Frugal Village Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have read outdated books with calculations on whether or not baking certain things is cost-effective, and most times it is. For instance, bread. The cost of all the ingredients is cheaper than bread in the store. Does anyone have updated calculations for today's realistic prices. I can get bread at the store for $1.29. With energy usage, is it worth baking? In the summer I say no because it heats the house when I am trying to cool it, but for now its still cold outside...
Anyway, what I am trying to say at length is - can anyone direct me to an updated price comparison? Thank you!!! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
You need to know what you are paying per kwH for electricity or for gas (if you use a gas oven) to be accurate because those numbers vary from place to place. Your electric and gas companies will be able to help you out. This web site gives some general information....

http://advisor.lbl.gov/apusage.html

This site includes a calculator: http://zebu.uoregon.edu/nsf/work.html

What keeps the house cool in the summer is to use one of our Solar Ovens for baking - energy cost - ZERO. The next best savings appliance is one that is small and efficient like a microwave, convection oven, or toaster oven. Smaller is nearly always more cost effective because there is less space being heated. A bread machine would also be more energy efficient than baking in a large oven (and doesn't put out a lot of heat, either). You could also place a bread machine in your garage if the heat is a problem. I put our water distiller or dehydrator in the garage when we have the air conditioner on, but they make a nice addition to the kitchen warmth in the cold months.

I have a Sharp Carousel Convection/Microwave Oven and can bake 2 regular-size loaves of bread in 25-minutes and NO preheating (that's a great savings right there). That's probably the least expensive appliance to run for the job, and it doesn't heat the kitchen up very much. Most energy star appliances are well insulated these days and don't put off the heat like they used to.

I can figure the exact cost and amount used by placing a Watt A Meter on the small appliances (got mine at Amazon.com). I use the Sharp for as much baking as possible because it's much smaller and takes less energy to operate than my regular electric oven. Everything bakes in about 25% less time and 25°F lower. I can get a 9x13-inch pan in it, and can stack 12-inch pizza pans on the rack for baking cookies. It's been a great investment and a workhorse in the kitchen. I'll have to put the Watt A Meter on it and see what the actual costs are.

We checked the refrigerator recently for 507 hours and it costs .07 cents a day to run - much lower than the first link above. Our primary heat source is a Sun Cloud Infrared Heater and after 543 hours - .02 cents/hour. The distiller cost .21 cents per gallon (the least expensive water - fill it yourself reverse osmosis - around here is .35 cents a gallon).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Can you tell me about the solar oven? I was interested in that, but cannot invest in any appliances right now. Did you make yours or purchase it? I had thought of the bread machine. I have one, but haven't used it in a long time. I like the taste of handmade better - the bread machine bread is dense - but do-able!! Thank you for the great advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Can you tell me about the solar oven? I was interested in that, but cannot invest in any appliances right now. Did you make yours or purchase it? I had thought of the bread machine. I have one, but haven't used it in a long time. I like the taste of handmade better - the bread machine bread is dense - but do-able!! Thank you for the great advice!
1. The Solar Ovens I have are purchased.

Tulsi Hybrid Solar Oven: http://www.sunbdcorp.com/

Global Sun Oven: http://www.solardirect.com/energy/sun-oven/sun-oven.htm

I'm not sure you could get a homemade solar oven up to 350°F for yeast breads? You can find good instructions for DIY solar ovens on-line. You'll need an inexpensive oven thermometer in the oven so you know what temperature the oven is. Check your library for the book, Cooking with the Sun by Beth Halacy and Dan Halacy - in includes DIY instructions and LOTS of great recipes.

2. If your bread from a bread machine is too "dense", then you may need to adjust the recipe (I teach Bread Machine classes). Dense bread often means it was under-hydrated (not enough moisture). Be sure to check the dough after it has kneaded for about 5 minutes to see if you need to add some moisture (or flour if it's too moist). You want the dough to be formed in a nice soft ball - not a stiff ball of dough.

Where homemade bread can become costly is if it gets devoured quickly - as often happens with fresh baked breads (LOL). I make all our breads and baked goods with freshly-milled flour and have done so for so long we no longer get excited over a loaf of fresh-baked bread. I'm a stickler for serving sizes of breads and the number of bread/grains we consume a day, so a loaf of bread usually will last us a week. :chef2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
I have read outdated books with calculations on whether or not baking certain things is cost-effective, and most times it is. For instance, bread. The cost of all the ingredients is cheaper than bread in the store. Does anyone have updated calculations for today's realistic prices. I can get bread at the store for $1.29. With energy usage, is it worth baking? In the summer I say no because it heats the house when I am trying to cool it, but for now its still cold outside...
Anyway, what I am trying to say at length is - can anyone direct me to an updated price comparison? Thank you!!! :)
In order to do that, you would need to take the actual cost that you pay for each ingredient, and then add the cost of your electricity. Using generic price sheets for ingredients won't really help if you are trying to calculate your potential savings based on your recipe and the cost of ingredients purchased in your area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,986 Posts
Thanks gang, keep posting as I am lurking on this one. Some interesting reading.

But my main question is what is the kind of bread that Shelli is buying for $1.29???? I envy that price.

If you find anything for under $2 in our stores it will be the store brand yukky white stuff and what 'they call' wheat bread that isn't real wheat bread. If I don't use my bread machine, I go to a bakery outlet where I can get closer to the $1.29 price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,402 Posts
I have a bread maker and I have not purchased a loaf of store bought bread in almost a year. This weekend I am going to try to make hamburger buns.

I don't know if making it myself is cheaper, BUT it sure tastes better and has no preservatives/additives. Hubby likes it too!

My brother and sister-in-law are having a party for my niece (graduating top of her high school class) on Saturday. I am in charge of baking and bringing the bread. I was just going through all my recipes to decide which ones to make.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have a walmart super store here, and their great value bread is 1.29 for white and 1.49 for wheat. I read the ingredients and it seems ok, but I know the kind I make must be healthier, right?

Mary, homemade hamburger buns are awesome! I tried them myself for the first time last week. Now I can't believe I ever bought them. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,402 Posts
I have a walmart super store here, and their great value bread is 1.29 for white and 1.49 for wheat. I read the ingredients and it seems ok, but I know the kind I make must be healthier, right?

Mary, homemade hamburger buns are awesome! I tried them myself for the first time last week. Now I can't believe I ever bought them. :)
I am REALLY excited about trying them. If they turn out, I will try hot dog buns also (for brats and sausages). THEN I won't have to go to the bread store anymore! It is about 15 miles away and I only go when I am going in that direction, but it is still out of the way. So I stock up when I go. That will leave me more room in the freezer for other stuff - LOL!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Thanks gang, keep posting as I am lurking on this one. Some interesting reading.

But my main question is what is the kind of bread that Shelli is buying for $1.29???? I envy that price.

If you find anything for under $2 in our stores it will be the store brand yukky white stuff and what 'they call' wheat bread that isn't real wheat bread. If I don't use my bread machine, I go to a bakery outlet where I can get closer to the $1.29 price.
Some people like the white "wonder" bread. Thanks.:toast:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Some people like the white "wonder" bread. Thanks.:toast:
FYI:

The difference between wholegrain bread and "wonder" bread is what's missing from "wonder" bread and how that nutrition is critical to your health.

My homemade 100% whole wheat or multi-grain and bean flour breads are made from freshly-milled flour loaded with vitamins, minerals and proteins, as well as high fiber. The breads are nice and soft and remain soft for at least a week after baking. I can even make crustless sandwich bread by using the appropriate pans (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/pain-de-mie-pan-with-lid) for people who "fear" homemade breads with a crust.

In a publication entitled "The Whiter the Bread the Sooner You're Dead" by James Duke, Ph.D., a botanist for the USDA writes...

Compared to whole wheat, white bread is missing:
-96% of the vitamin E
-78% of dietary fiber
-72% of magnesium
-62% of zinc
-50% of folic acid
-72% of chromium
-78% of vitamin B6
-plus phytochemicals

Those nutrients are necessary for:
-Immune function
-Cell-to-Cell communication
-Appetite control
-Preventing "free radicals"
-Fetal brain development
-Plus 500 other functions

"Whole wheat can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer...."

"Wheat also lowers the risk of colon cancer...."

"Whole wheat is a rich source of one of the most powerful antioxidants that occurs in food - vitamin E. But vitamin E works better with the naturally occurring cofactors than in isolation. Whole wheat has 21 times more vitamin E than white flour."

"Eating mostly white flour products deprives you of important nutrients. Do yourself a favor and include nutritionally superior whole grains and legumes in your diet?"
--------------------------------------------
Fresh "live" flour VS "dead" flour:

Stability of Vitamin E in Wheat Flour and Whole Wheat Flour During Storage:

http://cerealchemistry.aaccnet.org/doi/abs/10.1094/CCHEM-85-6-0716

Interesting article on using whole grain flour:
http://www.everydayhomemaking.com/articles/whole_grains.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
FYI:

The difference between wholegrain bread and "wonder" bread is what's missing from "wonder" bread and how that nutrition is critical to your health.
I'm well aware of the health benefits of whole grains, which is why we eat them. However, just as I enjoy cookies or chocolate, I like wonder bread. I never said I eat it exclusively, and I'm at a loss as to how you determined by my statement "some people like white "wonder" bread" that I meant we don't eat whole grains ever, only Wonder Bread. :shrug2:

