Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
bogleviewer
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:01 pm

Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by bogleviewer » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:14 pm

I am always amazed at how expensive quality bread is at the grocery store. A good quality loaf is $5. The only way I can reconcile that this is justifiable by the breadmakers/grocers is that people pay it. I know my family does.

What is in bread? Water, flour, yeast, salt and a some seeds? Is bread one of those items that have high margins for grocers so that they can sell low margin items and still stay in business? Honestly, I am dumbfounded as the cost of producing bread cannot be anywhere near a buck a loaf or if the price isn't associated what-so-ever with cost?

Are you paying for the convenience? For those of you that make your own bread, do you do it weekly? Do you still purchase store bought bread? Do you have a recommended bread maker that works with seeds?

Soundguy7
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:02 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Soundguy7 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:23 pm

Consider ALDI and Trader Joe's, if possible, where a good loaf of bread may be had for $2.49-$2.99.

Liberty1100
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:36 pm
Contact:

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Liberty1100 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:25 pm

I would expect some of the price counts for spoilage. After a day or two, it is highly noticeable which loaves are fresh and which are "old". That would probably add to the "cost" but not significant though.

User avatar
climber2020
Posts: 1043
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:06 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by climber2020 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:26 pm

Walmart sells a huge Italian loaf for $1. It's in the bakery where they make the loaves fresh daily. It's excellent. The quality likely varies depending on location, but the ones at my local Walmart taste better than the bread loaves at any of the competing grocery stores that sell them for $3 to $5.

User avatar
Mrs.Feeley
Posts: 823
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:52 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Mrs.Feeley » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:29 pm

I use one of the no-knead Bread in a Pot recipes that are popular these days. I bake the bread in a $35 cast-iron Dutch oven from Walmart.com. So much better than any bread from the store, no matter how artisanal. And it takes only minutes. I usually bake about one loaf a week. Sometimes more for gifts. Whenever breads like Brownberry go on sale for $1-$2 loaf I buy a few of the whole grain variety to keep in the freezer for sandwich emergencies. You're right, bread is crazy expensive.

lightheir
Posts: 2273
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by lightheir » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:31 pm

Seriously, do the "no-knead" bread recipe (NYT Mark Bittman) - it's super easy, hard to screw up, and comes out so well that it's literally better than any bread you'll buy. I'm not exaggerating here either - there's something magical about the 'just-out-of-the-oven" artisinal bread that's magical.

b4real
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:19 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by b4real » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:45 pm

We make a loaf about every other day in a bread maker: http://www.zojirushi.com/app/product/bbcec. Takes only a couple of minutes to put in the ingredients and tastes so much better than store bought. You can add seeds, dried fruits, or nuts if desired. The house filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread is an added bonus.

Jeff Albertson
Posts: 499
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:11 pm
Location: Springfield

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Jeff Albertson » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:46 pm


anil686
Posts: 744
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 12:33 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by anil686 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:48 pm

Most preserved/packaged breads like Wonder brand and local bakery brands are here in Texas about $2-2.50 a loaf. Fresh baked bread in the bakery normally retails for the same here but will only last about 3-5 days. I second making your own if you like fresh bread - or warehouse clubs have them often 2 for under $4. Hope that helps...

AlohaJoe
Posts: 3452
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:00 pm
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by AlohaJoe » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:02 pm

Going to Google and typing questions like "why does bread cost so much" and "average profit margin on bread" gave me answers to to your questions.

This is what I learned:

Bread is one of the lowest markup items in the supermarket. Baking bread at home can easily cost $1.50 a loaf just for ingredients. Wonderbread is made by a public company so we know that 50% of the cost of a loaf is labor and materials and 49% is logistics getting it to you. We also know they lost 2.5% to depreciation so they had an operating loss. You can buy locally made bread to cut down on the cost of logistics but then you have to pay someone at your local bakery to wake up a 4am to make bread for you.

User avatar
TheGreyingDuke
Posts: 1464
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:34 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:42 pm

I bake all our bread, have done so for years. A 1000 g loaf is approximately 600g of flour and 400g of water. The flour cost (if I go for the organic flour) about $1.35 the water is "free" the salt maybe $.01. I use sour dough starter so no yeast cost, maybe $.15 for the flour in the starter.

