Costco: Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat flour $.54/lb + a bread recipe

by Kate from Frugal Living NW on January 12, 2012

I was looking for regular, unbleached flour at Costco and came across this gem. Costco now sells Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour in 25 pound bags for $13.49 ($.54/lb). This is such a fantastic price!

We regularly make our own bread. The flavor is delightful and can’t be beat with store bought bread. To streamline the process I use a bread machine to make the dough. I have tried baking it in the machine but I don’t care for the texture of the crust. Our family of 5 goes through 1, maybe 2, loaves a week. Just depends on who is here when the bread comes out of the oven.

Whole Wheat Bread:
Adapted from this recipe

1 cup warm water
1 T. milk (i have also used almond milk)
2 T. coconut oil (i don’t melt mine, just throw it in cold)
2 T. molassas
2 T. honey (we buy raw honey by the gallon at the Farmer’s market every summer)
1 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup regular, unbleached flour
2 tsp yeast

Add all ingredients to your bread machine in the order listed above. Set to the dough setting. Remove, when finished, to a loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes (or doubled, but mine doesn’t always fully double and it’s fine). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 27-30 minutes. Remove from loaf pan onto a cooling rack and let cool. Enjoy!

Does anyone else make their own bread? Have a recipe you would like to share?

This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

video de paris hilton April 25, 2013 at 12:00 am

Fantastic post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte
more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Many thanks!

Reply

Priya May 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Hi,

I was super excited to see the organic whole wheat flour at Costco at that wonderful price because we make our own bread too. Unfortunately, Costco had it only for a few weeks as part of a road show. They no longer sell it in the Costco in Shoreline, WA.
I would like to know any other places that sell it at that price.

Thanks,
Priya

Reply

Lisa M. October 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Cash & Carry is special ordering it for me at a similar price…..whole wheat and white…..i go to the SODO store but there’s likely one in North Seattle somewhere.
Best,
Lisa

Reply

Diana February 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I love BRM Flour and there other products. I was so excited to see it at Costco here in WA. but If you have a Cash-n-Carry near you and you are able to use up 50# befor it goes bad you can pick up BRM whole wheat flour for about 1/2 the price of Costco.

Reply

Simona February 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thank you for this information. Stumbled upon it while looking for a recipe. Will try tonight…

Reply

Renata January 29, 2012 at 10:31 am

Hooray! BRM is my favorite WW flour. I tried the WW Chapati flour, but didn’t care too much for it. I will keep an eye out for it over here (last time I checked – about 2 wks ago – they were still selling the chapati flour).

Here’s my recipe. I use egg as the dough enhancer (for some other dough enhancer ideas, check here: http://www.breadmachinedigest.com/tips/dough-enhancers-and-how-to-use-them.php). I started off adding gluten, but I tried without and it still turned out fine. I used the bread machine, but any other method should do.

Renata’s 100% Whole Wheat Honey Bread

1 cup water (maybe an additional tablespoon more)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup sunflower, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, etc (optional)

Reply

Talula January 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Thanks for the recipe, you inspired us to go to Costco and invest in a large bag of Red Mill flour and we also found a good deal there on yeast. We made the bread this morning, doubled the recipe to make two loaves. Delicious.

How do you recommend storing the bread? We are a family of four, so I expect that we will get through two loaves in one week. I’ve read different recommendations on the internet, some people recommend leaving the bread outside of the refrigerator, some recommend storing the bread inside the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic ziplock bags, wrapped in paper bags, placed in plastic containers… What do you do?

Reply

Teresa January 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I have made bread for years. I started out mixing it all by hand. Then my husband bought me a Hobart Mixer, it does all the intial mixing then let it rise. afterwards I do some hand kneeding and place into 8 loaf pans, rise one more time and bake. It’s the best!!!

Reply

Flowersbyfarha January 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm

For me, the real cost of making my own bread was eating it! Gained 5 lbs the first month I started making — bread. Yet, in some ways, the true savings in making bread–without a machine–was the “therapy” of kneading bread.

I would like to share a couple tips for those who make bread the old fashioned way using the sponge method.’

If you add some of the rolled grains (oats, barley, rye) to the sponge, the combination of the yeast activity and soaking the grains yields a heftier weight yet more delectable flavor and texture. Depending on whether you use Quick Oats or regular rolled oats and the length of time you let your sponge sit, the rolled grains may end up completely digested by the yeast. You can throw more rolled grains in later for a toothier texture.

