type stuff).

So I gave up - until I found the 2 pound pack of yeast at costco for like 5-10 dollars. then it is a good deal.

Does yeast have a long shelf life? If buying in bulk seems like it could go dead?

How long does homeade bread last? I would be looking to use it for PBJ sandwiches that i make on Sunday and eat throughout the week?

Sugaree

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2019, 06:35:38 AM »
I can make bread for much cheaper per loaf than I can buy it.  However, fresh baked bread lasts about 2.5 seconds in my house so we would go through a whole lot more of it.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2019, 07:04:18 AM »
Definitely cheaper than the good stuff. I bake a batch of two loaves of whole wheat every couple of weeks, slice to up and store in the freezer, where it keeps indefinitely. Thaw a slice or two st a time in the microwave or toaster. Takes about 15 minutes of hands-on time.

I started doing this years ago when I got frustrated with the quality of store-bought whole wheat bread.

Ingredients: ~7 cups whole wheat flour, 2-1/4 tsp dry yeast, 2-1/2 cups water, 1/2 T salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 T oil. I don’t use the top quality organic whatever flour, just the stuff that costs about $3 for a 5-lb bag. Yeast is the loose kind that comes in a jar, about $6; I keep it in the refrigerator, and it lasts for months.

hgjjgkj

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2019, 07:17:23 AM »
Definitely cheaper than the good stuff. I bake a batch of two loaves of whole wheat every couple of weeks, slice to up and store in the freezer, where it keeps indefinitely. Thaw a slice or two st a time in the microwave or toaster. Takes about 15 minutes of hands-on time.

I started doing this years ago when I got frustrated with the quality of store-bought whole wheat bread.

Ingredients: ~7 cups whole wheat flour, 2-1/4 tsp dry yeast, 2-1/2 cups water, 1/2 T salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 T oil. I don’t use the top quality organic whatever flour, just the stuff that costs about $3 for a 5-lb bag. Yeast is the loose kind that comes in a jar, about $6; I keep it in the refrigerator, and it lasts for months.

This is super helpful thanks. Is there any recommended bread makers? Are they all about the same?

crazy jane

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2019, 07:23:46 AM »
I've been making variations of the no knead bread for years. My tip if you want to use the bread for sandwiches is to add 3/4 cup of almond flour. Slicing and freezing as mentioned earlier is something I also recommend.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2019, 07:28:24 AM »
Definitely cheaper than the good stuff. I bake a batch of two loaves of whole wheat every couple of weeks, slice to up and store in the freezer, where it keeps indefinitely. Thaw a slice or two st a time in the microwave or toaster. Takes about 15 minutes of hands-on time.

I started doing this years ago when I got frustrated with the quality of store-bought whole wheat bread.

Ingredients: ~7 cups whole wheat flour, 2-1/4 tsp dry yeast, 2-1/2 cups water, 1/2 T salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 T oil. I don’t use the top quality organic whatever flour, just the stuff that costs about $3 for a 5-lb bag. Yeast is the loose kind that comes in a jar, about $6; I keep it in the refrigerator, and it lasts for months.

This is super helpful thanks. Is there any recommended bread makers? Are they all about the same?

I make this in a bowl with my hands and the dough hook attachment on my hand mixer.

nereo

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2019, 07:35:38 AM »

Does yeast have a long shelf life? If buying in bulk seems like it could go dead?

How long does homeade bread last? I would be looking to use it for PBJ sandwiches that i make on Sunday and eat throughout the week?

Yeast (the instant kind) can be stored in the fridge for a year or more.  Over time it looses some of its 'pop', but that just means you either add a bit more time for rising or you add a bit more yeast.  If you bake with any frequency definitely skip those single-use packets which are one of the biggest markups in all of foodlandia: $2-3 for 21grams of yeast, vs $6 or so for 900 grams.

Homemade bread typically lasts just a few days as it doesn't have the preservatives of many supermarket loafs.  But, there are lots of methods of mixing larger quantities of bread dough and keeping them in the fridge, allowing you to bake a loaf or three every few days.  The '5-minute bread' is one such method.  You can also freeze bread with good results as OzzieandHarriet suggested.

Raenia

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2019, 07:44:08 AM »

Does yeast have a long shelf life? If buying in bulk seems like it could go dead?

How long does homeade bread last? I would be looking to use it for PBJ sandwiches that i make on Sunday and eat throughout the week?

