Is it cheaper to bake your own bread?

The obvious reason for baking your bread is to cut down on the cost of buying bread daily from the store. But again, baking requires you to have the skill to make delicious bread and perfecting this skill might take some time. It improves with practice and routine.

In this article, we will break down the cost of buying all the ingredients and compare it to the cost of buying bread daily. We will also list some of the benefits of baking your bread at home other than the cost.

Costs of Baking Your Bread at Home

Here is a breakdown of the cost of buying ingredients for a whole wheat bread recipe. The prices may vary across some states. Prices are according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ingredients                                                     

  • Whole wheat flour; 3 ½ cups. The cost of buying a 5-pound bag is $2.99, so this translates to $0.78 for 3 ½ cups.
  • Wheat bran; ½ cup. The price of one pound of wheat bran is $1.28, ½ cup will cost $0.08
  • Honey; ¼ cup. A 5-pound jar o honey costs $11.99 making ¼ cup cost $0.41
  • Unsalted butter; 3 tablespoons. A pound of butter costs $1.99, so 3 tablespoons will cost $0.19
  • Wheat Gluten; 2 tablespoons. A pound of wheat gluten goes for $5.46, making the cost of 2 tablespoons $0.26
  • Yeast; 4 tablespoons. A pound of yeast costs $4.59 making the cost of 4 tablespoons to be $0.19
  • Salt; 1 teaspoon. It costs about $0.01

If you add the total costs of the ingredients, it will be $1.92. This whole wheat bread recipe produces two loaves of bread. If you factor in the cost of running an oven for an hour and half, it will cost you approximately $0.26 in energy bills.

Electricity costs about 10 cents per Kilowatt hour. Top of the line bread machines consume about 2600 watts an hour making the cost to be $0.26. So, the exact price for making two loaves of whole wheat bread is about $2.04.that makes it $1.02 per loaf of whole wheat bread. Let’s compare it with the cost of buying bread at the store.

Cost of Buying Bread at the Store

If you visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, you’ll find the cost of buying white bread to be $1.30 and the cost of buying whole wheat bread to be around $2.

Pricier breads like the sourdough bread and the cinnamon-raisin bread will cost you around $4.

When you compare the cost of our homemade whole wheat bread to the cost of buying it from the store, it costs a dollar less per loaf. It’s about half the price. The point is, making your bread at home is cheaper compared to buying bread from the store.

Other Benefits to Making your own bread at home, apart From the Lower Cost

There are other benefits of baking your bread other than being cheap. Here is a list of some benefits;

Custom Recipe

One advantage of baking your homemade bread is that you can add or remove any ingredient. For those who follow a strict diet like vegans, you can add healthier ingredients to your recipe and omit milk-based ingredients like butter and cheese from the recipe.

Those who watch their calorie intake can do away with refined sugar and add lard to their recipe. Other people require a special diet like Gluten-free bread, which is hard to find in some stores due to low demand. Some researchers found that the cost of baking your homemade Gluten-free bread costs 30-60% less than buying Gluten-free bread from the store.

You can find a breakdown of the costs in this website link.

Gluten-free bread usually goes for $8-10 per loaf. You are better off making your Gluten-free bread as most bread machines come with a Gluten-free setting in their program.

Better Taste

You have the option of adding different flavors to your bread like fruit and nuts, butter, chocolate, and even vanilla. Some bakers will add healthier ingredients like pumpkin, flax seeds, honey and the rest. One advantage of baking your bread is that you allow the yeast to fully develop when leaving the dough to rise, resulting in bread with a better flavor.

Cook In Batches

The loaves of bread in your local store might not be freshly baked; some may be stale from overstaying in the shelves. Baking your bread ensures that you consume fresh bread daily at minimal costs. If you cook in batches, your family will never run out of fresh bread supply. No bread goes to waste as you can freeze excess bread for later use. Refrigerated homemade bread tastes better than the mass-produced bread in your local store.

What If You Can’t Afford A Bread Machine?

You can use a slow cooker if you can’t afford a bread machine since they are cheap. They can cook up to temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit which is good for baking bread.

The only setback is that you have to knead and mix all the ingredients yourself. Plus the slow cooker is not as fast as the bread machine, but what choice do you have?

It takes about 2 hours to bake bread on a slow cooker according to this website. After some online research, we came across this cookbook called “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” This cookbook advises bakers to adopt the no-knead bread method which involves kneading a large batch of dough and freezing it.

You only remove the size of dough you wish to bake per day and leaving the rest. It’s a good method for those who wish to bake bread in a hurry or those who have a busy schedule. In the cookbook (Link attached) you can find some recipes that don’t require you to use a bread machine.

Bottom Line

These facts and figures we’ve discussed throughout this article show that baking your bread is cheaper than buying bread from the store. Plus you can customize the recipe to add more ingredients for delicious bread. Subscribe to our blog to get more articles about baking.

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