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Is it worth the time and expense to make homemade bread rather than buying it from the store?

My homemade whole wheat bread

It's Frugal Friday time over at Crystal's blog, and I thought I'd participate this week by answering a question someone recently asked:

I know you make your own bread and I did too for a while. But I make white bread. When I tried making wheat bread it was heavy and dry. With summer here I have been buying it. I think it is a good deal at $.75 a loaf for white & $.99 for grain.

Do you think it is even worth me making bread at this cost?

Short answer: Only you can decide if the time, expense, and health benefits of homemade bread is worth it to you!

Every home runs a little differently. One person might care more about the cost upfront, and choose to buy their bread. Another person might have special equipment that makes homemade bread very quick and easy -- and so it is worth it to them.

Others feel so passionately about consuming only the healthiest bread, and feel that the health benefits far outweigh the other factors. And some families don't eat much bread, so it's not really a big deal. Or the husband/father prefers bread from the store.

Several times recently I've been asked to sell a loaf of my homemade wheat bread (this is the bread we normally consume). In order to come up with a price, I decided to figure out what each loaf was costing in ingredients.

Cost analysis of my homemade 100% whole wheat bread (per loaf):

1 cup filtered water = $0.01
2 tablespoons oil = $0.06
1 teaspoon salt = $0.01
2 tablespoons raw honey = $0.20
1 tablespoon milk = $0.02
2 tablespoons dark brown cane sugar = $0.04
3 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (about 1 pound of grain) = $0.58
2 teaspoons yeast = $0.08

Cost per loaf: $1.00 (no, I didn't try to get it to come out even!)

Optional dough conditioners for whole wheat bread (we do add these):

Pinch ginger = $0.01
Pinch citric acid or ascorbic acid = $0.01
1 teaspoon lecithin = $0.05
3 tablespoons gluten flour/vital wheat gluten = $0.30

Final cost for my loaf of bread: $1.37 (minus other considerations such as: butter to grease the pan/dough, fuel for the oven, wear and tear on equipment such as grain mill and bread machine, and additional strain on the air conditioner during hot months)

This does make a very large loaf, comparable in size to the 100% whole wheat loaf that Aldi sells for $1.49 (last time I checked -- a few months ago).

I realize that we are not saving money by making homemade bread -- at least, not compared to what we could spend for the cheapest bread in the grocery store.

I like making bread for taste reasons and for health reasons. Commercial bread has an odd chemical smell to me. One time I tried warming up a few slices of wheat bread (from Aldi) in the oven to go with some soup. The bread was doughy and smelled awful!

And have you ever noticed that loaves of bread from the store just don't mold anymore? Seriously. I have had loaves from Aldi (which has the cheapest price -- the price I compare my bread to) that sat here for three weeks and beyond -- even a month after the expiration date on the bag, the bread still hadn't shown any signs of aging, aside from being slightly dry. But only slightly dry.

And the taste of fresh homemade bread, well, the $1.49 loaves at Aldi just can't compare.

Health reasons -- I won't go into all of those here, but I feel as though my homemade 100% whole wheat bread just as healthy or healthier than any loaves you can buy in the store -- and comparable loaves would cost $4+ each -- if we're comparing taste and quality.

Those of you who make your bread, I'd love to hear your take on this topic! Why do you choose to make homemade bread? Do you eat both homemade and store-bought? Is the time you put into it worth the savings and health benefits -- or do you feel like you're "just breaking even"? :)

Comments

bread

I have been making our bread for many years. I got completely crackers over all the discoveries, tests, making my own yeats etc...
I even asked our family doctor if I was normal!!!
In France it is much cheaper to make your own bread.And the last time I bought bread at Aldi it molded in less then a week, so I suppose it isn't the same!
I make 7 loaves for 2 dollars 22.
I will pay at least 2 dollars for one loaf in the shop.

I would just like to share my organisation to make bread. I don't cook it in the bread machine but I set the machine every second day now that we are only 5 adults at home.
I put everything in the machine in the morning and I don't look at it before I am going to cook it around 2 o'clock in the after noon when my electricity is much cheaper. I then make two loaves that I put in a big crack pot (?) that goes in the oven(with a lid). I can choose to put it in the oven immediatly, or I leave it half an hour to rase and it goes in the oven for 45 mn. I then take of the lid, turn of the oven and leave the loaves to brown a bit longer if needed. It makes my life so much easier, and the bread is light and does not make crumbs ... (sorry for the mistakes!)

Why not Bake?

Why do you not let the bread machine bake the bread? THey do a beautiful job, and you wont have to worry about the cheapest time of the day to use your oven.

Shape and Crust

I prefer not baking in the bread machine because I do not like the shape of the loaf. Also I have found that when you have more direct control over bake times and the option to brush the bread you better crust.

Shape and Crust

I agree: "I prefer not baking in the bread machine because I do not like the shape of the loaf."
The machine does a good job of kneading, but baking in the machine produces too large a slice. The width of the slice cannot be controlled and it cannot fit in my slicer. I make narrow slices to reduce the calories per slice and make the bread last longer.
I prefer homebaked bread because of its texture - store bought bread is usually too soft and "gummy".

Shape and Crust

I love to make my own homemade bread but I do not have a slicer and would love to get one . Could you share where you bought your slicer and is it very expensive?
Thanks for any info , Karen karmel6341@dot com

Bread

At this time I don't have the desire to make my own bread, but I have to agree with you that store-bought bread just doesn't seem to mold anymore. Things in my house seem to mold faster than average, but the loaves of WalMart bread I have bought lately eventually get hard and yet never get moldy.

homemade vs. store bought bread

Taste wise, store bought bread doesn't come close to the wonderful smell and taste of homemade bread. For me, if I had the time I would have nothing but homemade, however with home schooling fastly approaching I appreciate the convenience of buying the bread from the store and leaving homemade bread for special occasions.