Yeast (the instant kind) can be stored in the fridge for a year or more.  Over time it looses some of its 'pop', but that just means you either add a bit more time for rising or you add a bit more yeast.  If you bake with any frequency definitely skip those single-use packets which are one of the biggest markups in all of foodlandia: $2-3 for 21grams of yeast, vs $6 or so for 900 grams.

Homemade bread typically lasts just a few days as it doesn't have the preservatives of many supermarket loafs.  But, there are lots of methods of mixing larger quantities of bread dough and keeping them in the fridge, allowing you to bake a loaf or three every few days.  The '5-minute bread' is one such method.  You can also freeze bread with good results as OzzieandHarriet suggested.

+1  Yeast can also be stored in the freezer, just give it a bit longer to 'proof' before adding to the dough.  I bought a 2 lb package of yeast 2-3 years ago, and it's still going strong.

Freezing the finished loaf also works quite well.  Most of the time, I'll make a recipe for 2 loaves, and freeze one.  Depending on the recipe, you may notice a slight change in texture after freezing - my husband prefers to toast bread that's been frozen.  I don't notice as much difference.

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2019, 07:52:24 AM »
when I first started making bread - the cost of those little packs of yeast was practically the cost of a loaf abread (aside from the cheapo wonderbread type stuff).

So I gave up - until I found the 2 pound pack of yeast at costco for like 5-10 dollars. then it is a good deal.

But yeast can be reused many times, by making a dough mother. Every time you make bread, just leave a bit of dough out and feed it new flour (and water). And bake bread very regularly.

NV Teacher

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2019, 11:25:22 AM »
Mom made four loaves of bread five days a week growing up.  She was cooking for 10 of us and we had bread at every meal.  Dad would get flour by the half ton from the mill every few years for cheap.  Saved a bunch of money.

freeat57

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2019, 11:34:34 AM »
I've been baking my own bread for years now.  It is so vastly superior to most factory made bread that it is hard to go back.  My go to recipe is whole wheat and flax meal.  Sometimes I add in other flours, grains, or sourdough starter for variety.  I do use a bread machine.  It takes only about 10 minutes to set up and 3 hrs later, there is a beautiful loaf on the cooling rack.  Once you learn the "art" of your bread machine, it is fool proof. 
That said, the best place to get a great bread machine is at a thrift store.  Many people are idiots and think that one can just throw the ingredients in, press the button and walk away the very first time they use it.  They use the machine once or twice producing a door stop or gooey mess and then give the machine to a thrift store thinking it doesn't work.  Then I walk in and buy a practically new, excellent appliance for $5! I have two machines.  One is a Welbilt (great basic machine) and the other is a Zojirushi (programmable, all the bells and whistles, sold for $200 new).  I found the Zojirushi at Salvation Army.  It had hardly been touched, probably used only once!

Linea_Norway

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2019, 11:45:38 AM »
I've been baking my own bread for years now.  It is so vastly superior to most factory made bread that it is hard to go back.  My go to recipe is whole wheat and flax meal.  Sometimes I add in other flours, grains, or sourdough starter for variety.  I do use a bread machine.  It takes only about 10 minutes to set up and 3 hrs later, there is a beautiful loaf on the cooling rack.  Once you learn the "art" of your bread machine, it is fool proof. 
That said, the best place to get a great bread machine is at a thrift store.  Many people are idiots and think that one can just throw the ingredients in, press the button and walk away the very first time they use it.  They use the machine once or twice producing a door stop or gooey mess and then give the machine to a thrift store thinking it doesn't work.  Then I walk in and buy a practically new, excellent appliance for $5! I have two machines.  One is a Welbilt (great basic machine) and the other is a Zojirushi (programmable, all the bells and whistles, sold for $200 new).  I found the Zojirushi at Salvation Army.  It had hardly been touched, probably used only once!

That was my plan some years ago. But DH objected against having such a big machine standing in the way, if I don't use it often enough. But I think that after FIRE, I should get one used and use it often.

thesis

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2019, 12:05:27 PM »
Yeah, the savings can be marginal unless you are making the bread for a family. However, I get serious heartburn from the cheapest loaves at the grocery store, so I end up buying the nicer loaves that are $3-4, which does add up. Either way, I like the idea of having bread without the extra chemicals and for cheaper, the best and almost only way to do that is to make the loaves yourself.

