If you are someone that loves to make bread at home, you might be having a hard time calculating how many calories it has.
So, how do you determine how many calories your homemade bread has? You can use a spreadsheet, pen and paper, or an app like MacroFactor to add the calories from all of the ingredients in your homemade bread and get the total number of calories in the whole recipe. Once you have that number, you can divide it by your desired number of portions to get the number of calories per slice.
This article will explore two methods of counting calories in homemade bread: the manual method and the automated method. I’ll also share some tips for adjusting your homemade bread to suit your goals whether you are trying to lose weight or build muscle.
Tracking Calories In Homemade Bread: The Manual Method
Suppose you track the calories in homemade bread using the manual method. In that case, you will need somewhere to write the information (pen and paper or your computer), the US Department of Agriculture or Nutrition Data Self website, and the ingredients.
Step One: Create A Spreadsheet or Grab Some Paper and a Pen
First, you need a place to write down your ingredients. You can do this using pen and paper or an Excel spreadsheet. If you don’t know what to write down on the Excel spreadsheet, make a copy of this template.
Step Two: Make A List of the Ingredients and the Quantities You Need
If you are using a recipe, make sure you have it handy so you can correctly add the ingredients and the quanities you need in step 3.
If you are making up your own recipe from scratch, make sure you write down the ingredients you plan on using and how much of them you need so you can easily refer back to the list in step 3.
Step Three: Use Website To Determine Calories and Macros
Once you have the ingredients and quantities needed, it is time to obtain the nutritional information. You can use the USDA website or the Nutrition Data Self website.
Both websites will offer the calories, macros (protein, carbs, and fat), and micronutrient content (vitamins and minerals) of the ingredients.
To search for an ingredient, go to the search bar and type the ingredient you want to look for. For example, if you are looking for flour, type the component in detail, like “white flour.”
Once you click search, it will give you all the foods related to that keyword. Click on the one that is most similar to the one you are using. In my case, I used the one found in SR Legacy Foods. The information provided for foods in this tab tends to be based on more historical data, so I recommend choosing your ingredients from that list
In this case, I used the one with the name “wheat flour, white, all-purpose, enriched, bleached.”
After you find the one you want, click on it to see all the nutritional information about the food. The nutritional information is provided per 100 grams by default, but you can modify the portion size. For example, you can select cups or teaspoons depending on what kind of food you’re adding.
Repeat the same process with all the foods in your recipe and enter all of the macro and micronutrient information on the Excel sheet or write it down on paper.
Step Four: Add Everything Together
When you have the information for all the ingredients, it is time to add them up. Add the total for the calories, carbs, fiber, proteins, fats, and any other nutritional information you are analyzing.
This will give you the total number of calories and amounts of macro and micronutrients in the whole recipe.
Step Five: Divide the Totals By Your Desired Number of Servings
To figure out how many calories will be in one slice of bread, you will need to decide how many slices you want to cut the whole loaf into and divide that number by the totals you came up with in step 4.
For example, you may want 10 slices of bread. If your total recipe has 750 calories, 150 grams of carbs, 15 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat, the nutritional information for one slice would be 75 calories, 15 g of carbs, 1.5 g of fiber, 1 g of protein, and 0.5 g of fat.
Step Six: After You Bake Your Bread, Make Sure You Weigh the Whole Loaf
Once the bread has finished baking, weigh the whole loaf before you start slicing it. During the cooking process, some of the water evaporates, changing the weight of the initial ingredients.
It’s also important to do this so you can make sure you’re consuming an accurate number of calories with each slice. If you eyeball it, you could end up with different-sized slices each time, which would throw off the calorie counts.
Once you have the total weight, divide it by the number of slices you want.
For example, if your bread weighs 400 g, and you want to have 10 slices, each slice should weigh 40 g. If the slice weighs more (or less) you would need to adjust the nutritional information.
Tracking Calories In Homemade Bread: The Automated Method
For some people, the manual method might be overwhelming. If you don’t care for the manual method, the automated way is for you.
For this, you need a calorie counter app. While there are several apps available on the market, the one I recommend is MacroFactor. Using this link gets you an extra week on your free trial (2 weeks total). Cancel any time before your trial ends without being charged.
