Calculating energy costs/loaf of bread. Pay around $1.12 per 100,000 BTUs of natural gas. My oven's burner is likely around 17,000 BTU based on the average burner size for ovens. Estimating high, the burner probably run for 30 minutes during the cooking process of my bread. This includes 30 minutes of baking at 350 degrees F and staying warm (maybe 150 F) for an hour and a half. That comes out to about $0.10/loaf of natural gas. Electricity costs are pretty negligible. It costs around $0.10/kilowatt hour for electricity, and the mixer and lights add up to a power cost less then $0.01. Having computed the price of natural gas, I can also estimate other costs. It takes around 15 minutes to fill the bathtub. My water heater heats the water as it's needed with a 150,000 BTU burner. So a bath costs $0.43, plus water pumping costs-- almost $13/month. A full load of laundry takes about 5 minutes of hot water, so about $0.15/load.
Talon and I had promised Alex we would make her dinner for her birthday and tonight we made good on our word. Talon concentrated on the main course and I worked on bread and desert. The meal was a stake kabob marinated with a sweet wine and teriyaki base. The bread I made was a rich French bread. I started a preferment of yeast and flour in the morning and gave it around 8 hours to ferment. Along with the flour, salt and remaining yeast, I added two tablespoons of olive oil. For desert, we decided on a hot fudge brownie, but didn't have time to make the fudge. Instead, we planned to dip the ice-cream in dark chocolate and top it all off with a fresh strawberry. The dinner turned out quite well and the bread's rich flavor helped to complement the sweet kabobs. The desert could have turned out better. Although the flavor was what we expected, the presentation wasn't as good as we had hopped. In all though, preparing the meal was a lot of fun, and I think Alex enjoyed her birthday dinner. Tonight was suppose to be an Altered Reality movie night. However, only a few people turned out. So, we spent the evening chatting in the loft instead.
I did a little math to calculate the cost of baking my own bread compared to buying it. Without tax and with the quantities I buy, each loaf has about $0.96 of ingredients. I was unable to locate any good information on natural gas consumption when baking, or I'd have factored that in as well. I also attempted to calculate tax, but apparently you need to speak lawyer jargon in order to understand how sales tax works here. Each loaf produces about 10 slices of bread, so each is about 10 cents. With jam, it's about 30 cents a slice. The whole-grain bread I was buying was +$2.50/loaf, about the same size as my loaf but sliced thinner. The store bought bread was easier to make sandwiches with because of the thin slices. My bread will collapse under it's own weight when sliced that thin. But there is no contest when it comes to taste-- I much prefer whole made bread. I often eat bread with nothing on it, especially right after it comes out of the oven. I won't eat store bread plain. So even if tax, natural gas and electricity pushes the cost up to $1.25, making my own bread is still at least half the cost of buying it-- at least, buying fairly decent bread.
inktomisearch.com, Yahoo's search bot, has for some reason is ignoring my robots.txt and playing around in the ratrap. Now I have over 700 IP addresses marked by the ratrap was malicious bots! Why they decided to suddenly ignore my robots text is beyond me. Nikki's eyes