Sunday, 28 July 2013

The maths

This week, I figured I should share with you the numbers associated with living well and buying less. Many of these costs and timings are approximate, and it will depend on where you source your ingredients or how accurate you estimate your appliance's power usage. I make yogurt every 10 or so days, reserving some from the previous batch to use in the following batch. Bread gets baked every nine days or so. I freeze the ones that are not in use and defrost them as needed. I make granola regularly too, sometimes I am coordinated enough to follow the bread with the granola in the cooling oven, thus saving electricity. Anyway, I hope the numbers speak for themselves and perhaps persuade you to try making yogurt or home made bread. Bread recipe is on its way, though if you can't wait a few more days for my take on it, the basic recipe can be found following this link.

Tools needed (slow cooker, spoon, food thermometer, blankets and a duvet to insulate it overnight)
1 x 1 off cost: yogurt starter, €1.50 (good for 8-10 goes) ~ 15c a batch
2 x 2L milk, 2 x 1.45 = 2.90
electricity: I am not sure what its wattage is, but lets assume that it takes 50c to operate the slow cooker for the 2 hours that it is on to reach the 85 degrees.
10c to boil the kettle to sterilise the peanut butter jars.
Therefore, each 4 litre batch costs around €3.65 = 45.6c/500ml jar which is still cheaper that buying live yogurt.
Time: 2-3 hours to heat milk in slow cooker, (check every half hour till temp is close to 85 degrees)
cooling to 49 degrees takes around 30mins, (less if using an ice water bath) Adding culture: 2 mins, leave overnight.

2 x 7g yeast = 27c
approx 1.5kg flour = €1.10
salt, sugar, wheatgerm and linseeds come to approx. 50c
oven use at 180 degrees C for 35mins is I guess €1
Therefore, 3 medium sized loaves of homemade bread + 2 rolls costs around €2.87 which I think is worth making as I can choose what goes into it.
Time: Prep time including kneading and shaping bread, 30mins, Proofing the dough (letting it rise) can take a few hours depending on the temperature of the room. Cooking time is 25-30 mins.

Thanks for reading

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