So I have a total of $1.51 in materials, maybe $.05 in LP gas.

about the metric; if you bake bread a lot using metric makes using baker's percentages a breeze.

Now if you want to talk markup look at pizza, what goes for $18 in a decent pizzeria cost me about $3 in materials.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

Jonathan
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:36 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Jonathan » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:03 am

The bread market is probably efficient. :D It's very old, and popular.

Bread that is warm as a lingering result of the initial baking process is the product in its tastiest phase. It's like buying a new car: "new bread smell". You can get this at the store, it's just difficult to purchase and consume it within that 1 hour window of time.

Making ice cream and pasta is also worth trying. You can save on ice cream, much less so on pasta, but the difference in taste is surprising. By my experience, both are noticeably superior to even the fanciest brands available in a supermarket.

freebeer
Posts: 1979
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:30 am
Location: Seattle area USA

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by freebeer » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:13 am

TheGreyingDuke wrote:I bake all our bread, have done so for years. A 1000 g loaf is approximately 600g of flour and 400g of water. The flour cost (if I go for the organic flour) about $1.35 the water is "free" the salt maybe $.01. I use sour dough starter so no yeast cost, maybe $.15 for the flour in the starter.

So I have a total of $1.51 in materials, maybe $.05 in LP gas.

about the metric; if you bake bread a lot using metric makes using baker's percentages a breeze.

Now if you want to talk markup look at pizza, what goes for $18 in a decent pizzeria cost me about $3 in materials.
OK $1.56 in materials per loaf - plus how much time?

jlawrence01
Posts: 1371
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:34 am
Location: Southern AZ

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by jlawrence01 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:29 am

The "huge" loaf of French bread at Walmart is all of 13 oz ... and the local store REFUSES to slice it without finding a bakery employee.

On average, I pay $1.50 at the local Kroger's store when they make down the day old bread.

As for Aldi, unless you are in Germany where they are producing excellent breads cheaply in store (much to the ire of the German bakers' union), the bread is generally Wonder-breadish BUT occasionally they are carrying some local breads like Orlando in Chicago.

User avatar
black jack
Posts: 667
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:13 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by black jack » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:12 am

freebeer wrote:
TheGreyingDuke wrote:I bake all our bread, have done so for years. A 1000 g loaf is approximately 600g of flour and 400g of water. The flour cost (if I go for the organic flour) about $1.35 the water is "free" the salt maybe $.01. I use sour dough starter so no yeast cost, maybe $.15 for the flour in the starter.

So I have a total of $1.51 in materials, maybe $.05 in LP gas.

about the metric; if you bake bread a lot using metric makes using baker's percentages a breeze.

Now if you want to talk markup look at pizza, what goes for $18 in a decent pizzeria cost me about $3 in materials.
OK $1.56 in materials per loaf - plus how much time?
Well, baking bread takes a fair amount of time, but very little of your attention is required.

I started with the no-knead recipe made famous by Mark Bittman (Bittman was actually sharing a recipe from a baker named Jim Lahey). But "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" was my breakthrough; fool-proof (I'm not the world's greatest fool, but I can be competitive in certain fields) and easy. The idea is you make up enough dough for several loaves at one time (takes about 5-10 minutes), and keep the dough in the fridge, pulling out enough dough to make a fresh loaf as needed (thus, just a few minutes to put the dough in a container to rise, and some time later bake it).

A la Lahey, I use just a pinch of yeast for the dough (specifically, 1/4 teaspoon for about 7 cups of flour) and let it rise overnight, then refrigerate it.
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)

User avatar
TheGreyingDuke
Posts: 1464
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:34 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:01 am

black jack wrote:
freebeer wrote:
TheGreyingDuke wrote:I bake all our bread, have done so for years. A 1000 g loaf is approximately 600g of flour and 400g of water. The flour cost (if I go for the organic flour) about $1.35 the water is "free" the salt maybe $.01. I use sour dough starter so no yeast cost, maybe $.15 for the flour in the starter.