I make my own

I started making my own late last year and haven't bought storebought since. The 'healthy' bread I bought at the time was about $2.29 per loaf. I went from looking only at the nutrition facts on the package to the actual ingredient list and decided then and there that bread with high fructose corn syrup and other chemicals, had no place in my home. Plus I could make it for about .50 per loaf. Now with the cost of wheat rising, it comes to just over $1.00 per loaf.

To me the health benefits definitely are worth the extra time (although I do have a bread machine) and hopefully I'll be able to purchase a grain mill at some point to reap even more of the health benefits.

making bread

We make our own bread and even if it ended up costing double what the store charges we will never go back to buying bread. Store bought bread is just gross to us now. We love our sturdy, whole wheat bread with flax seed and wheatberries in it. It did take us awhile to perfect the recipe so it was softer and not so dense. Ours does tend to mold much quicker than storebought, we just divide up the loaf and put it in the freezer and only take out a few pieces every couple of days.

flax and wheatberries?!

Hi,
I agree with still making our own bread even if it cost more. I would LOVE your recipe that includes flax and wheatberries. I really enjoy tammy's recipe, but it would be even better with some added nutrients.
Thanks!
Jenn in Oregon

I chose to make homemade

I chose to make homemade bread after having the same problem that you have had with a sour smelling bread. Homemade bread is so much better tasting, I think. :D
I make all of our bread now including tortillas and even made some homemade wheat pita bread yesterday.

bread

I realise I did not explain that infact Imake two loaves and cook my bread when ever it is convinient for me ... even if it is 12 hours later!

tips

Hey Tammy,

Good post! I have been buying bread lately because of being pregnant and tired all the time, plus the cost of wheat flour has gone up here and I don't have a grain mill to grind my own. I don't have a bread maker either, just a mixer. I had the problem of wheat bread being heavy and not rising very well while I was making it.

I know you've done things like this in the past, but would you consider doing a really detailed post on how you make your bread, with the addition of the ginger etc? Maybe that would help me get back into it!

Thanks!

saremca's picture

I bake most of our bread

Once in a while we will buy a loaf from the store, but it just doesn't taste as good as homemade and it has all kinds of weird ingredients in it (including calcium propionate, a mold inhibitor).

We also try to avoid soy as it is genetically modified and loaded with pesticides. Most, if not all, store-bought loaves are made with soybean oil.

I am almost ready to buy my grain mill, so hopefully our homemade bread will get even better after that.

Homemade Bread

I have a few reasons for making homemade bread.

1) I have a bread machine that makes the process nearly effortless, even when I just use it to make the dough.

2) I usually have the ingredients on hand. So, I can whip up a loaf of bread when I see a need instead of running to the store. I save money on gas that way.

3) The fact that store bought bread doesn't get old anymore kind of weirds me out.

4) I LOVE the smell. It makes my home smell so "homey".

5) Kneading bread dough is therapeutic.

6) I've spoiled my husband and he doesn't want store bought bread anymore. ;-)

I love this comment...I

I love this comment...I agree with every point! Don't think there could be better reasons for making bread!

Bread...To Make or Not To Make? That is the question.

I'm a newbie here and to baking in general. I have always enjoyed baking, but only did it as a treat. I have recently,(due in part to Tammy's easy recipes) started baking bread and well, all kinds of stuff. I've been really concerned about what I'm feeding my family. I thought, "who has time to bake bread?". It is REALLY NOT hard or too time consuming. I don't have a bread machine, but a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with a dough hook that works great. I don't think it's saving money right now, because I've not yet bought my ingredients in bulk, but I know exactly what's in it, instead of a bunch of funny words I can't even pronounce. That is worth the cost to me. I do agree it would be helpful to have a tutorial on how you use conditioners for your wheat bread. I also need to know where to buy that stuff.

I do both....

I just listen to the wisdom of my father, "don't trust it if it does not rot"

I wish I had more time to make all of our bread. I have noticed that store bought bread does not mold. It makes me wonder why? What is in there? LOL... I want to get a bread Machine, I never thought I would want one... but I have fallen in love with my crockpot, the idea of walking in the house after a long day at work and having a meal and freash bread waiting for me... WOW!
I try to make everything we eat from scratch, I have caved on certain items. Frozen and canned veggies from the store, for example ( the prices at the farmers markets around here have been extremly high this year !)

an observation,
We have these things here at work, I don't know if anyone else has seen them, but they are called Mini MOO's. They are the litle creamers that you put in your coffee... well you do not have to refridgerate them. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KEEP A DAIRY PRODUCT COLD? What is in there? I don't use them...

have a wonderful weekend!

Sue

Mini MOOs

My guess is that it is not actually dairy. Many Coffeemate creamers (even the bottled ones in the refrigerated section) are non-dairy and can be stored at room-temperature.

bread

There was a time when making your own bread was cheaper.....but with the price of grain these days, not so. Even though the prices are very comparable now, we (I) really prefer to make my own. My family prefers it. It's been a 12 year process for me. When I started it was to see if I could do it. Then we needed it (financially). Now, it's totally for our health and taste! If my family goes more than a day or so eating processed food including bread they start clammering for the "real stuff". We are so accustomed to the heartiness and flavor of whole grains.
I will say that having a top notch grain mill has really improved my baking. Save up and get one! For the 1st ten years I used an attachment that went on my champion juicer. Now I have a dedicated grain mill. My tortillas a fabulosa even though they take more time and effort than picking up a pack for $1.29. Julie- 4sweetsisters.blogspot.com/

Homemade bread

I do make our bread homemade...as you mentioned, cost isn't the issue, quality is! Our family is trying to avoid the preservatives, HFCS, and pesticide-laden grains as much as possible. I need to do a more up-to-date and thorough analysis, but in the past have estimated a cost of approximately $1.50 per loaf, still way less than a comparable loaf of organic, whole-grain bread at the store. We get our organic hard white wheat from a local farmer (also get our beef from him). Yes, I know I could go to a bread outlet store and get bread for less, but for some things, the quality is worth the extra cost.

