Everyone loves a bargain, and baking bread at a low cost has always been a priority for me.
However, healthy eating is also a top priority for both me and family. To balance these two goals, I’ve worked out the cost of baking with organic flour versus regular flours.
If you’ve shopped for organic flours, you know that they cost approximately twice as much as flours that aren’t designated as organic. Basically, this means that a loaf of bread made with organic flour will cost around $2 per loaf. (See a cost breakdown for homemade bread here.)
Depending on how much bread you bake each week/month, this cost may or may not fit your budget. In our household, I select organic flour whenever possible.
If organic flours aren’t available in your local stores, there are many online buying options. Whenever possible, I search for free shipping to avoid increasing the overall cost of my breads.
In researching organic flour options, you’re likely to find multiple sources offering 25- and 50-pound bags. Typically, buying in volume like this is a benefit. However, check on shipping costs before submitting an order. In one instance, shipping would have added $90 to my bulk flour price.
If you’re able to purchase 5-pound bags of flour without any shipping charge, this may actually be the most economical option.
Purchasing organic flour in bulk may help lower your overall costs. You’ll want to store it – and any other type of bulk flour – in the freezer. This can be done relatively easy if you break down the bulk bag into smaller bags or containers. It may be helpful to place the smaller bags/containers inside a cardboard box or other container that will help keep the flour from disappearing in the freezer! The box would also catch any unexpected spills or leaks.
Be sure to label all bags/containers in regard to the type of flour they contain and the date you purchased them. This is very helpful when you inventory supplies and makes it easy to rotate containers, so you use the oldest stock first.
You can determine whether or not you need bulk flour by using these calculation steps:
- Estimate the number of loaves of bread you bake each week, e.g. 2.
- Each 2-pound loaf of bread requires about 3.5 cups of flour, right at 1 pound of flour.
- Two loaves of bread per week will require between 2 and 2.5 pounds of flour per week.
- A 25-pound bag of flour will make approximately 25 loaves of bread.
- If you’re making 2 loaves of bread per week, 25 pounds will last for approximately 12 weeks.
Use this same method to calculate how long your flour supply will last. It can be very helpful in determining the true value of bulk flour.
Keep in mind that having information about how much flour you use per week can also help determine the true value of flour that is on sale.
If you opt to use organic flours, take time to verify that the company supplying the flour is certified organic to ensure you receive what you’re paying for.
Photo by Loretta Sorensen
Long time journalist Loretta Sorensen is the author of Secrets To Baking Your Best Bread Ever! and regularly shares information about whole grains and bread baking. You’ll find her book on her blog site at www.bakeyourbestever.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Country Store at Our Dakota Horse Tales. Her weekly bread baking posts are featured at Mother Earth Living, GRIT Magazine, Our Dakota Horse Tales, and on Pinterest and Facebook.