Bread: Homemade or Store Bought?


I believe as a matter of learning self-sufficient skills, and to make things healthier, a person should be able to make anything from scratch. But, do you ever wonder if it’s worth it?  Before making something from scratch you should consider:

  • The cost involved (is it cheaper to make from scratch, or not?)
  • The taste! Does it taste better from scratch?
  • The time.  (Does it take 5 minutes to make from scratch, or 5 hours?)
  • Is it healthier to make from scratch, or is it exactly the same??

I’ve been wanting to make some comparisons with cost, time, and taste, but I’ve never really gotten around to it.  But now I don’t have to!  Jennifer Reese from Tipsy Baker already did it. Her book, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter has everything!  I love her conclusions because she will say, even though it may be cheaper and faster to make instant potatoes, mashed potatoes are still a “make from scratch” because the taste is so much better!

make the bread

She compares everything from Pop Tarts to Pumpkin Pie.  Some of her findings surprised me, and were also funny!  Some of my favorite findings were:

  • Pumpkin pie: Jennifer compared using a can of pumpkin vs an actual pumpkin.  She said “The canned pumpkin was (obviously) more convenient, and I didn’t have to wait for it to roast. It was slightly more expensive- about $0.50 more than the whole pumpkin.  But those were fifty cents well spent, because it made a superior pie- the flavor was bigger, rounder, and more pumpkin-y. I have no idea how you get more pumpkin-y than an actual pumpkin.”
  • Rice Krispie Treates: Make it or Buy it? Make it. Hassle: Supervised first graders can make these, though they probably won’t scrub the pot. Cost comparison: Store bought treats cost three and a half times as much as homemade.
  • Pop Tarts: Make it or Buy It? Make it. Once. Hassle: Major headache.
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins: Make it or Buy it: Make it. Hassle: Some stirring is all.  Cost comparison: Starbucks muffin: $1.85. Homemade muffin of equivalent size: $0.60
  • Buns: did you know, Jennifer recommends buying hamburger buns, but making hot dog buns!

Anyway- You get the picture! Fun book!!  With each item in the book, is an accompanying recipe.  For cocoa (instead of paying for Swiss Miss, she has a recipe for it), BBQ sauce, granola, mashed potatoes, and even birthday cake.

HOMEMADE BREAD RECIPE (From “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter”)

homemade wheat bread

So I set out to make her homemade bread yesterday.  It was so easy, and super-super-super-super yummy!  With everyday bread she says:

  • Make it or buy it? Make it
  • Hassle: Can you stir? You can make this bread.
  • Cost comparison: Homemade: Less than one dollar a loaf, including fuel to heat the oven. A 1 pound loaf of levain bread made by Acme, a local artisan baker, costs $5.50. A loaf of Sara Lee Classic 100% whole wheat: $4.39.


  • Neutral vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups whey from making yogurt, or water at room temperature.
  • 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup flaxseeds (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons Kosher salt.

Oil the inside of two 9 by 5-inch metal loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix the yeast, liquid, flours, seeds (if using), and salt. Scrape the dough into the pans. Drape with a clean, damp dish towel and let rise for about 2 hours until level with the tops of the pans.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Bake loaves for 30 minutes.

Remove the bread from the pans, return to the oven, and bake directly on the rack for 15 minutes more. The bread is done when it is richly colored and sounds hollow when tapped.

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Mix the ingredients

Stir it together

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Put the dough in bread pans

Rise, Bake, and eat!

This bread was so easy to make, and everyone loved it! I really do want to make more of our bread, if I can keep up with the demands of my kids!

The recipes and the commentary of this cookbook is great!  I am so excited to have it on my shelf!  Check it out at Jennifer’s website

homemade bread2wheat bread3So, I’m curious… what items used to be on your store-bought list, but now you make from scratch, or vice versa?  I used to buy croutons, now I always make from scratch!

By Natalie Monson
Posted in Uncategorized




I make homemade bread and yogurt. I am going to try using the whey from my yogurt in my bread. Other things I used to buy but now make from scratch: bread crumbs, ketchup (sometimes), condensed cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, and spaghetti sauce to name a few.


Salsa!! It is a little time consuming but no jar salsa tastes better than homemade!! Plus I like knowing everything I put in it is all natural!! And in the summer almost everything I need for it is grown in my garden so CHEAPER!!

Alina M.

I make all the meals, but buy the bread, yogurt, cheese, nut butters, oils.
I would love to know how to make bread crumbs at home.

Alina M.

Thank you for the link, Amy! So easy to make. I will make them and store them in the frezeer if I make a big batch.

Emily G

ooh, I love the concept of this book; I’ll definitely have to check it out.

Condensed soups, namely cream of chicken and tomato. I found a great recipe to use in place of cream of chicken soup a while back and I don’t think I’ve bought a can since.


Great article…Every once in a while it is nice to make something, just to see if you can do it…But I like the things that you have listed to consider when deciding to make or buy something…I have recently started making soup.


Yogurt for sure, it’s super simple and so delicious. I also, on rare occasion, make cold cereal. It’s kind of a pain but store bought cereal makes my son “craZy”.


I don’t have a bread machine Becky.. it might be too much for a bread machine. Let me know if you try it!


I just started making our own bread and found a few great bread recipes from Mel’s Kitchen blog and King Arthur flour. I make up to 3 or 4 loaves at a time and freeze the ones we’re not currently eating. They defrost overnight so once we’re out I can quickly have another ready for the next day. Funny thing is now that we make our own bread we are actually eating less bread then before which may be a good thing for our waistlines. :) I would like to try yogurt as my kids and husband love it but am a bit worried on making some that will pass their taste test.


I have this book. It is fun to look at different recipes. I was like “You can make that at home!?” I know that SOMEONE makes all the food we eat, but hadn’t really thought about that “duh” people used to make most of their food from scratch at home.

There is a Sara Lee bread outlet near me and I like to go there and get loafs of wheat bread for under a dollar. But I do enjoy making bread from scratch on occasion. I just need to make a bunch of freeze them before the baking stage. Then I could have homemade and convenience.


Maybe it’s just the price of pumpkin around here, but I froze some pumpkin puree and it was significantly cheaper than the canned stuff (not to mention the whole lack of a can/BPA) and my pie tastes a LOT better. Although roasting and cutting up the pumpkin is a pain, not to mention that it’s very hard to get off your hands. I pureed pumpkin for the first time last year, and bought it wrong and ended up with 34 cups of pumpkin!! I think this year I’ll buy a LOT less. lol.


Holy cow that is a lot of pumpkin! Whew! Good to know it tasted great too.
Thanks for sharing.


BUMMER!!! I’ve tried this recipe twice now, bought new yeast each time, and STILL it didn’t rise. Don’t think this is the bread recipe for me. ;( Usually love the recipes from this site!


Amy, have you tried this bread recipe with all whole wheat? I looked on her website and couldn’t find it anywhere. My bread machine just broke, so I’m looking for a way to do it by hand that simple enough for me to keep it going daily.


I like to use King Arthur’s white whole wheat. Can I make the recipe solely with that flour?


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Amy, can I replace the all purpose flour for whole wheat flour? Or a mixture of whole wheat pastry or whole wheat bread. or anything whole wheat. :)


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