The table in Chapter XVII (The Cost And Purchasing Of Food) states the amount of protein and energy obtained for ten cents from bread as compared with other common foods, and makes the fact clear that bread is essentially one of the cheapest foods, remaining relatively so whatever the general fluctuations in food prices may be.
A pound loaf of bread at the bakery should cost five cents, the cost being slightly less when the bread is made at home, even taking the fuel into account. It is an open question, however, whether bread should be made at home or bought at the bakery, all the circumstances being weighed in the balance by the individual. (See Chapter XVII (The Cost And Purchasing Of Food).) In America, we need to learn to dictate and control the methods in the public bakeries because bakers' bread is being used more and more, although it is said that 50 per cent is still made at home. If bread is to be bought, it is necessary for the housekeeper to understand the bread-making process and the standard of good bread that she may criticize intelligently, and force the public bakeries to furnish bread made under ideal conditions. Such bread is supplied in France, where the housekeepers in the city, though noted for their thrift, do not think of bread making at home as a practical or economical procedure. It must be understood that the baker's oven is fitted to do better work than the small oven of the average kitchen, and if the public through laws and inspection will control the quality of the materials used and the cleanliness of the process, baker's bread will be a useful "ready-cooked" food.