As I mentioned in a comment at my last post, I calculated that making bread costs me no more than $1.80 per loaf even buying ingredients in small quantities at high prices. That figure includes 3 cents worth of electricity (measured with a Kill-A-Watt meter).
One commenter asked how I value my time - implying that store bought bread is less expensive if I added that cost in. I replied that I enjoy making the bread, because it is relaxing and because I control the ingredients.
There are other reasons. Our bread is always fresh now - we make what we need when we need it and I have not yet tossed any stale bread maker bread to the birds. That was fairly common before I started making it myself, by the way.
We also don't run out of bread. When I got up this morning I saw that only four slices were left from the last loaf, so I made up another loaf which is baking as I write this. If I didn't have the bread machine, we'd either go without or I'd have to run to the store. Going to the store definitely takes more time than what it takes me to mix up the loaf and it costs gasoline and wear and tear also.
All in all, I can't see this as anything but a win.
By the way, I got the bread slicing block from Amazon and really like it.
The recipe we finally settled on is a mix of "Bread flour" and whole wheat:
6 ounces whole wheat flour
8.5 ounces Bread Flour
1/2 cup McCanns Irish Oatmeal
1 teaspoon salt
10 ounce water
2 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1/4 tablespoon butter
1.5 to 2 teaspoon yeast
Simple and very tasty toasted or for sandwiches.