And another side-note, we don't really eat lots of bread anyway. So I tend to bake several loaves at once and freeze most, then I'm set for a few weeks. So this is not a huge task, either, which helps. If it were hard to do I'd probably be less likely to make bread.

homemade vs. store bought

Did you ever read the back of Aldi's bread wrapper? I don't think there is much nutritional difference between the whole wheat and the white. If you were trying to compare the cost of one of the "designer breads" like Pepperidge Farms or others with more nutritional value,(none of whose brandnames I can remember now. Ah, senility...) anyway I would think Tammy's savings for her healthier breads compared to those would be huge.

I know we make our own fancier breads like pita and pizza doughs, all with Tammy's recipes, of course and the savings there are big.

Thank you for the cost analysis, though, because I did wonder if adding lecithin added a great deal to your cost. Is that used as a preservative or for texture and conditioning?

Definitely Homemade

We make all of our bread, including tortillas, pita bread, hamburger and hot dog buns, etc. We haven't calculated our cost per loaf, but I would guess we're close to or over the cost of store-bought.
Our reasons for making bread:
We do it primarily for the health benefits. All commercial breads I've seen (except for the really expensive kind you find in the health food stores) have long ingredient lists full of words I can't pronounce. You can find 100% whole grain pretty easily, but even that has soybean oil and other questionable ingredients. We have a really good 100% whole wheat recipe, but I believe a loaf of homemade white bread is healthier than most of the wheat breads you find in town.
Also, the quality of homemade bread is so much better than store bought. I agree about the chemically smell - we've likened it to hair spray before!
I really enjoy making bread as well. It's such a satisfying feeling. And it's really not that hard, once you've done it for a while!

Homemade if we can!

I used to cook homemade bread every Sunday when I was in High School. Baking with my family was fun, and you got yummy bread in the end. When I moved away to college I stopped. In fact, it wasn't until 8 years later I was married and on maternity leave I even really considered making it again. I have been making our bread since the beginning of the year and we love it. We have bought store bread (as my husband thinks it makes for better sandwiches) but I feel like it is all air. And lets face it, unless you get the $2.50-3 loaf, it is mostly air. I do it all by hand, and yes it took me a few months of flops to get it perfect, but now I can go to the kitchen and whip up a batch and don't even need the recipe. Sometimes we will even end up eating mostly bread for dinner. Not a balanced meal, but on baking days the smell is too enticing!

Best wheat for making bread

I was not impressed with the homemade wheat bread I made with the wheat flour from the store, which is almost always hard red winter wheat. Once I bought a grain mill and a Bosch mixer, and bought Prairie Gold wheat (which is hard white spring wheat)it made all the difference in the world. The price has doubled since I started buying it, but it is still worth it to me. I make four loaves at a time, and freeze three. Each batch takes 40 minutes of my time. I feel like the nutrition my family receives from fresh ground wheat is far superior than anything else I could buy.

I Mostly Make My Own

For the most part, I make wheat bread for our family of 3. I buy hamburger buns and sandwich rolls. I started making my own when my mom pointed out that most store loaves are sweetened with tons of high fructose corn syrup. The last time I calculated it, the loaves were just under $1.00 to make, and well worth the time if I'm going to be home all day anyway.

I make it

I don't remember the last time I purchased bread... definitely before Christmas. I've been baking it off and on for years, but for nearly a year now I just don't buy it.

You're right about store bread... it's got some crazy stuff in it (preservatives) to make it keep longer. That stuff scares me.

Thanks for doing the cost analysis -- I've been wanting to do that for a while now.

Amy

I make our bread most of the

I make our bread most of the time. It is cost effective because to buy the high quality type of bread I would in the store (you know, the type without nasty preservatives or high fructose corn syrup) would usually cost around $3.50 to $4 a loaf. So it is both a cost and a health thing. That being said, when I'm having busy hard week, I do occassionally buy bread from the store. When I make my homemade bread I add in extra gluten and that makes it not so heavy.

time constraints

I purchase most of our bread at the store. I only make quick breads and the occasional "fun" loaf of yeast bread. While in seminary, prior to employment, I made quite a bit of bread. However, now that I am employed with a young child and preparing to go back to school there just isn't time for everything. We have had to make decisions about what is most important. So, yes, we do dish out the extra money to buy whole grain, ffcs free bread. The bread is pretty good and life is less stressful.

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

We make almost all of our bread for our family of 11 using a 35 year old grain grinder that was handed down to me from my mother and a 15 year old ailing Kitchen Aid Pro Mixer that has made more than it's fair share of bread. A Bosch is on my prayer list.

We only purchase bread when we are out of home made and know that we will not have time to make more for a few days. And when we do purchase bread, I read the labels to make sure there is no high fructose corn syrup in it. That's a feat in and of itself!

We make our own whole wheat biscuits, pancakes, waffles, breads, cookies, sweet breads, rolls, hamburger/hot dog buns, tortillas, pie crusts, etc. IF we're organized and on top of things, we like to soak our batters overnight to reduce the phytates. We have much work to do in this area!

We use Prairie Gold or Golden 86 hard white wheat and occasionally red wheat. We like Spelt as well, but the price makes it prohibitive for us.

I haven't calculated the price difference in a long time but that doesn't matter to me anymore. What we can purchase is far inferior to what we can make. Our family can fly through 1 loaf of very light and unfilling storebought "stone ground whole wheat bread" and not be satisfied. But if we eat 1 loaf of home made stone ground whole wheat bread, we are definitely satisfied.

Home made bread wins hands-down in our family.

Laralee,
http://PlymouthRockRanch.com
Recording the Faithfulness and Provision of God for Future Generations

MUCH cheaper to make from scratch in England!

Here in England, where a minor recession is starting to bite and prices are sky-rocketing, I save nearly £1 ($1.82) every time I bake one loaf:

Price of medium loaf in cheap supermarket: £1.24/ $2.26.

Price of making large loaf by hand: £0.26/ $0.47.

And as that's without even considering the health benefits, or that home-made bread fills us up much more quickly, store buying isn't really a choice!

Tamsin

I know what you mean,

I know what you mean, Tamsin. I live in southwest Scotland. I occasionally buy bread, either Hovis or Kingsmill, when it is on special or if it is reduced and I can throw it in the freezer, but by and large I make my own. I have an elderly Russell Hobbs breadmaker, I make the dough in it and then bake it in the oven as I hate digging the little paddle things out of it, and I think it turns out better. Even with the price of flour (I prefer Hovis wholemeal, and either Tesco or whatever white bread flour) and decent yeast, I think it works out better pricewise, and my family love it. I feel good about doing it, because I know exactly what goes into it, and you can experiment with different combinations.

Smiles

KarlaG

The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make his face shine upon thee; and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:22-26)

I make my bread for two

I make my bread for two reasons:

1. I don't like store bought whole wheat bread. It just tastes weird to me..

2. I read somewhere once that in order to be considered whole wheat it only has to contain a small precentage of wheat, since flour is wheat. Well that made no sense to me!

So now I make my bread. It only takes me a few minutes of labor.

Issues with my bread:(

Thanks for the post, Tammy:)

I would love to make our bread, but I just can't seem to make it work out. I have made countless, awful loaves of bread. Usually the problem is that it tastes and smells like raw yeast after baking.:( I have a mill and all the best ingredients, and yet...

I have literally tried dozens of recipes and combinations of ingredients, but my bread is never edible. I'm feeling a bit defeated right now. I tried again last week and again the loaf was horrible and heavy. Dh joked that it could hold back the British Army.:) Luckily, he is very supportive and encourages me to keep trying. It feels like such a waste of both time and ingredients and as I said, it's making me feel really defeated.

So...right now I'm buying our bread.:)
Joyce

awful bread

It sounds like you are overworking the dough. Try not kneading as long, and your bread will be softer. I did that for years and every time I made bread, pizza dough or anything it turned out as hard as a rock.

Issue with bread

Watch the clock and do a 15 minute knead. It took me a long time to get kneading time right. You have to knead long enough to activate the gluten.

songofjoy02's picture

At this point....

I do store bought. And it all molds, I've discovered. :-P At least here in humid Arkansas it molds. However, it does seem to last longer than homemade bread, so that's actually one of the reasons I buy it. That way, I don't lose half of the bread. :-P I know someday I'll investigate using the dough enhancers you've mentioned on here and maybe that will inspire me to make homemade bread more often, but for now...it just doesn't seem worth it. Also, my husband isn't a super fan of homemade bread for sandwiches (unless it's sub sandwiches or something), and that's about the only use I have for bread. So, unless I'm doing something special for supper (like garlic bread or rolls or biscuits) and have the time to invest in it, all of our bread comes from the store.

Pamela

simplybrandy's picture

Homemade for me. . .

because of taste and pronounceable ingredients. ;-) My recipe keeps longer than most store breads and doesn't dry out. We don't eat bread really fast, so this works well for us.

Homemade Bread

I've decided that for my family, homemade bread is the way to go...no matter if it does cost more (which is doesn't). :) I know exactly what is in my bread and I feel very confident about putting it into the mouths of my family! Oh, and it's SO YUMMY!!!!!

Laura@HeavenlyHomemakers

Homemade For Me As Often As Possible

I make homemade more often than I buy. I do buy once in a while but I make sure the store bought is organic, though.

When life is so very busy

When life is so very busy (as it is right now for me), I do end up having to buy store loaves. The kids like the store-bought stuff (the sugar in it, I know) more than the stuff I make. If I'm buying a store-bought loaf for myself and my husband, I will buy a quality loaf from the organic store.

When I do make bread, I primarily use my bread machine. I've never done any milling myself! Nonetheless, homemade bread used to be so common, but now it is really a luxury!

Just think how the future healthcare costs are decreased by eating properly. That alone is worth buying quality, wholesome ingredients.

Emily

Homemade bread

I just started making homemade bread a few weeks ago. We eat a lot of bread. Sandwiches every day for lunch for 6 people and maybe toast in the morning or a slice with our evening meal. So I do feel it is cost effective for me to make it at home. I also have a Kitchenaid stand mixer, a gift pre-children, that I felt I wasn't using enough. I almost don't like telling people I make our bread b/c it puts a picture in their minds of some woman covered in flour kneeding bread dough for ever. And really I put everything in the bowl and let it go. It does all the work for me. So for me it is worth it. And by the way, I use your recipe, so thanks!!!

Homemade here too

I have taken to making my own bread (your whole wheat recipe to be exact! YUM!) recently. My husband really prefers it and I let my bread machine set to manual do all the work. I bake the bread in a loaf pan in the oven, though.

I also make a good French baguette complete with the crunchy crust that my husband says could have come from a bakery. It contains flour, salt, yeast, and water -- no fat whatsoever. Of course, it has to be eaten within a day or two because it will go stale quickly.

I find that there is a cost savings to making homemade bread because it's heartier and doesn't contain all of the air that the commercial loaves do. One piece of homemade bread is very filling. So, I'm a homemade bread convert and I don't think I'll go back to store bought. -- Stephanie

I make mine

I make my bread because I don't want my family to consume the preservatives found in many commercial breads. And I enjoy it. But I do keep a loaf of store bought bread in the freezer for emergencies.

We do both...

I starting making bread as it was alot cheaper for me. I bought wheat when it was much cheaper and is still cheaper here than in some parts of the country, but white flour is higher. Anyhow, we buy sandwich wheat bread usually more in the summer and I make more in the winter, especially to eat with soups etc.
I can get 100% whole wheat bread at the bread store for about $1.10 a loaf, where as making it comes out a little cheaper, or about the same when I count the cost to bake it.
I made a oatmeal bread though before and it was .50 a loaf for a regular size loaf of bread.