So I have a total of $1.51 in materials, maybe $.05 in LP gas.

about the metric; if you bake bread a lot using metric makes using baker's percentages a breeze.

Now if you want to talk markup look at pizza, what goes for $18 in a decent pizzeria cost me about $3 in materials.
OK $1.56 in materials per loaf - plus how much time?
Well, baking bread takes a fair amount of time, but very little of your attention is required.

I started with the no-knead recipe made famous by Mark Bittman (Bittman was actually sharing a recipe from a baker named Jim Lahey). But "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" was my breakthrough; fool-proof (I'm not the world's greatest fool, but I can be competitive in certain fields) and easy. The idea is you make up enough dough for several loaves at one time (takes about 5-10 minutes), and keep the dough in the fridge, pulling out enough dough to make a fresh loaf as needed (thus, just a few minutes to put the dough in a container to rise, and some time later bake it).

A la Lahey, I use just a pinch of yeast for the dough (specifically, 1/4 teaspoon for about 7 cups of flour) and let it rise overnight, then refrigerate it.
I was given one of these:http://www.amazon.com/ELECTROLUX-Assist ... op?ie=UTF8

Throw the ingredients in (hold the salt), set the timer on the mixer and get on with other things. After the mixing is done (about 8 minutes) I let the dough rest for 20 minutes (autolyse) then add the salt, mix another few minutes and then let it rise in the bowl. It sits there about 5 hours, then I shape it and put it in the fridge for 8-24 hours. Take it out, let the oven (with a stone on the bottom) hear for one hour at 500 and bake it for about 45 minutes.

I can pull some of the dough out, as described above, and keep it in the fridge for a few days. OR, wrap it tightly in foil and put it in the freezer. Then I can take it out and have fresh from the oven bread anytime.

The no-knead approach works well but only for the sort of high hydration recipe described in Bittman's book. Some bread require a dryer dough and the approach described doesn't work so well.

If you are satisfied with the bread from Walmart (and many people are) I would suggest it is not worth your while to bake yourself. It is full of dough conditioners and other ingredients that traditional bread lacks. Traditional bread is grains (flour, seeds), water and salt, with some requiring some sweetener, like bagels with malt syrup.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 12790
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Toons » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:09 am

5 bucks for bread?
Seems like a lot .
We buy the frozen "bread" and bake it in oven. :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

rs899
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by rs899 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:36 am

b4real wrote:We make a loaf about every other day in a bread maker: http://www.zojirushi.com/app/product/bbcec. Takes only a couple of minutes to put in the ingredients and tastes so much better than store bought. You can add seeds, dried fruits, or nuts if desired. The house filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread is an added bonus.
X2, but we use a Breadman Ultimate that we got at Goodwill for$5 years ago. Once you find a recipe you like, you can measure out and batch all the dry ingredients and store them in bags. That way you can dump in a bag, add yeast and water and start it. Takes less time than finding your car keys when you run out of that expensive, unhealthy, corporate bread.

User avatar
JMacDonald
Posts: 2096
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:53 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by JMacDonald » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:07 am

Here are some "8 Impossible-to-Botch Breads"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer- ... 73942.html
Best Wishes, | Joe

User avatar
mrc
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by mrc » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:23 am

b4real wrote:We make a loaf about every other day in a bread maker: http://www.zojirushi.com/app/product/bbcec. Takes only a couple of minutes to put in the ingredients and tastes so much better than store bought. You can add seeds, dried fruits, or nuts if desired. The house filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread is an added bonus.
Those Zojirushi machines are fantastic. We have burned through several other brands. This brand is the best and lets us bake fresh, with known whole ingredients. I even grind wheat berries for flour. Haven't purchased a loaf of bred in many many years. The machine's aren't inexpensive. But we pay only for the ingredients. We pay no one for labor, advertising, shipping. For a preservative-free whole grain experience, we can't beat this.
People often hate what they fear

aprilcpa
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:24 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by aprilcpa » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:20 pm

We can't seem to eat an entire loaf of bread before it goes bad. But, we have a bakery outlet in our town that sells route returns (loaves, buns, bagels, english muffins, etc.) that are still within the sale date for $1 a pack. That's a deal for us and we try to go at least once every few weeks to buy what is needed.