As mentioned above, check thrift stores. There's almost always one or two there. The first one I bought was a bust (circuit board issue), but the second one has been very good so far. Note the pans usually make weirdly shaped loaves, but most will have a knead setting after which you can place the dough in a normal-sized bread  pan and cook in the oven. It does take a little finesse, you can't simply dump the ingredients in, but you can get pretty close. I've had two loaves turn out decently well. Though seriously, why can't they just make a bread machine that produces your standard, long, 4" wide loaf? I would seriously consider paying top dollar for that, but nothing that I've seen does that. There are worse things to spend money on. If you are actively going to use it, it could be worth the money, but definitely check the thrift store, first. You might get lucky and snag a really nice one for $5-15.

freeat57

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2019, 02:20:13 PM »
It does take a little finesse, you can't simply dump the ingredients in, but you can get pretty close. I've had two loaves turn out decently well. Though seriously, why can't they just make a bread machine that produces your standard, long, 4" wide loaf? I would seriously consider paying top dollar for that, but nothing that I've seen does that. There are worse things to spend money on. If you are actively going to use it, it could be worth the money, but definitely check the thrift store, first. You might get lucky and snag a really nice one for $5-15.
Some machines do make a standard horizontal loaf.  Typically that requires two kneading paddles rather than one and,thus, adds complexity and expense to the machine.  The $200 Zojirushi I mentioned is such a machine.  One solution for the vertical loaf is to take the first two or three slices from the bottom of the loaf.  Then, when you turn the loaf upright and slice, the slices will be "normal" size with no crust on the bottom.  That first crusty bottom slice makes great toast!

kimmarg

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2019, 02:39:05 PM »
Definitely cheaper than the good stuff. I bake a batch of two loaves of whole wheat every couple of weeks, slice to up and store in the freezer, where it keeps indefinitely. Thaw a slice or two st a time in the microwave or toaster. Takes about 15 minutes of hands-on time.

I started doing this years ago when I got frustrated with the quality of store-bought whole wheat bread.

Ingredients: ~7 cups whole wheat flour, 2-1/4 tsp dry yeast, 2-1/2 cups water, 1/2 T salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 T oil. I don’t use the top quality organic whatever flour, just the stuff that costs about $3 for a 5-lb bag. Yeast is the loose kind that comes in a jar, about $6; I keep it in the refrigerator, and it lasts for months.

This is super helpful thanks. Is there any recommended bread makers? Are they all about the same?

I would start with your hands and/or a stand mixer for making bread. Bread machines are very expensive and make weird shaped loaves.

They key to making bread is to piggy back it on other stuff you're doing. It takes about 3 hours BUT most of that is not active. So if I start the dough when I get home from work I can have it done by bedtime in mostly passive waiting for rises, etc

thesis

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2019, 06:55:54 AM »
Some machines do make a standard horizontal loaf.  Typically that requires two kneading paddles rather than one and,thus, adds complexity and expense to the machine.  The $200 Zojirushi I mentioned is such a machine.  One solution for the vertical loaf is to take the first two or three slices from the bottom of the loaf.  Then, when you turn the loaf upright and slice, the slices will be "normal" size with no crust on the bottom.  That first crusty bottom slice makes great toast!

There are a few machines that are horizontal, but they are still wider than the regular loaves at the store, by about one inch. Regular loaves are about 4" wide, while wider loaves, also to be found in stores, are about 5" wide. I never buy those because they have rectangular slices, which is weird as heck to me.

I did actually get a lucky find on a more vertical machine, which saves space and the loaf can be sliced to at least produce square slices :). But they be more like 5" slices.... Picky, I know, bit I'm also a bit of a calorie counter and do not need more than two 4" square slices for a sandwich, and it leaves way too much bread for what I put on the sandwiches, like cheese slices :/. (first world problems...) Why can't they just make a freaking smaller loaf??? But I am going to try the knead feature with a bread pan in the oven, I think the <$10 I paid for this machine is still totally worth it. 5" slices of homemade bread are still delicious

katethekitcat

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2019, 07:13:20 AM »
There's also a hugely satisfying emotional component to making your own bread (or at least using a bread machine like we do). I love that one of my "chores" is to make a loaf of bread each weekend - since we do use the machine, it's never more than 15 minutes, but it brings me a lot of satisfaction. It's also one less plastic bag (that the loaf would have come in) floating in the world.

GuitarStv

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2019, 07:18:20 AM »
You don't need much to make bread.  A sourdough starter is free (requires a few pennies of water/flour).  Mix that with a few more cents of flour, water, and salt.  I think the biggest cost will be in turning the oven on, but that's not exactly a crippling expense either.

Home made bread is ridiculously more awesome than your typical wonder bread shaped object.

