The price of the ingredients in a loaf of bread is relatively inexpensive. Certainly, the ingredient cost in a loaf of lean dough, for example a baguette or ciabatta, is astonishingly modest. Of course this changes quickly when we add cheese, olives, or other costly ingredients. Whether a baker is making breads that cost a dime per pound of dough or a dollar, it is equally important that he or she knows how to compute the batch cost for a given quantity of dough.
For example, we make a batch of dough using the following weights:
Simple addition tells us that we are making 169.5 pounds of dough. We now consider the cost per pound of our ingredients:
Note that although we are considering the water to be free, it is still included in the dough weight. Now we calculate the entire batch cost:
We now know that it has cost us $19.02 in ingredients to make 169.5 pounds of dough. To determine the cost of one pound of dough, we divide the batch cost by the dough weight:
In this example, our batch cost is 11.2¢ per pound of dough.