I have never had much success with baking my own bread, and again, we don't eat that much loaf bread.

jay22
Posts: 701
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:56 am
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by jay22 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:37 pm

I used to buy the $1.50-$2.50 bread from Walmart/Safeway (Sara Lee, Pepperidge Farm, Arnold etc.) years ago but was horrified when I started reading the ingredients list on those breads; the list of preservatives is mind boggling. I couldn't understand why a simple loaf of bread would contain 20 different ingredients.

Now, I happily pay $5 for a loaf (Dave's bread, Ezekiel) since I value my family's health more than saving 3 bucks.
Last edited by jay22 on Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
steve50
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:59 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by steve50 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:47 pm

b4real wrote:We make a loaf about every other day in a bread maker: http://www.zojirushi.com/app/product/bbcec. Takes only a couple of minutes to put in the ingredients and tastes so much better than store bought. You can add seeds, dried fruits, or nuts if desired. The house filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread is an added bonus.
+1
Last edited by steve50 on Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bhsince87
Posts: 1632
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:47 pm

aprilcpa wrote:We can't seem to eat an entire loaf of bread before it goes bad.

That used to be a problem in our household, until I learned how to freeze it.

The only "trick" is to make sure you store it in a freezer bag. If it's already wrapped or bagged, just slip the whole thing into a freezer bag.

To defrost, just let it sit out at room temp. If you're toasting, there's no need to defrost.

We do the same thing with hamburger and hotdog rolls. They'll keep for months.
BH87

User avatar
tinscale
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:16 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by tinscale » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:33 pm

bogleviewer wrote:I am always amazed at how expensive quality bread is at the grocery store. A good quality loaf is $5.

Are you paying for the convenience? For those of you that make your own bread, do you do it weekly? Do you still purchase store bought bread? Do you have a recommended bread maker that works with seeds?
OP - You didn't say whether you are talking about a $5 loaf of factory-made Pepperidge Farm or a $5 store-made artisan loaf.

I can get name brand whole wheat factory bread for about $2.25 on sale and it will stay fresh (via preservatives) for about a week. So, for that price I can have the convenience of having fresh tasting bread readily available at any time, for toast or school lunch sandwiches that family members may want.

In addition, I make a loaf of my own rye bread and/or Italian bread about every 3 days. I use a mixer and not a bread machine, so there is more work involved. The problem with the homemade bread is that it is only "great" right out of the oven and for several hours thereafter. It's "good" for another day or 2, but after that is too dried out and crumbly.

Like another poster said, we generally end up throwing out about 1/2 of each loaf I make because we can't eat it all.

Now, pizza, that's where I excel . . . :beer

sport
Posts: 6935
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by sport » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:49 pm

In my experience, artisan breads baked at an ethnic bakery are better and cost less than those in a supermarket. In my area we have good Italian, Jewish, and Polish bakeries. Costco also has good bread at $6.00 to $7.00 for two loaves.

Leeraar
Posts: 4109
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:41 pm
Location: Nowhere

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Leeraar » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:05 pm

Wow.

We have a Cuisinart bread maker, $100 at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and they have a perpetual 20% off coupon. It makes an excellent Italian bread that contains only flour, water, yeast, and salt. Takes only 5 minutes to dump the ingredients in the machine and turn it on. It then takes nearly 4 unattended hours to bake. We make 100 1-lb loaves at less than 20 cents each. We buy yeast by the pound and bread flour in 50-lb bags.

As noted, bread freezes well. Slice it, bag it, and toss it in the freezer. Thaw a couple of slices in the microwave for 15 seconds on a paper towel, or toast it from frozen.

I have been making bread by hand for years, and still do. But, this machine is amazingly good. The other machine in my arsenal is a Kitchen Aid 6-quart bowl lift mixer. Bought a new one a couple of years ago because we just wore the old one out. :)

My motivation is not really to be frugal. It is that the list of ingredients on store-bought bread is just incredible.

L.
You can get what you want, or you can just get old. (Billy Joel, "Vienna")

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18301
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:36 pm

Topic: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

I don't eat bread. It's free and convenient.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

takeshi
Posts: 1174
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by takeshi » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:12 am

bogleviewer wrote:I am always amazed at how expensive quality bread is at the grocery store. A good quality loaf is $5. The only way I can reconcile that this is justifiable by the breadmakers/grocers is that people pay it. I know my family does.

What is in bread? Water, flour, yeast, salt and a some seeds? Is bread one of those items that have high margins for grocers so that they can sell low margin items and still stay in business? Honestly, I am dumbfounded as the cost of producing bread cannot be anywhere near a buck a loaf or if the price isn't associated what-so-ever with cost?
Try making your own versus assuming. Some breads are not that difficult or time consuming but others are. No knead breads can produce good results but when I was baking bread I preferred a slow ferment recipe and it took time and preplanning. Our oven isn't ideal so the last prep steps and baking would take several hours and heat up the kitchen. I enjoyed it but it didn't really save me anything. I did it because I enjoyed baking bread and the results. My wife's dietary changes just made it impractical for me to bake bread just for my consumption.

No product is priced based solely on cost of materials. Even cost of material can also vary depending on the type and quality of ingredients. Are you valuing your time at $0 when considering this?

corysold
Posts: 616
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by corysold » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:34 am

takeshi wrote:
bogleviewer wrote:I am always amazed at how expensive quality bread is at the grocery store. A good quality loaf is $5. The only way I can reconcile that this is justifiable by the breadmakers/grocers is that people pay it. I know my family does.

What is in bread? Water, flour, yeast, salt and a some seeds? Is bread one of those items that have high margins for grocers so that they can sell low margin items and still stay in business? Honestly, I am dumbfounded as the cost of producing bread cannot be anywhere near a buck a loaf or if the price isn't associated what-so-ever with cost?
Try making your own versus assuming. Some breads are not that difficult or time consuming but others are. No knead breads can produce good results but when I was baking bread I preferred a slow ferment recipe and it took time and preplanning. Our oven isn't ideal so the last prep steps and baking would take several hours and heat up the kitchen. I enjoyed it but it didn't really save me anything. I did it because I enjoyed baking bread and the results. My wife's dietary changes just made it impractical for me to bake bread just for my consumption.

No product is priced based solely on cost of materials. Even cost of material can also vary depending on the type and quality of ingredients. Are you valuing your time at $0 when considering this?
I'd tend to agree. My sourdough loafs take 36 hours start to finish. Sure, much of that time is proofing and rising, but there is at least an hour's worth of actual work. At $1.00 or so in bulk flour per loaf, plus 1 hour of work, $5 per loaf isn't such a bad deal for something similar.

stoptothink
Posts: 4192
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by stoptothink » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:34 am

VictoriaF wrote:Topic: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

I don't eat bread. It's free and convenient.

Victoria
Ditto, but my wife and daughter go through two loaves a week. It's very difficult to find bread that isn't terrible nutritionally. If they have to have it it's Ezekiel and some sprouted grain varieties from local stores in our house. Not cheap, but I don't think making it homemade would be worth it.

User avatar
Fieldsy1024
Posts: 621
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:23 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Fieldsy1024 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:36 am

Usually one of the decent priced breads are always on sale when I go to Acme. Either a buy one get one free or half priced.

User avatar
Abe
Posts: 1761
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:24 pm
Location: Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Abe » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:48 am

I buy french bread at Walmart for .99c a loaf, and I slice it with a tool called a knife.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Naismith
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Naismith » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:23 pm

Cost and convenience aren't the only factors for some of us to consider, though. I grind my own wheat and bake sourdough bread in a process that takes more than a day, as others have noted. This has a lower glycemic index value than most commercial breads, which means that it is better for diabetics. Also, some who have gluten sensitivity can eat my bread, because the long rising time causes some of the amino acids to be denatured. Unfortunately, a lot of "sourdough" breads just have the flavoring, they are not baked through the long process.

I slice and freeze loaves, taking out only what I need at a time. I also make sourdough english muffins, which are great for sandwiches or fast pizza.

While it only takes a few minutes at any step in the process, it is a worry...if I go away for more than a week, I have to bring the sourdough starter back to life, or start new. I have to make sure I am around when it is time for the next step, which means that I can only bake on Sunday right now.

But since I can't safely eat other bread, it is worth it.

User avatar
Bylo Selhi
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:40 pm
Location: www.bylo.org in the Great White North
Contact:

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Bylo Selhi » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:58 pm

steve50 wrote:+1 for Zojirushi !!
+1

We had several cheaper makes of bread maker that lasted a couple of years before failing. Our Zoji has been working like a champ baking bread every 2 or 3 days for the past several years. It's well worth the higher cost.

A couple of pro tips to extend the life of the bread pan and paddles:

1. Once you've removed a fresh loaf from the pan, let the pan cool to room temperature before trying to wash it and the paddles. If you rinse or wash the pan while it's still hot it can warp. Then the paddles will then scrape off some of the no-stick surface. This will make it harder to wash the pan in the future.

2. Over time the bushings that drive the paddles will get harder and harder to turn. This puts undue strain on the motor and drive train inside the bread maker. Eventually the bushings can seize which will make the bread maker inoperative. To avoid this, after washing the pan, put a few drops of vegetable oil on the side of each shaft and let it penetrate into the bushings. Then turn the bushings by hand to ensure the oil lubricates the whole bushing. I've even been able to revive seized bushings in this way, making the pan usable again.

User avatar
magellan
Posts: 3469
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by magellan » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:01 pm

Bylo Selhi wrote:To avoid this, after washing the pan, put a few drops of vegetable oil on the side of each shaft and let it penetrate into the bushings. Then turn the bushings by hand to ensure the oil lubricates the whole bushing.
That's a great idea. Thanks for the tip. Our pan has one shaft that's getting pretty hard to turn and I bet this will help.

User avatar
magellan
Posts: 3469
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by magellan » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:07 pm

Naismith wrote:I slice and freeze loaves, taking out only what I need at a time.
We've been doing this for years. We even freeze the occasional store bought loaf. For homemade white bread at least, it really helps to separate the slices before you freeze them. I put 4 pairs of slices in each ziplock freezer bag.

Once you get into the freezing routine, it's easy to always have fresh bread in the house. I haven't thrown away bread in a decade or more.

tic
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:56 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by tic » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:38 pm

Our local Dollar Tree stores sell loaves from the nearby high-end grocery when that store gets rid of them, which is 2 days prior to their "sell by" date. For $1 we get the same loaf that was $4.59 the day before across the street. Then we freeze until ready for use. Our local Big Lots stores do the same thing, but charge $1.40 (but they have bagels, too!).

Ninegrams
Posts: 557
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:12 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Ninegrams » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:04 pm

bogleviewer wrote:I am always amazed at how expensive quality bread is at the grocery store. A good quality loaf is $5. The only way I can reconcile that this is justifiable by the breadmakers/grocers is that people pay it. I know my family does.

What is in bread? Water, flour, yeast, salt and a some seeds? Is bread one of those items that have high margins for grocers so that they can sell low margin items and still stay in business? Honestly, I am dumbfounded as the cost of producing bread cannot be anywhere near a buck a loaf or if the price isn't associated what-so-ever with cost?

Are you paying for the convenience? For those of you that make your own bread, do you do it weekly? Do you still purchase store bought bread? Do you have a recommended bread maker that works with seeds?

I wait till those expensive loaves go on sale ( invariably they do ) and stock up. I freeze ( in reusable freezer bags ) the ones I'm not going to use right away.

gd
Posts: 1343
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:35 am
Location: MA, USA

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by gd » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:12 pm

Jeff Albertson wrote:Mark Bittman's no-knead bread:
http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread
Just took it out of the oven. Looks like it'll make a pretty good garden path paver. Edit- on a whim, actually tried it. Tastes as bad as it looks.

Leeraar
Posts: 4109
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:41 pm
Location: Nowhere

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Leeraar » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:25 pm

Actually, the best recipe ever published in the New York Times is the Plum Torte.

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/3783 ... plum-torte

It works as well or even better with fresh apricots.

L.
You can get what you want, or you can just get old. (Billy Joel, "Vienna")

SouthernCPA
Posts: 667
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:20 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by SouthernCPA » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:29 pm

The fact that there are over 40 posts so far on Bread is mind boggling....Sometimes I wonder why I'm on these forums...