I make our own

I make my family's bread. My boys went to Scout Camp this summer, and the one thing they craved from home was my bread. For that, I'll keep baking although I have thought about buying bread so I don't run out! My bread vanishes too quickly! Four loaves--two days. Granted, I have two growing, very active 'tween boys!

I feel better about the nutrition in my bread although it spoils quickly if I leave it on the counter. Here in Missouri, I've learned to refrigerate it. I have several bread cookbooks, and many "favorite" recipes although most are at least 50% whole wheat.

Another vote for both

I make more bread than I buy. Often, if I don't get around to making it, we just go without. In the summer, I just don't want to make the AC work that hard so I only bake on cooler days and buy bread if I'm desperate.

I don't mill my flour or have a bread machine. I do have a 20 year old Oster Kitchen Center to mix it, though.

My recipe isn't inexpensive to make so I probably don't save any money. But my family raves more about bread, especially when it's been scarce, than they do about almost anything else I make. It's worth it.

no mold bread

LOL, I had to laugh when you mentioned bread not molding anymore. In my classroom, I wanted to show a science concept and putting a piece of bread in a bag and letting it mold was a great demonstration - and plenty gross for 6th graders. But I was in a bit of a financial bind, I opted for the cheapest bread, from the day old bread store that I could find. (In case you don't know, we public school teachers go above and beyond for our charges as if they were our own - but I typically have 30 - 40 of them in a room, and we pay for things like this out of our own family's $money$)

Well, after about 8 weeks, not one speck of mold had appeared on any of the pieces of bread sealed safely inside a ziplock bag. This despite the fact that each group had chosen to drag the piece of bread through dirt, dust, tabletops, floors, or whatever else they could think of. A spritz of water had been added to give it moisture. But no go, NOTHING happened. Preservation at work. LOL

Bread

Hello. We usually just get store bought bread. We only eat white bread as well. But the cost of groceries seem to just keep rising. I may need to dust off my bread machine and see what I can "whoop up". I saw that one of the commenters on this blog is from Arkansas. So am I!! And I agree. With the humidity here it seems to make things moldy faster.

His Blessings,

Lori
www.orchardhome.blogspot.com

Homemade Bread for Me

When we moved from Michigan to Alabama, one of my goals was to eat healthier and eat less premade foods. It took me a few months to get settled in, but I began making my own bread about 1-1/2 months ago. I make white bread (yours Tammy but tweaked) just because white flour was what I had on hand and then I got a really good price on clearanced 10 lb bags at the local grocery store. I don't think I'm saving much money, but the bread tastes 200% better than the store bought bread!!! And I don't have to worry about it molding on me... it never lasts that long...LOL.
I would like to find a cheaper source of yeast though... a jar is $6.50 in our local grocery store!! If someone can assist me with that, I'd really appreciate it.

And bread isn't that hard to make and I can clean house and do laundry while bread dough is 'doing it's thing'. I make my dough in the bread machine (usually in double batches even though it does rise above the pan to the lid) and bake it in the oven.

So far, almost everything has come out ok. I did have one loaf that kind of 'fell' but we ate it anyway. And my cinnamon rolls weren't as light as I would have like them. I have noticed that my loaves look a little bit more 'rustic' than they did originally, so I might have to tweak the recipe a bit, but my neighbors are knocking my door down to get my homemade bread. It feels good to know that when a neighbor got out of hospital last weekend, I could offer her something to eat that no one else would think of making for her (everyone gives people casseroles or desserts) and the elderly neighbor man is ready to "adopt" me as his own when I give him a loaf.
I make about 4 or 6 loaves a week, depending on my moods, and that includes hamburger buns, hotdog buns and cinnamon bread for breakfast toast. And besides... there's nothing better than the aroma of freshly baked bread... my own personal 'air freshener'.
In the 1-1/2 months I've been making our own bread, we have bought 1 loaf of bread and 1 pkg of hamburg buns just because of the fact my dinner menu changed and I didn't have time to make what was needed for dinner.

Sam's Club

You can get yeast in bulk 2# for under $2 at Sams Club!

Definitely Homemade

I make my own bread except for only the busiest times of life (sickness, etc.) I know it is not THAT much cheaper, unless you compare apples to apples. If you compare it to the cheapest store brand loaf on the shelf, it is more expensive; but if you compare it to the multi-grain bakery loaf that it tastes like, you save money to make your own.

In the end, I don't make bread to save money. I make bread because I like it better. I love the smell in the house, and eating some hot from the oven. With a mixer to do the kneading, it is not much work (less than 5 min working time for 2 loaves). It is a lot of results for not much effort.

I agree with the writer who said she almost doesn't like to tell people that she makes bread. People do get a certain picture of you. (Ironically they think that since I make bread and also sew, my house is always perfectly clean! not true!)

Also, my mom made bread when I was growing up, so I think that has an influence.

Elizabeth

http:\\momscountrykitchen.blogspot.com

Bread

Hi Tammy, I make my own bread (and have for several years) because I know exactly what's in it, I can use the very best flour available, and my family loves it! My kids don't want to eat anything but "mama bread". It's work, but I enjoy it because it's an act of love for my family.

I recently started making my own tortillas, too, and they rock. =0)

Katie
dailythread.wordpress.com

We have begun to bake our

We have begun to bake our own bread for numerous reasons.
1. It is 60 miles one way to the grocery store.
2. We only shop once a month during the winter (7 to 8 months out of the year) and twice a month during the warm months (May-Sept).
3. My family prefers it!
4. The grocery store bread was more expensive. (The closes Aldi's is over 2000 miles away!! Oh, how I miss Aldi's...)
5. It is more filling and we have more options available (cinnamon rolls, cheese bread, pizza dough, raisin bread, italian/french bread, artisan breads, etc.)

I have to admit I haven't done a cost comparison recently but the last time I did it was a savings of .30 cents a loaf to make our own. I know it doesn't seem like much of a savings but when you have 3 boys between the ages of 9 and 14 it does add up quickly. Our boys are very active working around our property as well as working for neighbors. They do everything from haying and splitting wood to running trap lines with another neighbor.

Another consideration our family has is the cost of fuel! With it being 60 miles to town to go shopping we try to keep our trips to a minimum. We were truly blessed by the Lord this spring when we were able to order 200 lbs of whole wheat berries at the old price. When we figure in the cost of fuel to our grocery prices, it really does get to be quite expensive when buying store bought bread (and it takes a lot of space up in the car!)

In the past I was concerned about the time factor but found it was truly negliable. For our family, at present, this is the course we will continue to pursue! I also find it very theraputic, kneading by hand keeps my arthiritis at bay. I know I am youngish (43) to be dealing with it in my hands already but it struck my mother and grandmother at an earlier age. Because they both made a point to keep using their hands it was not completely dibilitating!!

Sorry for the prattling! I really do love this blogsite!! It is wonderful getting to be involved in girl talk from a Christian prospective!!!

It depends...

I 'typically' make our bread... just one loaf at a time, because we haven't been big bread eaters (that is changing as the children get older:-) ). But it is one of the things that tends to fall by the wayside when I'm pregnant (aside from particular meals).
I do it by hand, and that's one of the reasons I continue to make it—I really enjoy the process of kneading... and I don't generally find the time excessive. I generally use my mother's wholemeal recipe (one of the reasons I started... I didn't like wholemeal bread, but if I'd made it, I'd eat it... and I figured that it was better for me), but of late, I've been making a 'No-Time' bread for specific meals (because I keep forgetting to get it done earlier in the day).
I have a manual grain mill, and have occasionally ground the flour myself... but haven't found a good 'home' for it, where it's straightforward to use (and within reach of the 4 year old—I figure that's going to be a _great_ job for him:-) )

Some Things Are Priceless

We make all whole wheat or other whole grain bread products. I am still learning, but have been able to make good bread that everyone will eat and I do NOT use additives like gluten and dough enhancers. They are not bricks. But you also couldn't roll them up into a dough ball like you can a piece of bread from the store. The bread in the store has so little actual food left in it, that I don't know what kind of nutrients you could actually get. So you might be paying for a "bargain" in a loaf of bread, but at what price?

For a fair and realistic comparison of home made bread it should be compared to the breads that you can purchase at a Health food store or co-op that are more like $4-5 a loaf and actually are WHOLE grain with no white flour (most labeled wheat in the store have white flour in them) or mystery ingredients. Comparing homemade bread to the 99 cent loaf is like comparing hot dogs to steak. Sure the hot dogs are much cheaper but you get what you pay for too.

I know it's not for everyone, but since we have been making our own flour we have found there are a LOT of things that are really good that we can bake with it. No, it's not fluffy and white, but it tastes good and you feel like you actually ate food when you get done!

Homemade whole wheat bread wins at our house

I've been baking our whole wheat bread from freshly ground flour (using hard red wheat) for many years. We can avoid preservatives and high fructose corn syrup that way. Not long after starting to make all our breads from freshly ground whole wheat, I noticed that I no longer suffered from hay fever every spring and bronchitis most of the winter. Our whole family is healthier! Freshly ground flour contains vitamin E that is quickly lost after processing. You just can't put a price on fresh, quality, delicious, healthy bread. I think it's cheaper to make it from scratch anyway.

We are sowing hard red wheat in many of our 3x16 foot garden beds as each crop finishes. Here in East TN, we'll harvest it in June.

Many people don't realize that one needs to use the hard red or hard white wheat with yeast and the soft white wheat for muffins, cookies, pancakes, etc.

I'm enjoying your blog, Tammy. We only have 3 children still at home and the youngest is 12. Life is not nearly as hectic as it is for you with young ones. Do enjoy them while they are little--that time flies by far too quickly. May the Lord bless all your efforts for Him. <><

I Make My Own

I have been making my own bread for a while from 100% freshly ground wheat. I cannot stand bread from the store anymore. I don't really know about the cost, I have never figured it, but smelling it baking, and having warm bread with butter fresh from the oven, these things are pricless. There are some things that money can't buy!
Jen

love homemade bread

We adore homemade bread but with this pregnancy for some reason the smell of yeast would turn my stomach so quick that I just couldn't do it.. I had alot of homemade bread pre made and in my freezer waiting. and the little bit of store bought I have bought goes just as quick.. since the husband and kids are big bread eaters in this house..
I have asked for a bread maker for christmas prregnancy will be done before then as I am 37.5 weeks today but would still love to have one for mixing the dough etc. with 4 kids it would help a bundle.

Both, unfortunately! ;)

My husband, daughter and I love homemade bread.
My husband also does not like sandwiches made with anything other than store-bought bread. He says that he does not want the bread to be full and thick like homemade, but wants it light and airy like store-bought.
So, we do both.

If I could find a recipe to make light, airy bread at home, I am quite certain we could solely make our own... any recipes ideas? Please feel free to send me suggested recipes at http://dancingamonginfiniteloveyahwehs.blogspot.com

Thanks ladies!

Lighter bread

Just punch it down and let it rise to double one extra time before you shape it into loaves. That should make you the sandwich bread you want. You can even choose to do that with one loaf and not the other if you're making a pair.

Tammy's picture

Homemade bread that is soft and fluffy like store bread...

Joshua used to be the same way -- sandwiches had to be made on store-bought bread. However, since we (okay, HE!) developed our whole wheat bread with the additional dough conditioning ingredients, he has eaten nothing but homemade bread in his lunches -- without a single complaint, because the bread is THAT soft and fluffy, even several days later.

So if you're really interested in making a homemade bread that is a good store-bought substitute, I recommend our whole wheat recipe with dough conditioners (see the additional notes in the recipe)! :) The "extra" ingredients aren't really too expensive when purchased in bulk. :)

where to buy wheat berries?

I like to make my own bread,too, when I am not sick or have just had a baby. :) Where do you get your wheat berries at .58 a lb.?