But thank you for your concern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
I found a recipe for pototoe bread that you can store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days I was going to try this to make bread, rolls, bread sticks ect. has any one else tried this I am going to start making bread and freezing the dough so I can just take them out as we need bread, I will mix half bread flour half whole grain flour which is what my family really loves, I figure that even if it cost a little more then buying the cheap bread which is 77 cents a loaf, for white bread, I think making it from scratch is better any ways due to the fact that its made with love as my dh says but also it just taste better, I think if you make a large batch and put the extra dough in the freezer it would be less expensive we go through alot of bread and seems that I always need to go to the store so i figured gas into the price of bread which if my figures are right its cheaper to make it from scratch and have some on hand in the freezer (tried freezing the store bread and it tasted bad so I don't do that any more). I am also going to find the recipe I had for hambuger buns and try those also I would like to make sour dough bread but can not find a good starter recipe tried the one in the twg book but the bread was to hard so must of done something wrong. any one have a good sour dough starter recipe-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
I found a recipe for pototoe bread that you can store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days I was going to try this to make bread, rolls, bread sticks ect. has any one else tried this I am going to start making bread and freezing the dough so I can just take them out as we need bread, I will mix half bread flour half whole grain flour which is what my family really loves, I figure that even if it cost a little more then buying the cheap bread which is 77 cents a loaf, for white bread, I think making it from scratch is better any ways due to the fact that its made with love as my dh says but also it just taste better, I think if you make a large batch and put the extra dough in the freezer it would be less expensive we go through alot of bread and seems that I always need to go to the store so i figured gas into the price of bread which if my figures are right its cheaper to make it from scratch and have some on hand in the freezer (tried freezing the store bread and it tasted bad so I don't do that any more). I am also going to find the recipe I had for hambuger buns and try those also I would like to make sour dough bread but can not find a good starter recipe tried the one in the twg book but the bread was to hard so must of done something wrong. any one have a good sour dough starter recipe-
As a person who makes all their breads and bake goods (using freshly-milled flour from a wide variety of grains/seeds/beans), good for you for working towards making all your own breads. It's rewarding work!

Betty Crocker has a famous recipe for "Potato Refrigerator Dough". In the book, "Betty Crocker's Baking Classics copyright 1979, you'll find not only the original recipe, but how to make it into Braided Dinner Rolls, Parker House Rolls, Crescent Rolls, and Hamburger Buns.

The purpose of the mashed potatoes is important for refrigerator doughs because it preserves the moisture in the dough. Another refrigerator method is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day - a book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois - http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/

I would suggest freezing the baked products rather than freezing dough. The baked goods have a longer freezer life than frozen dough does. If you decide to freeze dough, use honey as the sweetener, rather than sugar. Honey aids in keeping frozen dough moister longer. Because freezing can kill a certain percentage of the yeast in the dough, some "Freezer Dough" recipes call for MORE yeast. Use Active Dry Yeast, rather than any of the fast-acting yeast.

This link may be helpful: http://www.baking911.com/howto/freeze.htm

You don't need a "special" recipe for hamburger buns. The same recipe I use for 100% Whole Wheat or Multi-Grain Bread is the same one I use for hamburger/sandwich buns or hot dog buns. Nearly any enriched dough (containing fat, dairy, sweetener...) will work fine for hamburger buns. Here's a recipe that is very easy and comes with good instruction:

Beautiful Burger Buns - http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/beautiful-burger-buns-recipe

Sourdough starter is best made with wholegrain flour, to begin with. After a few feedings with a wholegrain flour, you can switch to whatever flour you'd like to use. The so-called "wild yeast" are actually found in abundance ON wholegrains, rather than "caught in the air". Therefore you may get a colony of good yeast growing quicker if you use rye flour (which ferments quickly), spelt flour (which has more carbohydrates to feed the yeast), or plain old whole wheat flour, rather than commercial bleached/unbleached flour. But saying that, there have been plenty of starters made with bleached/unbleached flour and water.

Starters are about as varied as the people who use it. Do a search on - Care and feeding sourdough starter - and you'll find any number of recipes and as many contridictions to the "rules" as anything you'll research on breads. Keep trying different ones until you find one you like. Sourdough purists will say only use flour and water, but in my opinion, that's just ONE choice. I've used one for many years called "Everlasting Yeast" - a century-old variation.

