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Old 07-31-2009, 09:16 PM   #11
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That's a good price for bakery bread but...

...I still like to bake my own.

Four years ago I vowed I would learn to make artisan bread.

At first my bread turned out like this


I persisted. Now my bread turns out like this...


It's fun having an edible hobby.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:24 AM   #12
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eighty five cents ...

That's what it costs me to buy the ingredients for a one-pound hearth bread with about 20% organic whole grain flour and a some organic honey. Bakery cost for an equivalent loaf is $3.50 to $4.00

I buy retail and live in NYC, so my costs are probably higher than many other areas in the US.

Labor costs? For me, baking bread is a labor of love. Can't cost out love.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:15 PM   #13
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fifty seven cents

Sorry all - my previous post was incorrect. In my earlier post I said my ingredients cost was for a one-pound loaf, but actually it was for a 1&1/2 pound loaf.
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Originally Posted by subfuscpersona on 8-25-2009 at 09:24 AM
That's what it costs me to buy the ingredients for a one-pound hearth bread with about 20% organic whole grain flour and a some organic honey.
For a one-pound loaf, my cost for ingredients is 57 cents.

Bakery cost for an equivalent one pound loaf is $3.50 to $4.00

I tried to edit my prior post but apparently this is no longer allowed.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:31 PM   #14
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What's the "shelf life" of these breads?
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:32 PM   #15
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What's the "shelf life" of these breads?
Shelf life I would think depends on how you store it after wards.
I keep all artisan breads out in the open,covered lightly with a towel.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:51 PM   #16
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OK, and how long do they last that way? :)
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:05 PM   #17
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re shelf life

@GrillingFool - what do you mean by shelf life? I hate to be difficult, but its hard to answer your question. Shelf life can simply mean how long the bread will last without developing mold (bad!) or it can mean how the bread tastes as it ages and loses some moisture. I'm going to assume you mean the later.

BRIEF RESPONSE
For the one-pound breads I pictured, stored at room temperature in a paper bag, 2-3 days. In contrast, if I purchase a similar bread from a high-end bakery, the shelf life is 1-2 days under the same storage conditions.

EXTENDED RESPONSE
I showed photos of two breads - both were hearth breads, shaped freeform and baked on a flat surface. The one on the left was sourdough and the one on the right was made with a biga preferment. Otherwise the formulae were quite similar.

Once the loaf has cooled and after it has been cut, I store these one pound loaves in a brown paper bag, cut side down, on my kitchen counter. (I don't live in an area with high humidity and my kitchen is not air-conditioned.) I don't refrigerate bread as that hastens moisture loss (actually, what is happening is not really moisture loss but I'm not prepared to give the scientific explanation and maybe you don't care anyway).

In my (most humble) opinion, both loaves have a shelf life of about 3 days given the above storage conditions. If I go to day 4, the sourdough loaf tastes slightly better.

Note that both loaves contain a small amount of honey, which is hydroscopic (which simply means that honey helps maintain moisture).

Note that both loaves are hearth breads, not sandwich breads. Hearth breads are baked freeform on a flat surface at a high heat (about 450F). Sandwich breads are baked in a loaf tin at lower heat (about 350F). With a similar recipe, the hearth bread releases more of the water during baking and will therefore "stale" more quickly than the sandwich bread. Sandwich breads, depending on recipe, have a shelf life of 4-5 days (stored at room temperature in a paper bag).

If you're aiming to extend the shelf life of homemade bread, look for recipes that include a small amount of fat (oil or butter) or a small amount of full-fat soy flour. Both of these additions help keep the interior of the bread soft but do also result in a less crispy crust.

Pretty much all basic breads - hearth or sandwich - can be successfully frozen. Let them cool completely, double wrap in plastic wrap, label and freeze.

Besides freezing, there are lots of subtle ways one can vary a bread recipe to help it keep at room temperature a little longer. However, as I'm sure you know, supermarket-variety breads contain many additives specifically designed to keep the loaf soft for a week or more, even when stored in a refrigerator.

Hope this helped a little bit. - SF
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:36 PM   #18
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OK, and how long do they last that way? :)
I can't give you a straight up answer.Artisan loaves in my house are usually gone by that night.It's rare to have a loaf around the next day.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:20 PM   #19
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I keep my bread in plastic, in the refrigerator which is the one thing all of the experts tell you not to do.

I live alone and use bread mostly for sandwiches. It takes my a week to go through a loaf of bread. Stored "properly", it goes bad in 2 days. Stored "improperly", it's good for a week. Quality declines in the refrigerator, but it's still better than commercial. The only time I store bread on the counter is to make pain perdu (i.e. French Toast).
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:33 PM   #20
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Another ABin5 fan here. I cannot wait for the second book to come out (it's literally on my calendar!). I love everything I've made in their first book, but I try to eat whole grain breads day to day. The second book is supposed to focus more on healthier breads with whole grains.
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