Ynari

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2019, 08:16:46 AM »
If you can, use a kitchen scale to weigh ingredients rather than measure. I had an eternal problem with dry dough - for some reason or another (humidity? length of storage? flour companies hate me?), my flour always packed tighter than recipes suggest, even when I sift the flour. (That's even after I figured out to sift the flour...)  A kitchen scale has been a game changer. No sifting, no guessing, no "how do I add water to this dry dough???"

I love King Arthur Flour recipes - this is the one I'm making today (you can select whether you want the ingredients by volume or weight).  They also have technique blogs, which is where I learned how to bake in a cast iron dutch oven for a better rise/crust.

Making sourdough starter from scratch isn't hard, but takes patience and care. Ask around to see if anyone you know makes sourdough before you try it yourself. I don't usually maintain a starter because I tend to operate in waves (a month of sourdough frenzy, followed by 3 months of "what is bread? I don't eat bread, really"). I have a gingerbug started in the fridge from, what, January? Made the starter, made on gingerale, and then forgot entirely about it. So I tend to do "lazy sourdough" where you have a poolish (a portion of the ingredients that you start up the night before) to get the kind of bread I like.

I've made bread with bread machines, stand mixers, or just my hands. Bread machines are overrated - using your hands is awesome because dough feels like soft baby butts and it's a joy. Stand mixers make it easier, and also allow for different types of bakes (ciabatta without a stand mixer is hell.)

It's ultimately a hobby. Would not recommend it if cost savings is your only goal. But it's worth a shot to see if you like it. It's one of those "it's a science but also an art" things that can be really satisfying. Plus, that soft baby butt thing.

Rosy

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2019, 08:36:16 AM »
When I do make bread, I use a no knead method with very little yeast ( 1 gram).  Very little work, just time (about 18 hrs rising).  The only work is in the original mixing with a spoon (2-3 minutes to gather the ingredients and stir) and the final shaping (maybe a couple of minutes).  If you bake it in a dutch oven, you get that nice crispy bakery crust,  but if you don't, you can still get it somewhat crispy by spraying with water every 2 minutes - 3 times, baking it, then turning the oven off and letting it sit in the oven an additional 5 minutes.

Its a good skill to have, everyone is impressed with homemade bread, and bread is a cheap base for appetizers (crostini, oil dips) and leftovers make a good bread salad (panzanella).  Also really good with soup as a cheap and filling meal.



Another one for the no-knead method. I have no experience in traditional bread making, but this recipes comes out great every time and takes little to no time and effort on my part, just some planning ahead to make sure it has enough time to rise.
https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-noknead-bread-home-109343

THANK YOU - best instructions ever:).
What I like best is that you can make it early in the morning, let rise for 8 hrs instead of overnight. Then shape and let sit for another hour in the late afternoon, while you prep supper and heat your oven and your dutch oven.
You can time it to bake while you finish supper - brilliant:)

Definitely trying this over the weekend.

LifePhaseTwo

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2019, 03:41:42 PM »
Can I make bread cheaper than I can buy cheap bread from the store?

I don't think so.

Can I make bread cheaper than anything remotely comparable in quality from the store?

Yes.

Is the bread I make free from all the nonsense that means store bought bread doesn't mold for weeks, when home made bread molds in a few days?

Yes.

Is home made bread, straight out of the bread machine, with a nice bit of butter melted into the warm bread that only barely holds up to the knife, radically better than anything store bought?

Also yes.

+1   Since FIRE 7 months ago, I rarely buy bread from the store. I love the bread I make myself, especially the caraway rye loaf that’s a weekly staple in our house.

chemistk

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2019, 09:08:04 AM »
Eventually, my wife and plan on making our own bread. Eventually.

My mom did it for a few years when we were in elementary/middle school. Many times, life would get in the way and she'd have no time to make the usual loaf so then she had to spend some of her precious free time playing catch-up (making and freezing a couple loaves).

She gave it up for the very reason we don't do it at the moment - there is just not enough time in the day to make the amount of bread we need. Plus, one of us is essentially on a diabetic diet so the low carb bread from the store is much easier than trying a homemade version.