I love New Orleans French bread. Fortunately I live close enough to get it fresh whenever I want.

cheesepep
Posts: 765
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:58 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by cheesepep » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:38 pm

I almost never eat bread. I eat rice most of the time.

letsgobobby
Posts: 11353
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by letsgobobby » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:49 pm

Franz grocery outlet. If there is one near you, a loaf of organic whole grain bread is $1.67. It's near expiration, but that's what the freezer is for.

Also, buy 4 items, get the fifth free.

blevine
Posts: 1861
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:57 pm
Location: Paradise

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by blevine » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:56 pm

My break maker saves us on electricity....because we never plug it in.

User avatar
blueblock
Posts: 863
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:06 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by blueblock » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:56 pm

We freeze bread when it's about to go stale, then when there's enough, process them to crumbs, which are great for breading baked pork chops, fish, etc.

We also bake our own crusty country bread every other week or so. It turns out our lidded Le Crueset cassoulet "cauldron" makes a perfect round loaf. End slices for toast, middle slices for sandwiches.

itstoomuch
Posts: 5343
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:17 pm
Location: midValley OR

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by itstoomuch » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:02 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Franz grocery outlet. If there is one near you, a loaf of organic whole grain bread is $1.67. It's near expiration, but that's what the freezer is for.

Also, buy 4 items, get the fifth free.
DS lIves near Franz Bakery, Seattle. I can confirm this.
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

shelanman
Posts: 456
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:35 pm

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by shelanman » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:01 pm

bogleviewer wrote:I am always amazed at how expensive quality bread is at the grocery store. A good quality loaf is $5. The only way I can reconcile that this is justifiable by the breadmakers/grocers is that people pay it. I know my family does.

What is in bread? Water, flour, yeast, salt and a some seeds? Is bread one of those items that have high margins for grocers so that they can sell low margin items and still stay in business? Honestly, I am dumbfounded as the cost of producing bread cannot be anywhere near a buck a loaf or if the price isn't associated what-so-ever with cost?

Are you paying for the convenience? For those of you that make your own bread, do you do it weekly? Do you still purchase store bought bread? Do you have a recommended bread maker that works with seeds?
When I bake bread, it costs me much more than $5 of ingredients, forgetting the energy cost of using appliances.

DoubleClick
Posts: 370
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:12 am

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by DoubleClick » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:53 am

shelanman wrote:When I bake bread, it costs me much more than $5 of ingredients, forgetting the energy cost of using appliances.
Not sure what your process and ingredients are, but basic fresh bread or French bread costs less than 50 cents per loaf when I make it in a breadmaker, including energy costs.

A pound of flour is 35-40 cents, and makes a loaf comparable to store bought. Yeast is about 2c, oil, sugar, salt are less than 3, energy is less than 3c.

Takes about 2 minutes of my time to make, and another 1 min to clean. OP, you're definitely on the right track. Get a used breadmaker from craigslist if you want to try one out first.

Leeraar
Posts: 4109
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:41 pm
Location: Nowhere

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Post by Leeraar » Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:11 am

DoubleClick wrote:
shelanman wrote:When I bake bread, it costs me much more than $5 of ingredients, forgetting the energy cost of using appliances.
Not sure what your process and ingredients are, but basic fresh bread or French bread costs less than 50 cents per loaf when I make it in a breadmaker, including energy costs.

A pound of flour is 35-40 cents, and makes a loaf comparable to store bought. Yeast is about 2c, oil, sugar, salt are less than 3, energy is less than 3c.

Takes about 2 minutes of my time to make, and another 1 min to clean. OP, you're definitely on the right track. Get a used breadmaker from craigslist if you want to try one out first.
As I said, we buy flour in 50 lb bags for $13 at either GFS or Costco. That's S0.26 a pound, which makes a 2 lb loaf.

It's not about being cheap, it's that you know what is in there. I have no idea what you could put into a home-baked loaf that costs $5.

L.
You can get what you want, or you can just get old. (Billy Joel, "Vienna")

Post Reply