While I’m still working on organizing my house, my other New Year’s Resolution is to get better at making bread. While I’m certain it’s worth it to bake bread for the sheer deliciousness of it, I’m not sure it’s worth it financially to replace store-bought bread with homemade bread. Let’s investigate, shall we?
Here in California, I typically buy about three loaves of bread a month at about $4 each. That’s $12 a month, or $144 a year. In the grand scheme of expenses, that’s not very much money.
Ah, but ideally I would be making “artisan” bread, and that easily costs $7 a loaf here. (I know!) So that’s $252 a year.
For Christmas, a friend gave me the Della Fattoria Cookbook. I tried their White Boule recipe and was very pleased with it. The bread tastes great, is easy to make, and meets my definition of “artisan.”
And the ingredients were all things I buy in bulk: all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, olive oil, sea salt. Here are the ingredients and their cost per ounce:
Instant yeast 0.28 ounce / 2 1/4 teaspoon = $.09 total
Warm water (100°F/38°C) 16.6 ounces / 2 cups = free
All-purpose flour 22 ounces / 4 1/2 cups = $.69 total
Fine gray salt 0.5 ounce / 2 1/4 teaspoon = $.14 total
Granulated sugar 0.3 ounce / 2 1/4 teaspoon = $.02 total
Extra virgin olive oil 2.5 ounces / 5 Tablespoons = $.35 total
Total amount to make a loaf of bread: $1.29
If I made three loafs a month, that’s $3.87 a month, or $46.44 a year.
That means, if I made “artisan” bread every week instead of buying it, I would save about $205 a year.
That means baking bread would save my about 78%.
However, the wild card here is time. Baking bread is time consuming. However, I work at home, which means that I can steal 5-10 minutes throughout the day to knead dough or put it in the oven. Instead of cigarette breaks, I can take bread breaks.
Also, I suspect that as I get used to making bread, it will become an easy routine that won’t take a lot of my brain space or effort to do.
Also, I could make two loaves at once and freeze one.
So. I’m intrigued. I think I’ll try making bread for awhile and see if it becomes a habit that sticks.
GET THE WHITE BOULE RECIPE HERE.
What about you? Do you think it’s worth it to make your own bread?