An artisan loaf of bread, baked to perfection, sits on top of a scale with wheat sprinkled elegantly on top.

Is Baking Your Own Artisan Bread More Expensive?

Baking your own bread has many advantages.

  • You know all the ingredients
  • Real sourdough bread is healthier
  • Self-baked bread is fresh and doesn’t need preservatives

But can you save money by baking your own bread?

TL:DR: The answer is yes! Baking your own artisan bread is cheaper than buying packaged bread.

As of January 2024, the average price for a 500-gram loaf of fresh white bread is $3.52 CAD in stores. In Vancouver, it is $4.08.

Let’s see how much my regular loaf of bread costs me to bake at home:

Here is a free download for your calculation:

I like to use high-quality ingredients in my bread. Whenever possible I use organic ingredients and I like to use specialty flours too. If you need to be on a stricter budget than we are, you can reduce the price per 500 grams to $1,50 by using only white bread flour for example. If you start baking regularly, you can buy flour in larger packages and reduce your cost further.

Why does artisan bread cost so much when you buy it?

The calculation above does not take into account my labour, cost to bring it to market, wear and tear on my equipment and other factors.
Bakers that bake real sourdough bread spend a lot more time than commercial bakers to bake a loaf. Baking without commercial yeast means that the bread takes longer to ferment, it ties up space, it requires a lot more handling and batches will need to be smaller.

History

About 100 years ago bread factories started selling bread in Canada. This was made possible by the invention of industrial yeast.
In the 1960s companies like WonderBread marketed whiter than whiter bread and boasted about the supposed health benefits.

Buying packaged bread is so much more convenient, it always has the same standard and thanks to its preservatives it remains edible for a long time.
We simply got used to buying bread in the grocery store. The remaining bakeries today need to compete with this standard of convenience and price.

Although, I remember when I immigrated to Canada almost 35 years ago it was hip to buy “Artisan Bread” in Vancouver’s hip specialty bakeries. At that time people already began to see the benefits and differences in the taste of better bread.

Food Security

The invention of commercial yeast and the history of factory bread caused many of us lose the ability to bake this most basic of foods for our families.

When people stayed at home during the Covid-19 pandemic and the stores ran out of yeast, many of us learned how to bake better bread at home. The fact that you are visiting my website tells me that you are interested in learning too.

Baking your own bread can save your family money and contribute to your food security. You are effectively cutting out the profits of the large grocery manufacturers while increasing the wellbeing of your family.

One more factor speaks for cultivating sourdough. I wrote about biodiversity on my personal blog: https://frithjof.blog/we-almost-lost-these-microorganisms/

Over to you

How much does your bread cost to make? What are your own reasons for baking bread?
Let me know in the comments!

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