Yaara asks what is the cost of baking bread in an ATM versus buying bread at
I thought this was an interesting question, so the next time I went to buy
groceries at my local Wal-Mart I recorded the cost and amount for typical
bread ingredients. I am sure that the cost of ingredients varies greatly
all over the world and are probably lower if you bought in bulk, but here is
my list: Milk $2.17/gal (I used 2%), Bread Flour $1.64/5 lbs, Salt $0.35/26
oz, Butter $2.33/lb, Sugar $1.86/5 lbs, Yeast $6.97/7 oz.
The receipe I am using is for Basic White Bread from "Bread Machine Magic"
(1.5 lb loaf) - 1/2 cup water, 5/8 cup milk, 3 cups bread flour, 1 1/2 tsp
salt, 1 1/2 Tbs butter, 3 Tbs sugar, 1 1/2 yeast.
(To simplify, I have omitted all the conversion factors used.)
Butter - 1 lb = 32 Tbs for $2.33, therefore 1 1/2 Tbs = $0.110/loaf.
Milk - 1 gal = 18 cup for $2.17, therefore 5/8 cup = $0.076/loaf.
Bread Flour - 5 lb = 10 cup for $1.64, therefore 3 cups = $0.492/loaf.
Sugar - 5 lb = 160 Tbs for $1.86, therefore 3 Tbs = $0.0360/loaf.
Salt - 26 oz = 156 tsp for $0.35, therefore 1 1/2 tsp = $0.003/loaf.
Yeast - 7 oz = 42 tsp for $6.97, therefore 1 1/2 tsp = $0.249/loaf.
Water - I could use the cost of bottled water from the store at $1.00/gal,
but I think this is way too high. Looking at my last water bill, tap water
is probably less than $0.01/gal. I am therefore going to consider the cost
of water used in the loaf of bread to be negotiable (i.e., less than
The total cost of a loaf of bread (listing most to least expensive
Ingredient Cost per Loaf (Cents)
Bread Flour 49.2
When I was at Wal-Mart I noticed that a 1 1/2 lb load of Wonder bread cost
Conclusions - It cost about as much to make bread in an ATM as it does to
buy it already made at the store. The most expensive ingredients in a leaf
of bread are flour and yeast.
Danny L. Dunn <email@example.com> Ft. Worth, Texas
"If you don't learn anything from your mistakes,
then there's no sense in making them!"