MacroFactor has several benefits, such as having an extensive food database, being easy to use, saving all your recipes, and keeping track of all your calories and macros.
Here is a step-by-step guide to the automated method using MacroFactor to calculate the calories of your homemade bread.
Step One: Go To Recipes
First, you need to create a recipe. To do this, click on the “+” sign at the bottom of the screen. Choose “Your Recipes.” Here you can create new recipes or check your previous recipes.
Step Two: Create New Recipe
To create a new recipe, click on the “+” sign at the top right corner of the screen.
Step Three: Add Ingredients
Search for the ingredients in your recipe using the search bar. Make sure that it is as detailed as possible (for example, instead of just putting flour, try putting whole wheat flour if that’s what you are using).
MacroFactor also has the advantage of allowing you to scan the food’s barcode. This can save you time and help you make sure you choose the right ingredient.
Step Four: Select the Ingredient
When you type the ingredient and click search, it gives you all the foods related to that keyword. Choose the one that is the most similar to the one you are using.
Once you find the ingredient you want, click on it, and it will display the nutritional information for that food.
Step Five: Modify the Content
In the app, you can modify the portion size of the food. You can modify how many cups, grams, or teaspoons you add.
Modify the serving size according to the one on your recipe. For example, if the recipe asks for 5 cups of flour, switch it to 5 cups.
Step Six: Repeat the Process With All Ingredients
Repeat the same process with all the ingredients in your recipe.
Note: if you need to add water, you can add it or not. It won’t change your nutritional information. Just make sure to always weigh the product after cooking.
Step Seven: Name and Save Your Recipe
Change the recipe’s name at the bottom of the screen, and click on the check mark at the top right corner to save the recipe. Make sure to write down how many grams the entire loaf of bread weighs after it’s baked.
If you want to modify the entire recipe, go to the recipe’s name and swipe to the left. You can also swipe to the left if you want to add it to your daily routine.
Step Eight: Modify the Servings
Since bread has a lot of servings, you need to determine how much will be a serving size. Once your bread gets out of the oven you need to weigh it as I mentioned before since during the cooking process it loses some water and you want to make sure you’re dividing it into even slices.
Using the same example from above, if you want to get 10 slices of bread, place 10 at the bottom of the screen.
Step Eight: Save the Recipe
Once you’re done adjusting your recipe, click the checkmark in the top right corner to save it.
Other Tips When Tracking Calories In Homemade Bread
Count Every Ingredient
If you change, add, or remove an ingredient, you need to alter the recipe to have accurate information. Every ingredient that you modify needs to be accounted for. The extra ingredients you add, whether nuts, seeds, or dehydrated fruits, all need to be entered.
Also, remember to track the toppings you place on your homemade bread. For example, if you spread butter, count it toward your total calories.
You can make some modifications to your homemade bread to adjust it to your goals or eating patterns. Here are some tips to help you out.
- For the keto diet. Instead of whole-grain flour, use coconut flour or almond flour. These are great keto-friendly options. Add nuts and seeds to increase the healthy fats in your bread. If you make sweet bread, use a non-caloric sugar substitute like erythritol.
- For weight gain. To increase the calories of your bread, add high-calorie foods like nuts, seeds, or dehydrated fruits to the recipe and spread butter or cream cheese on it when you eat it.
- For weight loss. For weight loss, you can add non-starchy vegetables like zucchini or carrots to your bread. While it might have the same calories as regular bread, it will also have more fiber, making you feel fuller. This has two effects: 1) you won’t need to have a lot of bread to feel full 2) you won’t feel the need to snack more after eating the bread. This leads to eating fewer calories, helping you maintain your caloric deficit (eating fewer calories than you burn each day).
How To Track Other Homemade Foods
- How To Count Calories In Homemade Chili
- How To Count Calories In Homemade Soup
- How To Count Calories In Homemade Juice
About The Author
Brenda Peralta is a Registered Dietitian and certified sports nutritionist. In addition to being an author for FeastGood.com, she fact checks the hundreds of articles published across the website to ensure accuracy and consistency of information.