Homemade, gluten-free

I have always preferred to make my own but now this year my husband has Celiac so we eat gluten-free (no wheat, barley or rye). The store-bought gluten-free bread tastes like cardboard and it will last over a year (you think wheat bread lasts a long time!). The mixes are so expensive. It is definitely cheaper and way more tasteful to make his bread. I bake 3 times a week.

Homemade all the way.

I've started baking my own bread as well, for health reasons. Take a look at the ridiculous number of ingredients found in commercial bread! My homemade bread has at most 5 ingredients, all of which I can pronounce and all of which are healthy. Bread should not last for months on end, and most of the bread that you purchase at the local supermarket has already been in existence for weeks, not counting time on the shelves.

Large scale commercial bakeries are forced to use preservatives, they have no choice as you can not produce such mass quantity and sell it quickly enough before it goes bad.

Bake a few loaves, freeze a few and feel better knowing that you are doing something good for your health.

Just tryin to eat healthier

Hi all, I've been a baking our bread for a little over a year. . .this time. Off and on I've done it off and on over the past 40 years. My bread tastes better than the less expensive rack whole wheats from grocer. And these days it's cheaper to produce. Haven't calculated the oven power, that's going up. But even so, I prefer my homemade to the store bought. Wifey is pretty picky 'bout eatin what I bake. . .wants me to make soft whole wheat bread. Well. . .40 years of marital bliss. . .Wifey usually gets what she wants. I'm looking at mills, and the return on that for us, would take a couple of years to break even. But the taste and health benefits could be worth more than I know.
Cheers,
otrpu

Cost of bread

Even if a loaf of homemade bread is cheaper than storebought...it isn't for use since we have a brownberry/entenmanns outlet near us and get great loaves for $1 each...but anyway, it ISN'T more cost effective for us, because my husband just CONSUMES it. He loves homemade bread, and would go through about a loaf a day, versus 2 or 3 days that a store bought loaf lasts.
Elizabeth

Making Bread

I just began to make my own bread about a month ago and I love it from start to finish. I had the idea that bread baking was way too difficult and I would never be able to do it. I'm not saying my bread is perfect , by any means, but it is pretty good, and I love the process! I just feel such a sense of accomplishment when I make bread. I may not always feel this way, but for now.......

Cost analysis?

You probably should try to add the energy cost of heating the bread in an oven for however long it takes to the cost analysis. I have a feeling that it becomes very uneconomical to bake your own.

newbie to bread making

Hello everyone!!
My sister has given me the gift of a bread maker for Christmas, I love it!! im just not to sure where to look for great recipies. it did come with a book.,,, and I have tried all the recipes and need more input !! please please email me with great recipes !! I love that fact that i can know what is going into our systems and be the maker of it!! i LOVE my bread machine!!! any ideas?

added item :) newbie sorry

if you have any input or great reciepes, how can you contact me>?

Baking vs buying bread

I have a Zojurishi breadmaker it was just sitting on the counter unused. I am extremely fussy about bread and will only buy Safeway Nature's Blend whatever in the brown wrapper and it is $2.99 on sale 3.99 regular - it is very good bread - yes I can buy cheap bread at Walmart etc which in a sandwich is passable the real test of bread is in how does it taste toasted all the bread I have tried except the Safeway brand tastes like sawdust ick!!!! I just can not eat that stuff - I made the whole wheat from the recipe book from my machine and now I am going to try Tammy's. One slice of my homemade bread was more filling than 2 slices of Safeways bread.

why not bake in machine?

I read that Tammy and some others only use their bread machines to mix the dough and do the actual baking in the oven. But, no one every say WHY? I have a new "Zo" and have been satisfied with the results using it through the entire process. I have learned to raise the lid during the rise period and making certain it's shaped properly. It might not come out in the exact smooth manner as Tammy's photos but certainly good enough for our purposes. Would really like someone to comment about transferring the dough to another pan and baking in the oven. Thanks. By the way...love the whole wheat recipe by Tammy...I use the conditioners and it's great, light bread.

Bread Machine

I was wondering that same thing, about why transfer it to a bread pan and bake it in the oven. So I decided to try it out and see what the difference was. I noticed that the bread comes out in a better shape for cutting, and also for use as sandwiches and such. Its a preference I suppose. I still make mine in the bread machine sometimes when I'm in a time crunch, or if I have the extra time to watch over my dough, I transfer it to a bread pan. Hope that helps!

~Katie Jean~

Tammy's picture

Bread baked in bread machine vs. oven

There are a few reasons for not baking bread in a bread machine. I have tried baking bread in bread machines where even after LOTS of experimenting, the loaves were still too dense and crusty when baked in the machine. The Zojirushi is better, and has lots of setting adjustments available, so I do bake in it when I'm just doing 1 loaf of bread. :)

Bread machine bread does have a thicker crust on the bottom and sides than bread baked in pans in the oven. It could also be an odd shape, depending on the brand of machine used.

For me personally, now that we have a Zojirushi bread machine, there is really only 1 reason I would choose to bake the bread in the oven instead of in the machine: if I am making 2-3 loaves at one time. :)

(I also use the "dough" setting a lot for pizza crust or other breads [cinnamon rolls, challah, etc.] that are shaped differently.)

So glad you like the bread recipe and have had success with it! :)

Need healthy recipe!!

Now that I am out of a job we have been trying to scrape by wherever we can. I dusted off the old bread machine and did the math and it's cheaper for us to make it. However, I have just been making the "white bread" recipe as I tried the wheat once and WHOA, knock your socks off, it was so gritty and grainy no one would eat it. Does anyone have recipes for healthy bread they have worked with they could share? Much appreciated!!

Tammy's picture

A good whole wheat bread recipe?

We have made our whole wheat bread recipe many, many times and I think it's an excellent recipe!

If that's the one you already tried making -- did you use store-bought whole wheat flour and no dough conditioners? It is a lot better with freshly ground whole wheat flour, and the dough conditioners make it super soft!

If you're just using flour from the store and no dough conditioners, then I would suggest starting with 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour or bread flour. You can perfect the techniques before going for 100% whole wheat -- which is the trickiest one to get "perfect"! :)

We switch between homemade

We switch between homemade and storebought. When I do make homemade bread, I cannot grind my own flour because of the prohibitive cost. I will make homemade, usually in my bread machine on the dough cycle, and then bake it in the oven because I think it is better. I hate digging the little paddle out of the loaf, and I don't like the crust or sometimes the texture of the bread. If it gets to a stage in my family where the homemade bread is not getting eaten, then we switch back to storebought. Decent bread over here is very expensive, I don't like the cheap store brands, so I tend to buy it on special or discounted because it is a day old, and then throw it in the freezer. I also use storebought bread if I am in a hurry and don't have time to make bread, or if I am poorly (which is quite often). I do prefer the homemade though for flavour. I often experiment, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. I alternate between wholemeal, white, spelt, etc.

Smiles

KarlaG

The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make his face shine upon thee; and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:22-26)

bread

i normally make all our bread but recently my aunt got a great deal on day old and she gave me about 75 loaves of multi grain bread so we have been using it right now and the kids love it..

i can honestly say nothing tastes better than a tuna sandwhich on homemade white bread, or a nice peice of whole wheat with butter and honey

Bread Machine

I recently purchased my very first bread machine, I had been wanting one for a long time now, well my family and I LOVE the homemade bread! At this point I don't think we'll ever go back to store bought bread, Not only is it cheaper for us(our bread outlet we shop at is well over 5 miles away from home so it saves on gas as well) its much healthier and I find that its much more convenient for me since I am a SAHM, I am going to pick up my electric knife today for cutting my bread. We only eat 2 loaves a week at this time so not too bad.

Where do you buy your ingrediants

Where you buy your whole wheat, soy lethicin and gluten?

Tammy's picture

Where to buy whole wheat, lecithin, and gluten

I buy lecithin (granules) and vital wheat gluten (flour) at a local health food / bulk food store. My current supply of whole wheat is partially from a co-op and partially from WinCo (a store that has a bulk foods section).

Bulk food stores, health food stores, and co-ops are great places to (usually) find a good price on these things; regular grocery stores with a health food / bulk food section also sometimes carry these items. :)

Bread Machine Bread that is too dry

I am currently on my 3rd bread machine, and am considering a 4th. I received my first one as an unexpected gift 19 years ago, and have been hooked ever since. However, I have a problem in the past 2 or 3 loaves that hasn't surfaced before. I use a combination of bread and whole wheat flours (packaged-I don't grind my own). My bread is not dense at all, but has been drying out much more quickly than it has in the past. The only difference is that I've used sugar instead of honey, which I've done in the past without this drying out issue. As a veteran of machined-at-home-bread, I'm stumped. Any ideas/suggestions?
Final thought: As someone raised on store-bought bread,my 6 siblings and I would NEVER eat the ends of the loaf. With the homemade bread, I had to make a schedule for our kids as to who got to have the end piece! Long live the homemade!

It worked!!!

The reason we are trying to make our bread is that I was diagnosed with breast cancer and every bread on the market has a thousand fillers and soy--this way I can control what goes in the bread, and like so many people posted above, I am really disturbed by the fact that bread in my frig NEVER molds--had some english muffins from dec and they are still mold free--how does that make any sense???
In any case, Tammy, I tried your whole wheat sandwich bread (1/2 and 1/2 version) yesterday and had a difficult time getting it to rise--but I knew why--one, I didn't let the yeast sit long enough beforehand, and two--my house was too cold for it to rise properly. Still, it was quite edible toasted. Today I tried again and voila! it is perfect! Thanks a bunch and keep up the good work!!!

First Loaf of Wheat

When my husband accepted a job in the high desert of Wyoming, I found I could finally stay home, write my novels and cook more. Bread has always been my Achilles' Heel. I finally conquered white bread...I went to buy a loaf at Wal Mart last night only to have my husband and daughter grab it out of my hands, toss it back on the shelf and give me the "look." The wheat bread recipe (1/2 & 1/2) is my second attempt...and WOW! I have to get more wheat flour. My husband devoured it ten minutes ago.
I found that it turns out cheaper for our budget if I cook from scratch - bread included. With gas prices, and the cost of a loaf of bread now ($1.25 store vs. $0.89 scratch) it is a no brainer for me. Top that off with a huge difference in taste, better nutrition, the great smell, and the fact that my pre-teen daughter and I are bonding over bread...well...for my family there is no other choice.

Healthier Diet

I started baking bread years ago (I'm 22) when I started getting involved with baking. At the time, it was white bread because all I had on hand was all-purpose flour. But then I went to college and didn't have my own oven or baking supplies--or money--so I stopped. Now that I've graduated, I'm trying to live a healthier life, which means switching from processed foods to unprocessed ones and switching from white to wheat bread. I don't mind; I love wheat bread. But whole-wheat bread in my grocery store runs from $4-$5 a loaf! I'm not kidding. It's even more at the local co-op, where everything is organic. But luckily, that same local co-op sells whole wheat flour for 99 cents a pound and yeast for 49 cents a packet. So I bought some yesterday, used a wheat bread recipe I found online that also adds oats, and I don't think I'll ever buy store bread again. It's delicious! And I know what's in it! And it hasn't been processed and no chemicals have been added to preserve it...I love it. And it only took about 45 minutes to make and knead the dough. And it made a large enough loaf that it will last me probably all this week and half of next week. That is, until my sister stops by and sees that I've made homemade bread. Then I'll have to make more tomorrow. ;)

I've been baking my own

I've been baking my own bread for a fe months now ndi think the benefits of knowing what exactly is in my bread outweights cost issues. Besides, the cheapest loaf I've seen was about $3 but I live in NYC. Tve calculated that it costs me a little over a dollar depending on what I use to make it but taste does not compare

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