Overview of Baking Costs- For beginning bakers, we highly recommend starting with basic low cost ingredients. If you purchase flour and yeast in the membership stores like Sam’s Club and Costco you will pay less than $4 for two pounds of yeast, and around $10 for 25 pounds of flour. When you have nearly gone through your first sack of flour, you may want to check out some of the higher priced flours. When you are well committed to regular baking you should check out restaurant supply stores where 50 pound sacks of bread flour generally sell for about $15.00. That's about .30 cents a pound. Remember that you will pay a premium – sometimes a rather large one – for organic and specialty flours. $3.00 and more per pound is common compared with $0.40 or less for ordinary flours. The bottom line is that your baking costs will be far less than supermarket bread prices.
Organic vs non-organic Those who want an organic diet will choose to purchase the organic flours. These, too, are considerably more expensive than their non-organic counter- parts. If budget and economy are primary goals, you will probably tend to the non-organic for most baking needs. We will leave it to those informed visitors to hash that issue out. If economy is your main goal, rest assured you will be providing your family with far more nutritious and healthy breads than you have been buying in the supermarket even if you purchase the least costly ingredients for your home baking. This is so because you will be using no perservatives or other additives that extend shelf-life. Please don't confuse "shelf-life" with freshness. They are far from the same.
Organic & Specialty Flours A Google search will reveal a vast number of suppliers ready to meet your needs and even your most exotic desires in baking flours.A visit to King Arthur Flour's website www.kingarthurflour.com will give you an excellent idea of the range of flours that are available. This employee-owned company has been serving baker’s needs for more than 200 years. You will also find specialty baking “tools of the trade” here, as well as listings of the local retail shops that carry their products.
The number of very different flours available to us is a bit staggering. In addition to the white, whole wheat and ryes, you will find oat, spelt, barley, etc… All have their place in the baker’s repertoire, and some are extremely important to those with food alergies and special dietary requirements.
Visit a few of these, and the dozens more, baking product websites for an idea of what will be available to you in the world of breadmaking,
There a many bread mixes on the market. While qyuite convenient to use, they they increase your cost substantially. So, it becomes a matter of whether or not you wish to pay a premium for the convenience these mixes provide.
THE OTHER INGREDIENTS- Certainly, you can use ordinary table salt and the Fleishman’s Yeast from your local supermarket. However, after you get started you may wish to do some experimenting with other yeasts (you will find them in specialty gourmet shops and online) and probably will want to try sea salt in your dough. You will find a wide variety of sea salts at www.frontierherbs.com. These won’t add very much to the cost of a loaf. Since we particularly like Jewish Rye bread, we purchase molasses from a restaurant supply house in the gallon jug, and caraway seeds from an organic food co-op we frequent. Kosher (un-milled) salt crystals are available in most grocery stores to sprinkle on the top of rye loaves after brushing beaten egg on the loaves. The enhancements that you may use in your family’s favorite baked treats run the gamut from various nut meats, herbs and spices, green chilies and cheeses to Kalamata olives and candied fruits. If it sounds like a good combination to you and you don’t find an exact recipe to your liking, go ahead and experiment. At the worst, your result will probably be quite edible, and at the best you may have hit on something exquisite to your taste. If you do, please share that with our readers by going to: