As part of my “Am I Really Saving Money?” series, today I will analyze the cost of homemade sandwich bread versus store bought sandwich bread. Homemade bread, when done well, tastes SO GOOD, and there are no “mystery” ingredients in your bread, since you made it yourself. BUT, there’s a learning curve, isn’t there? Is it worth it? Will you really save that much money? In today’s post, I posted my new, updated version of my favorite “Easy, Peasy Bread” recipe along with a cost analysis. Look it over and decide what’s right for you and your family.
Without further ado, let us begin! I usually buy Oroweat Country Buttermilk bread for my kids. It’s their favorite. I know that there’s not much fiber in it, but my boys love it. It is only worth making bread if my boys like it as much as they like Oroweat bread.
As promised, this is the latest version of my favorite, homemade, sandwich bread, hot off the presses! (Here’s a link to my previous version, which is also very good. It includes a photo step-by-step for making bread.)
Easy, Peasy Bread, version 2.0
Adapted from Pound-It Bread by Joan Miller
5 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons active dry yeast (or 2 packets of instant yeast)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water, lukewarm (should not feel hot on the inside of your wrist)
1/2 cup milk (or half-n-half, cream, evaporated milk, etc. I used 2%.)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1 tablespoons dough enhancer
Proof yeast by mixing a tablespoon of sugar along with the yeast into the warm water. Stir and set aside. It should start to bubble within a couple of minutes. Mix milk and vinegar together and let mixture sit while the yeast is proofing. If you have buttermilk on hand, you can use it in place of the milk/vinegar mixture.
Add all dry ingredients to your mixing bowl. Pour melted butter and milk/vinegar mixture over the top of the dry ingredients. When the yeast mixture is bubbly, pour it into the mixing bowl. Mix until the ingredients begin to form a ball. Then, pour the bread dough onto a floured surface, divide dough in half, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. After letting the dough rest, pound each lump of dough for one minute. Then roll up and put in a greased loaf pan. Allow it to rise until the dough is 1-inch above the top of the pan. Place the pan in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until the top of the loaf begins to brown. Cover the loaves with aluminum foil and continue cooking until done. Total cook time is 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing. (LOST? Check out my photo step-by-step here.)
Makes 32 slices. Each slice contains 98 calories and 1 gram of fiber.
How much does it cost to make? Wait no longer for enlightenment. Here’s a breakdown for you, based on today’s prices at my local southern California store. Your prices may differ from mine, but this should give a good basis for comparison.
Ingredients purchased at Von’s
Flour – $1.32
Yeast – $1.16
Sugar – $0.15
Milk – $0.15
Vinegar – Less than $0.01
Salt – Less than $0.01
Butter – $0.22
Vital Wheat Gluten (Von’s didn’t carry, so this is Honeyville Grain’s price) – $0.29
Dough Enhancer (Von’s didn’t carry, so this is Honeyville Grain’s price) – $0.07
Total Price from a full service grocery store – $3.38
Ingredients purchased at Costco/Sam’s Club (The price I pay.)
Flour – $0.42
Yeast – $0.08
Sugar – $0.08
Milk – $0.10
Vinegar – Less than $0.01 (about 1/4 cent)
Salt – Less than $0.01 (about 1/2 cent)
Butter – $0.13
Vital Wheat Gluten (Bought from Honeyville Grain) – $0.29
Dough Enhancer (Bought from Honeyville Grain) – $0.07
Total Price when ingredients purchased in bulk – $1.19
Final Cost Analysis
Oroweat Buttermilk price at Von’s – $2.99 for 18 slices = Just under $0.17 a slice
Oroweat Buttermilk price at Costco – $5.54 for 48 slices = A little under $0.12 a slice
Homemade with ingredients purchased at Von’s – $3.38 for 24 slices = A little under $0.11 a slice
Homemade with ingredients purchased in bulk – $1.19 for 24 slices = Just under $0.05 a slice
Costco bread costs 2 1/2 times the homemade bread. Now, that’s a deal! The freshness is a bonus, and I love knowing exactly what’s in my bread.