Luckily for us, our store will have a few dozen loaves on 'Manager's Special' (expiring today) in the mornings. So we can get the good stuff for usually 60-80% off. We'll get a bunch of those and freeze them.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2019, 01:00:07 PM »
I sometimes bake bread by hand. After many years and failing and trying I can now make a decent kneaded bread, on a good day. I also often make pizza dough for home made pizza. But making bread is too much trouble when working. I am looking foreward to FIREing. And I will try the no kneading bread, as I'm very curious about it. Maybe in the summer vacation some time. I will make a healthy bread though, not with only white flower.

remizidae

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2019, 01:30:49 PM »

Is the bread I make free from all the nonsense that means store bought bread doesn't mold for weeks, when home made bread molds in a few days?


Wait, you think mold is a good thing? I hate having to throw away entire loaves because they mold after a few days. Bring on the preservatives!

nereo

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2019, 01:47:56 PM »

Is the bread I make free from all the nonsense that means store bought bread doesn't mold for weeks, when home made bread molds in a few days?


Wait, you think mold is a good thing? I hate having to throw away entire loaves because they mold after a few days. Bring on the preservatives!

Who let's a great loaf of bread go uneaten for several days?
If you've got leftover bread you aren't going to eat, just freeze it.  But seriously, our problem has always been that freshly baked bread disappears within hours.

Syonyk

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2019, 02:02:22 PM »
Wait, you think mold is a good thing? I hate having to throw away entire loaves because they mold after a few days. Bring on the preservatives!

Yeah.  I do.  I know what goes into our bread machine.  The bread will start molding in a few days if we don't eat it (which, as has been noted by numerous other people, just isn't a real problem with home made bread for some reason).  You can leave a loaf of store bread in the same exact conditions for a few weeks before it starts getting moldy.  All the stuff that's preventing mold is can be described fairly accurately as "toxins you're ingesting."  We consume enough of that stuff anyway, so I'd rather not consume that much more of it.

If you're not eating that much bread, it's probably fine.

aetheldrea

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2019, 05:45:50 PM »
Many years ago I was digging in the back of the pantry and found a single hamburger bun still in its plastic bag. Instantly got that sinking feeling in my stomach when you don’t know what you are going to see because I KNEW it had been months since I had fired up the grill when we had last had hamburgers. Like more than 4 months. Gingerly I picked up the bag... and it looked okay. Opened it up and took a sniff and it smelled... delicious.
So I ate it. Wasn’t even stale. That’s some powerful preservatives there.

Imma

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2019, 12:11:31 AM »
Wow, I have no idea what's in American bread but over here in Europe store bought bread still gets mouldy and stale after a few days! Even the cheapest €1 loafs. I haven't tried it but I know a lot of home bakers add a bit of vitamin C to bread as a natural preservative.

jacksonvasey

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2019, 09:57:52 AM »
Have you seen the cost of a loaf of bread? I spent $1.68 on a the cheap bread that has milk in it for the husband. The bread I bought that does not have milk in it (I am HIGHLY allergic to dairy) was $3.79 for a small loaf.

Yes it is cheaper to make your own bread. Making bread is a art and I have spent a very long time learning how to make bread. If I buy flour, yeast and salt in massive bulk I can make a loaf of bread for under $.50 including the energy costs to bake the bread.

It is coming up with the time to bake bread every day or so. We find that the fresh bread just goes stale so fast.

The one thing I am able to do is make scratch english muffins that stay okay. We freeze half and I only have to make those a couple times a month. We use them for breakfast sandwiches.

I bought a can of dough conditioner last year and it makes a huge difference in the longevity of bread I bake.  It's basically just soy flour mixed with a few other starches and maybe xanthan gum.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Is it cheaper to make your own bread
« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2019, 06:54:12 AM »
Making bread while working is easy. I make a sourdough before going to bed. The next morning the first proofing is done and I do the shaping and folding routine while making breakfast etc. Then leave to proof second timen. When I get home I bake it.

I bake the staples myself and I also occationaly buy leftovers from a local baker at 1/3 the regular price for added variety. We don't eat much bread so I always slice and freeze. Freezing is by far the best way to extend the life of bread - after a quick defrost in the toaster (if in a hurry) or on the countertop its almost as good as freshly baked and MUCH better than something that has been sitting for a few days.

As I do enjoy quality produce its way cheaper than buying from an artisan baker. The stuff you get at a regular store is borderline inedible in my opinion.

Just look at the ingredients list: Bread is flour, water and salt. Maybe some butter/oil or milk for certain types. Or grains/nuts/etc if fits the style. Nothing else. Its one of the simplest products there is to make and frankly there isn't much mystery even to making artisan bread. One of the key ingredients is time. Lots of it. Not labor time but proofing time.

There is zero need to have preservatives in a loaf of bread. Just freeze it instead.