I found that millet flour created a poor texture, and raw millet destroyed the beauty of bread’s texture. To me, “Dave’s” and other “multi-grain” breads that simply throw in raw millet are like eating bird seed. Our digestive system wasn’t designed to crack/digest such things and the millet just ends up stuck in our teeth. However cooked millet is magnificent! It added wonderful flavor and texture as well as making the nutrients more accessible.

Sadly, I’ve recently joined the ranks of those who must go gluten-free. I’ve yet to find a decent wheat-free substitute for bread (and consequently have lost about 10lbs without doing anything differently). Hoping to find time this spring to do some experimenting.

Reply

Renata January 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

I don’t have a good GF recipe, but check (or ask) your Costco for Rudi’s Gluten Free bread. I have tried it and it tastes very good. It can’t make up for all the bread you might want to eat, but it can serve as a standby for when you want some bread. It is cheaper (at Costco anyway) and better tasting than other ones I have seen elsewhere on the market.

Reply

Renata January 29, 2012 at 10:52 am

I don’t have a good GF recipe to recommend, but check (or ask) your Costco for Rudi’s Gluten Free bread. I have tried it and it tastes very good. It can’t make up for all the bread you might want to eat, but it can serve as a standby for when you want some bread. It is cheaper (at Costco anyway) and better tasting than other ones I have seen elsewhere on the market.

Reply

Renata January 29, 2012 at 10:53 am

oops! I was getting a duplicate post message, but I couldn’t see my comment already posted, so I changed email addresses. Sorry!

Reply

Molly January 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

So I am really curious to know on average out there do you save money on canning, bread making and the such? I have been researching and thinking long and hard about how to replace income lost (about 1200) a month due to being laid off. I am mastering the couponing. However it of course is always a learning curve. But to those amazing individuals that produce a lot of products themselves, etc. What do you think? We are shrinking down other costs as well. And I would rather stay at home and work on canning, etc. than leave the home for work for a salary. I would appreciate any and all input. :)

Reply

Tiffany January 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I use the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes recipe which we LOVE but I use the unbleached flour recipe only as we did not like the whole wheat recipe at all. I would love to find a whole wheat recipe that I can make without a bread machine (like the Artisan Bread recipe). Can I make your recipe without a bread machine?

Reply

Kate January 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm

You can. Just mix the yeast with the milk and water until dissolved. Then add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 5 minutes until all incorporated. Then let rise until doubled. Maybe about an hour. Then transfer to a baking pan and let double again. Bake from there.

Reply

Becky Ann January 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I like Bob’s flour, but I really want Costco to bring back the 2 – 10 lb bags of Eagle Mill All Purpose Unbleached Flour. I miss it…a lot…even though I stocked up when I saw they were going to get rid of it.

Reply

Kate January 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm

ME TOO!! That’s what i was going for and I’m so sad it’s not there. I didn’t know they were getting rid of it or I would have stocked up. Bummer :(

Reply

Sarah b January 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

So…when you say prepared loaf pan….what size? I am new to bread making….

Reply

Kate January 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Any regular sized loaf pan 8x5x3. i think those are the dimensions. Whatever you would normally make banana or zucchini bread in. That is not very helpful but I can’t recall the size at the moment.

Reply

CARLA January 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Thanks Kate, so if I don’t have any molasses, can I substitute honey or something else?

Reply

Kate January 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Yes, you can take out the honey and molasses and replace it with 4 TBLS of brown sugar. Honey and molasses are a substitute for brown sugar.

Reply

Carla February 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Thanks, I’ve been using 4 T. honey since I don’t have molasses, but that is getting expensive as we’ve been going through almost one loaf per day!!! Gotta slow down on it, but it’s SO good!!! Not sure I’m saving money yet at that rate! I might try using half honey and half brown sugar. We buy local honey and it is $12 for 48oz. so I probably need to find a cheaper alternative. My loaves are kinda small too…maybe I need to let it rise longer?

Reply

connie January 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

My friend spotted this deal last week and bought the 25 lb bag, then she emailed a bunch of friends and asked who would like to purchase from her…so, we all have smaller amounts of flour for a great price! Sharing is good :)

Reply

Nancy January 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

Thanks Kate! How do you store the flour? I’ve been wanting to buy in bulk like this but am worried about spoilage.

