Dec 17 2007

How much does bread flour cost?

I have my brand-new (to me) bread machine all ready to bake its first loaf–except I don’t have any bread flour. My owner’s manual says it’s best to use bread flour, and I’m hoping to hear from you bread bakers on this:

-Do you HAVE to use bread flour? Is it truly the best?

-About how much can I expect to pay for bread flour?

-Can I find it at most grocery stores? I’m not a member of Sam’s or anything.



18 Responses to “How much does bread flour cost?”

  1. I’ve successfully used regular flour in my bread machine with little noticeable differences. However, my store usually has bread flour in 5 pound bags for the same price as the other flour. The kind I buy is in a yellow bag (name escapes me!). I bought a lot of it recently when I was on sale at Publix for $.99 per bag. I’ve heard that if you are using regular flour you should decrease the amount by 2 teaspoons per full cup required in the recipe. I don’t know how true this tip is. Hopefully other readers can help you out more!

    Angie

  2. I would love to know the answer as well! I use regular flour but all my loaves end up like bricks. Maybe someone else will know if I need the special bread machine yeast? My Dad thought I might. Still love your blog, by the way, Kacie!

  3. I personally always use all purpose flour however when i’m making whole wheat i use a quarter cup of gluten flour that i buy in a bulk food store as it really makes the whole wheat bread nice and light and airy. I also don’t bake the bread in the machine but i make the dough and bake it in the oven with great results.

  4. Here’s what I know about bread flour: the best for rising and texture is occident unbleached flour – that’s a kind of hard wheat. However, any unbleached flour can be used with very good results (and it’s better for you anyway). Avoid all purpose flour that’s been bleached and enriched – years ago when I first learned about making bread, I used to know the chemistry for that, but I admit I forget.
    I buy my flour in bulk at a local store (25 lbs. – I store it in my chest freezer) and it costs about $8, or .32/lb. In a regular grocery store, you should be able to find unbleached flour. I’ve never found at it at my local discount store.

    I’m so hooked on the taste and nutrition of homemade bread that I’ve never actually calculated the cost to make it! Good luck with your new venture. Your home will smell so good and you’ll have a new kind of gift to give away!

  5. I had a bread machine years ago and just used “regular” flour for whatever flour was called for (whole wheat, sourdough, whatever) along with regular yeast packets. I also used prepackaged mixes from Costco and the grocery store, but I have no idea what they used in there, whether it was specifically bread flour or not.

    A few days ago I bought a 5# bag of whole wheat bread flour in the commissary (military grocery store) for the same price as regular flour was running. I plan to use it to try to make bread from hand since I *sniffle* no longer have my bread machine. I never should have donated that thing!

    Good luck!

  6. I started out using only bread flour, but got sick of always having to buy it when I had regular flour at home.
    (I always use unbleached flour)
    I don’t notice any difference at all. I normally use a combination of unbleached and whole wheat flour and we’ve been loving it. I also just use the dough cycle as even the ‘light crust’ cycle seems to make the crust to hard in the machine and the loaves are to tall and short for me.
    In my opinion…the manuals are waaay to picky. After reading it I thought it was sooooo hard to make bread, measuring everything just so.
    It’s so easy-just toss it all in.

  7. Bread flour has more protein in it, and depending upon the amount of yeast, is necessary. You can try adding Vital Wheat Gluten (1tsp. per loaf, approx.) and using regular flour. Vital Wheat Gluten is sold by the flour, comes in a box, and costs about a dollar and lasts forever. It’s basically wheat protein which makes the dough stretchy to hold the bubbles. Dough not stretchy enough = bubbles pop = flat bricklike bread.

    Breadflour should be about the same price as regular flour. Don’t substitute Whole Wheat for regular flour without adding gluten.

    If you do any amount of bread baking, buy yeast at Sam’s or Costco. I paid $3 or $4 dollars for TWO POUNDS. One packet has 2 1/4 tsp.

    I posted about breadmakers a while back, with helpful troubleshooting links:
    http://www2.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=20627779&postID=116645318078123492

  8. Sorry wrong link. Here you go:
    http://milehimama.blogspot.com/2007/01/works-for-me-wednesday-bread-machines.html

  9. I love making bread, bagels, pizza dough, and other things in my bread machine. I do use bread flour, I think the texture comes out better. But, in a pinch I have used all purpose and it works, too.

    I do not use any kind of special yeast, just regular old yeast.

    I buy the flour and yeast at my local Walmart. It’s right next to the other flours.

  10. Hey~Kacie
    I sure hope that bread can be made with regular flour. I am in the market for a bread maker and I had no idea that some required the use of bread dough.

    Hey,Milehimama I will be by to check out your link. I need to find out everything I can about bread machines. I don’t want any surprises.

  11. Thanks for your comments, everyone! I’ll mess around with it a little and let you know how it goes.

  12. A little late here and please forgive short message as I only have 1 free hand thanks to baby. Feel free to use regular flour. But you might want to make sure you use good quality flour such as pillsbury, glod medal or king arthur, not generic. Brand name bradns mentioned have higher protein content and are better for guten development. I don’t like to use bread flour too much because I find my bread comes out denser.
    Love making bread here. I hope you check Tammy’s website, she has great recipes.

  13. Mercedes, you are a sweetie pie. A one-handed one, at that, I guess :) Thanks for stopping over and leaving a comment. Good tip on avoiding generic.

    I can’t wait to bake a loaf! Looks like I won’t get to it until after Christmas, but I’ll be sure to write about it.

  14. Like milehimama said, the protien makes a difference. Also, for some of you that use bread flour with little success, try using warm water (about 115 degrees F, and allowing the yeast to disolve in it before adding it to the flour)

    Also, it might be worth considering getting a Costco membership if you find that bread is something that you will make on a regular basis. (lots of other things at Costco worth buying…bananas 1.30 for 3 lbs, 23.00 for a bag of bnls skinls chix… about 40 breast per bag, which makes them about .58 cents each… cheese, milk, eggs, sour cream, tortillas, bread…all prices you really can’t beat.) If you are interested in trying out Costco, you can get a refund on your membership if you find that its not worth it. Also, with each membership, you can have I additional member. If you have a friend that is also interested, consider splitting the cost. (did I mention polish sausage hot dog and a soda in their cafe for a BUCK FIFTY!!!)

    Anyhow, back on track… I buy a 25 pound bag of bread flour at Costco for $5.15 (comes to 4 cents a cup) and yeast is 3.39 for 2 lbs ( this is 1.5 cents per 2 1/4 portion which is the equivelent to what the little packets are at the grocery store) I make French Bread for .10 per loaf plus the cost to run the oven for 20 min. These loafs freeze really well, so I save oven time by making several loaves at a time, and I also make pizza dough once a week. The cost of that is .20 cents per dough, which yields one pizza and breadsticks in about 15 min. If you had more time, you could let the dough rise longer, and double the batch for the same cost.

    Hope this helps.

  15. The yeast makes a big difference. Try finding the brand SAF-instant yeast. It’s the bomb!

  16. The bread flour you are talking about is made by Gold Medal and it is called “Better for Bread” bread flour.

  17. The bread flour that I use is made by Gold Medal and is called “Better for Bread” bread flour. It is in a yellow bag right next to the other kinds of flour. I have found it at Walmart and at Foodlion.

  18. i have an awesome sweet amish bread recipe that doesnt require a bread machine if you would like it and its really simple and easy. turned out amazing

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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