Sunday, August 9, 2015

Making Bread At Home (Part Two): Cost Analysis

Yesterday I listed the pros and cons of the 3 different methods of baking white bread at home that I have personally used.  Each recipe produced delicious bread and the main con, for me, is that I eat a lot more bread (and put on a lot more weight!) when I bake it myself. There is nothing quite like your house smelling of baking bread. Yum!  How can you resist it?!

Today I'm going to be discussing the cost break-down of making each recipe. Note: these costs are indicative. They reflect the prices that I have paid for my supplies. Yours will undoubtedly be different!  

Because I'm visual, I figured that the data would be easier to compare if it was in a table:

Here are the prices that I paid, to give you an idea of how I got to these costs:


When it comes to the actual baking method, I think it goes without saying that the breadmaker is more energy efficient than the oven. But the recipe I use calls for the breadmaker to be on for almost 4 hours, while the more traditional methods use the oven from 40 to 60 minutes.

As of May 2015, Duke Energy charges us the following costs (excluding any taxes and other fees):

Energy Charge:
  • First 1,000 kWh @ 6.656¢ per kWh
  • All kWh above 1,000 @ 8.018¢ per kWh

Fuel Charge:
  • First 1,000 kWh @ 4.323¢ per kWh
  • All kWh above 1,000 @ 5.323¢ per kWh

So I averaged all of these numbers and came out to 6.08¢ per kWh.

My breadmaker is an 800W appliance.  I ran the breadmaker for 50 minutes (3.8 hrs).
So 800 x 3.8 / 1000 = 3.04 kWh
Cost: 3.04 kWh x 6.08¢ = 18.48¢ total cost for the 3 hrs and 50 minutes of operation.

My wall oven is ancient and I couldn't find its wattage anywhere (it's so old all the labels have completely faded or fallen off).  Let's assume it's a 5000W appliance since it's probably not energy efficient at all.  . I ran the 5000W oven for 45 minutes (0.7 hour)
So 5000 x 0.7 / 1000 = 3.5 kWh
Cost: 3.5kWh x 6.08¢ = 21.28¢ total cost for the 45 minutes of operation.

Wow, with only a 3 cent difference, it doesn't seem to matter whether I use the bread machine or bake the bread in the oven. However, consider that the wall oven will increase the temperature of your kitchen, causing the AC to kick on, probably, whereas the bread machine didn't heat up my kitchen at all.

Next up on the agenda?  I might try using the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day recipe (scaled down to 1/4 of the recipe) IN the breadmaker and see what happens... stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!! I think that most recipes can be adapted to work in the bread machine and I have great hope that your will have a great turn out. I know that the bread starts to get cheaper when you can look for crazy good sale on the bread flour or if you don't want to keep it on hand...just look for the added gluten flour to add to the recipe. You have an amazing breakdown!! Makes me feel even better since I haven't done mine in 2 years!! :)


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