You can get a FREE starter from Carl Griffith's 1847 Oregon Trail Sourdough Starter - http://home.att.net/~carlsfriends/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Thanks for the advice I found the betty crocker recipe already I was not going to make that to freeze I have a different recipe that I got from another post on frugal village, she has made it and froze the dough before so it tested, so that was the bread I was going to make, I have tried to freeze already made bread and it comes out either to dry or to mushy. the family wont eat it. So going to try freezing the dough, I also use 1/2 bread flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour I found that doing it that way seems to work the best, I would love to buy organic flour but can not find it at a decent price around here so I buy the next best thing and work with what I have. I do appricate all the information You gave me I checked out the web site for the sour dough starter and I am thinking about sending off for it. So once again thanks for the info.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Thanks for the advice I found the betty crocker recipe already I was not going to make that to freeze I have a different recipe that I got from another post on frugal village, she has made it and froze the dough before so it tested, so that was the bread I was going to make, I have tried to freeze already made bread and it comes out either to dry or to mushy. the family wont eat it. So going to try freezing the dough, I also use 1/2 bread flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour I found that doing it that way seems to work the best, I would love to buy organic flour but can not find it at a decent price around here so I buy the next best thing and work with what I have. I do appricate all the information You gave me I checked out the web site for the sour dough starter and I am thinking about sending off for it. So once again thanks for the info.....
If you are getting frozen bread that "comes out either to[o] dry or to[o] mushy", then you may well be storing it incorrectly in the freezer. I freeze ALL breads and never have this as a problem. I just put 2 loaves of 100% whole wheat bread in the freezer and it will be just as good as 1-day old bread when it's thawed. We only use 1-loaf per week and I make 3 at a time.

This is what I teach in my bread classes: Frozen breads require 2 coverings. First wrap the bread in plastic wrap and make sure it's tightly fitting over the bread. The less air the loaves are exposed to, the better. Use two layers of plastic wrap, if necessary, to get a good coverage. The tight fit will help prevent moisture migrating from the crumb of the bread to the crust, and eventually into the air, which will cause ice crystals forming. The second layer you need to wrap the bread in is foil. With those two coverings you will not have ice crystals that thaw and make the bread "mushy", and more moisture will remain in the crumb of the bread - especially if you use honey in the bread.

If you still experience ice crystals forming, then be sure to dump them out of the packaging BEFORE letting the bread thaw.

Hope this helps with your frozen bread problem. :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
If you are getting frozen bread that "comes out either to[o] dry or to[o] mushy", then you may well be storing it incorrectly in the freezer. I freeze ALL breads and never have this as a problem. I just put 2 loaves of 100% whole wheat bread in the freezer and it will be just as good as 1-day old bread when it's thawed. We only use 1-loaf per week and I make 3 at a time.

This is what I teach in my bread classes: Frozen breads require 2 coverings. First wrap the bread in plastic wrap and make sure it's tightly fitting over the bread. The less air the loaves are exposed to, the better. Use two layers of plastic wrap, if necessary, to get a good coverage. The tight fit will help prevent moisture migrating from the crumb of the bread to the crust, and eventually into the air, which will cause ice crystals forming. The second layer you need to wrap the bread in is foil. With those two coverings you will not have ice crystals that thaw and make the bread "mushy", and more moisture will remain in the crumb of the bread - especially if you use honey in the bread.

If you still experience ice crystals forming, then be sure to dump them out of the packaging BEFORE letting the bread thaw.

Hope this helps with your frozen bread problem. :thumb:
once again thanks for the information but I am going to stick to freezing the dough have tried everyway to feeze already made bread, I have double wrapped it and tried every other way I have heard of the bread still comes out either to dry or to mushy, so now will just try freezing the dough. I am sick of wasting money and time on bread that the family wont eat and I have to either throw to the birds or throw out, so frozen dough is the way I am going to go now or just make the potatoe bread and put it in fridge and use as I need it, thanks agin for info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Pam,
I have not yet tried freezing dough, how do you bake it after frozen? Do you bake from frozen, or let it defrost and proof first. Also, do you let it rise before freezing? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Pam,
I have not yet tried freezing dough, how do you bake it after frozen? Do you bake from frozen, or let it defrost and proof first. Also, do you let it rise before freezing? Thanks!
Its like the frozen bread in the store that u can buy, You let it thaw and rise then bake, I have not tried the recipe that I got from frugal village but the person who posted it said that it worked great and she had been making and freezing dough with this recipe for years, I also have a recipe for spam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typed house wife web site that is supposed to be fail proof, I am going to try that one also to see which I like best just need to get house caught up and get it done will probably try to do that one a weekend when DH is home to watch grand baby, I will post and let ever one know how it went.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
948 Posts
Grainlady your knowledge is outstanding! What great resources you provided.

Schellie- I have tried freezing bread dough and it works just fine. Just can't leave it in there too long. But if your family is using a lot of bread like you said that shouldn't be an issue.

Also you really should try to betty crocker potato fridge dough it is awesome!! I love having the dough made and all ready to go at the drop of a dime! Highly recommend it :)
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top