Reply

Savanna January 13, 2012 at 10:33 am

I store mine in the freezer in gallon zip bags. I use peter reinharts artisan bread everyday book for my recipes. I love I can make the dough after the kids are in bed and then bake it the next day.

Reply

Kate January 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I do it just like Savanna. It’s best in the freezer.

Reply

Kathi January 13, 2012 at 8:00 am

This is my go-to bread recipe. I don’t have a bread machine and I knead the dough in my KitchenAid with a dough hook. This makes two loaves of bread.

Honey Oatmeal Bread

2 cups boiling water
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup honey (or you could substitute molasses)
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the oatmeal and butter. Let stand 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water and let stand to dissolve, 5-10 minutes. Add the yeast, honey, and salt to the oatmeal and stir well. Stir in enough of the flour to make a kneadable dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Oil a bowl, add the dough, and turn to coat. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Oil two 9 x 5 loaf pans. Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Shape the dough into loaves and place them in the prepared pans (you may need extra flour to do this if your dough is sticky). Cover and let rise for 40 minutes.

About 30 minutes into the final rise, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the bread until crusty, about 35 minutes. Turn the loaves out of the pans onto a wire rack and let cool.

Reply

Carla January 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm

That is an excellent price! At Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukie, it’s $20/25lb. If you are in the Portland area, Bob has a huge variety of flours and anything else grain, legume, or cooking related (and great breakfasts/lunches!).

One blog I follow is The Modern Victory Garden. Laura lives near Poulsbo, Washington. She is simply THE most organized and passionate organic, sustainable vegetable gardener I know. They provide virtually 100% of their vegetable needs from their garden and 40% of their fruit needs. She recently posted a recipe for bread that is easy to fix mid-week. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds great.

http://www.modernvictorygarden.com/apps/blog/show/11059320-harvest-monday-and-bread-recipe-tinkering

Reply

Iris January 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Now, if only they sold oat flour, we’d be all over it!

Reply

Roanna January 13, 2012 at 9:41 am

Yes, I agree.

Reply

Virginia January 12, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Do you use regular yeast or bread machine? I only use regular yeast since it is so much cheaper and would love to make your bread. I love making bread and trying new recipes. I usually only use the dough setting on my machine but have been making more dough with my kitchen aid lately.

Reply

Kate January 13, 2012 at 8:32 am

i just use regular yeast

Reply

Stacy January 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Do you have a bread maker recommendation?

Reply

Kate January 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I don’t. I have used an old Oster and I currently have a West Bend that was given to me by a sweet friend. :) I think you could find one over on Amazon that would work well. I use mine only for the dough settings and I use it for EVERYTHING. Pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, etc. It’s very helpful when i don’t have the time (or desire) to make it the old fashioned, by hand, way.

Reply

Stacy January 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

What do you estimate the cost per loaf of bread when you make it?

Reply

Kate January 12, 2012 at 9:02 pm

That’s a great question! I’ve never been detailed enough to figure it out. I should give that task to Emily’s husband. He’s a genius at that kind of thing.

I think I’ve always figured that the cost was cheaper than buying Dave’s Killer bread at the outlet. That is the only other kind of bread we really enjoy. I would maybe guess $1-$1.50 a loaf. Again, that is just a HUGE guess. Hmmm…now I’m interested. I’ll have to figure it.

Reply

Vika January 13, 2012 at 7:19 am

We get our organic sprouted WW from DKB outlet for $1.50-2/loaf so that works pretty well for this busy season of life. I’ve never been able to make a sandwich bread that we like and it didn’t seem like I could make the same quality for a savings anyway. If you enjoy making your own, then cost savings is less important!

Stacy January 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

Let me know if you get Emily’s husband to figure out the cost per loan. Trying to eat healthier and cleaner this year – saving money while doing it would be the cherry on top!

Emily January 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

Kate was right in the ballpark! My husband figured this loaf would cost $1.39 to make at home. Of course, if you swapped out cheaper sweeteners (brown sugar) and fats (canola oil) it would bring the price even lower.

Also keep in mind that a loaf of this quality & size would have to be compared to a Great Harvest ($5-6) or Dave’s Killer Bread ($3-6) loaf, not the .99 special from Winco.

Here’s the breakdown:
yeast .04
salt .01
whole wheat flour .32
unbleached flour .11
coconut oil .35
molasses .18
milk .01
honey .37

We based this on good quality flour (Bob’s Red Mill) & honey and good stock-up prices on the other products.

Reply

Kate January 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Love it!!! I’m so happy to know now. Tell Ed thanks!

Stacy January 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Thank you!

Mae January 20, 2012 at 9:59 am

Fantastic analysis! I tried to resist… but must admit I have been sooo dreaming of this bread ALL week long, along with the other recipes mentioned in the comments. I was just lured back over here (caught the fun side-note), while drooling… I mean perusing over Emily’s post [and reader comments] on “Making vs. Buying”.

Why I say resist? Well I’m afraid that once I make “homemade” bread, my husband [and myself included], will want me to make it ALL the time. I already make just about all our meals from scratch, so I guess it’s balancing time versus quality. So now what to do… I suppose I’ll leave it up to fate. Yeah right… I’m already smelling it about now in my oven!

Jules November 16, 2012 at 10:05 am

The cheapest way I’ve found to make good quality whole wheat bread is to use a sourdough starter and a “sponge” rise recipe, which reduces your yeast needed to maybe a quarter teaspoon for 4 pounds of bread.

Then you skip the fat except for just enough canola to coat the dough outside during rises and keep it from drying out.

Finally, for sweetener you substitute in white sugar but use just the bare minimum you need to “brighten” the taste of the bread. For purposes of this recipe alteration, treat sugar as a flavor enhancer like salt or pepper, not a “food” ingredient. It’s like wearing just enough makeup to look like you aren’t wearing any and you just look that good. If you can taste what kind of sugar is in the bread, it’s too much. *Used that sparingly*, a little refined sugar isn’t gonna kill you.

If you’re at bare bones cheap in how you need to bake, or you’re treating it as a challenge, that’s the cheapest I know how to get. If you want to dress up the flavor of a loaf at bare bones cheap, then your best bet is to look for what grows well in your own window garden or “volunteers” well in your own locality. Or what you have on hand for other reasons that you, personally, get for cheap in bulk. Or would pour down the drain, like the excess fat and juices you poured off when you sauteed the onions (if you didn’t already have a use for it). If you were throwing it away before, it’s free.

The same with any leftover from your table, really. If you bake bread a lot, you learn how things affect your dough and affect the development of your yeast. If you can your own fruit or *ever* buy canned fruit (get a deal in bulk, whatever), the juice or “light syrup” can sweeten your bread. Milk that tastes a bit “off” to drink but hasn’t actually gone bad–it’s in that in-between day–bake with that, it’s fine. It was *wasted* milk already, and the “cost” should get billed in your head to whatever mistake or unplanned happenstance wasted it. For baking purposes, it’s free.

That’s the cheapest I know how to do. Bake the unadorned recipe all the time so you do it well. Then make the “artisan” loaves with cheap stuff on hand.
———
The cheapest good way to get started making sourdough is to get some starter from a friend who has a really good one.

The best but not necessarily cheapest way I know to *make* a sourdough starter is to start with half rye flour and half water, one cup each, and leave it out for a couple of days in a warm, draft-free place, covered with a damp cloth (you have to keep re-dampening), until yeast colonizes it. If you’re unlucky, you may have to do this a couple of times to get a palatable starter. If you bake bread regularly in your kitchen, you should be okay. You have to stir your beginning starter every day, and your glass or ceramic container for it should be more than twice as big as your starter, because your starter will more than double every time it gets bubbly.

After it’s colonized, you keep it in the fridge, stir it down every day or two, yada yada yada. I’m sure there are good instructions online.

Each week when you feed your sourdough starter, you want to feed it with the rye flour until you run out of rye. Then you can switch to feeding it with white flour or whole wheat flour.

The reason it may be worth the extra money is that rye colonizes well with wild yeast, and it develops complex flavors with various wild yeasts really well. It’s easier to maintain a great sourdough yeast culture than it is to get one started in the first place.

Starting with either a small bag of rye flour (reduce total outlay) or a larger bag of rye flour (extend time the new starter is rye-fed) can go under the heading of doing it right instead of doing it over. You want to get a good, rich sourdough taste the first time you try to make a starter. You don’t want to have to throw your attempt at a starter out and try again, or have a starter that is just bland and doesn’t give you the flavor notes you could have gotten with a good beginning.

Emily January 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe! I can’t wait to make it tomorrow.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: