How to make bread in the woods

“There is not a thing that is more positive than bread.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The term “comfort” could stand out from the common perception of being in the Great Outdoors.
As a matter of fact, being comfortable seems to be more connected to staying at home, maybe relaxing on the couch, watching television.

Nonetheless, for some individuals the concept of comfort is intrinsecally tied up to the concept of being outside. In the woods, on some mountain peaks, on river lines.
No matter what comfort means to us, the simple action of feeling relaxed and.. why not? “at home” is sheer joy, pure relief.

If move on from a standard conception of comfort, we will notice how our minds tend to focus on facts and even objects which really provide us an inner sense of relax.
Sounds, colors, smells may do the rest.

One of these elements is bread. Simply as it is, bread represents a source of wellfare and positivity, as mentioned in the above quote.
And, I mean, worldwide. Bread, in fact, crossed the ages with its constant presence in daily lives of millions of people.
The absence of bread sometimes was symbol of war, pestilence, famine.

By that, it shouldn’t surprise us how much bread plays a special roles in our life, especially in the darkest moments.

Bread is life, but also comfort, hope, joy and sharing.
These sound like the very basis of a good, Post-Apocalyptic Community, isn’t it?

This article is meant to provide some valuable tips on how to make bread with few ingredients and when you are Off-grid.

Bread’s nutrional value

“With a piece of bread in your hand you’ll find paradise under a pine tree.”

Russian Proverb

As staple food in quite all the Countries, bread has indeed a long history behind, which has been dictated by:

  • geographical position
  • culture
  • availability of raw materials
  • harvest time
  • and so on

If we compare bread to other nutrional elements such as veggies, fruit and nuts, we will clearly get how low it is in essential nutrients. It hits poor levels also in protein, minerals, vitamins, fibers (especially white bread) and fat.

On the contrary, bread shows high levels in terms of calories and carbs.

Nonetheless, depending on the type of flour you want to employ, you will have a good amount of fibers, vitamins (in particular E and C). This is especially true when you resort to sprouted grains – which are very rich in vitamins! – or whole-heat (with a nice amount of fibers which favors digestion).

If we focus on nutrional facts, we will see that one slice of White bread (around 25 grams) contains 67 calories, 0.6 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat.
One slice of Whole-heat (around 33 grams) bread contains 92 calories, 2 grams of fibers, 3 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat.
A thin slice of Sourdough bread (around 32 grams), contains 93 calories, 1 gram of fibers, 4 grams of protein, 18 grams of carbs, 0,3 grams of fat (standing to Health Line).

It is no rocket science that bread contains gluten – so it can be very bad for those who had – or had developed an intolerance – and carbs. This is why the consumption of bread should always be daily checked and never overlooked.

Additionally to that, grains have a large amount of phytic acid.
This particular kind of acid can actually reduce – or even block – the minerals (link calciu,m, zinc, iron and magnesium) you need to assume daily.

“In media stat virtus” (Virtue resides in balance). This is a powerful motto from the Romans.
And we can fairly apply it to bread too.

Absence or presence of bread in a survival scenario

“Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.”

Richard Wright

Those who are more prone to eat at least a slice of bread – or even an entire one – during meals may suffer the most from an absence of this element if caught up in an emergency situation.

With a true abudance of all kinds of MRE (Meals Ready to Eat), dried food, energy bars or whatsover the role of bread seems to have lost his primordial power inside any Survival context.
Not because it is too much heavy to carry in our backpack, but because bread isn’t that… essential in terms of nutrional facts.

Long story short, bread isn’t considered a “strategic” food for an emergency situation.
Indeed it isn’t, but, as matter of fact, it donates the above mentioned comfort and joy if you need to stay in your bug out place for any longer.

1

Those who dedicate themselves to the ancient and solid skills which are focused on Bushcraft may tell you that bread is quite like a true companion.
And preparing bread in the great Outdoors provides a sincere pleasure.
Especially if you share this pleasure with other people. Your family members, new mates, survivors like you. You name it.

In order to make bread once in the woods you need very few elements.
As a matter of fact, you can also skip the most important one – baking soda.

If this surprised you, read how you can still make some kinds of delicious bread without making it leaven with soda.

How to make Farinata

“With bread all sorrows are less”

Sancho Panza

The farinata, which is also also known as chickpea cake, is cake, a low savory one. It is a cornerstone of Italian tradition.
Ingredients are chickpea flour, water, salt and extra virgin olive oil.
You can keep the ngredients in ziplock bags, except for olive oil which requires a small tin canteen utself.

Chickpea flour is very high in vegetal protein, but you can indeed use any other kind of flour. Personally speaking, I made farinata by adding

  • rice flour
  • whole heat flour
  • sourdough
  • oat flour

The soft consistency is one of main characteristics of this type of bread.

farinata
farinata

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients – just taking care of the dosage according to your needings – in a collapsable bowl.
Stir them together until you get a perfect blended mix, with no bubbles.

Put some oil in your skillset – you can easily find one in some Bushcraft or Camping stores or on websites, like Petromax – and then add your liquid dough

Cook it for at least 3 minutes on each side, like an omelette.
Wait it to cool down for 5 minutes and cut into slices.

You can preserve it easily by keeping the leftovers in a dry and clean paper bag or by wrapping them into some aluminum.

Farinata can easily become part of your breakfast, of your lunch and dinner!

How to make Chapati

“Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread.”

Pablo Neruda

Chapati is latbread not leavened. It comes from the Indian subcontinent.

It is a common staple food in different areas, like Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Caribbean, Sri Lanka, Pakistan. It is also very popular in East Africa. Just to name a few.
Chapati is made of satta (a type of whole-heat flour), water and salt.

As in case of farinata, you can go with other kinds of flours.
My suggestion is to avoid rice flour. Its consistency, in fact, isn’t the most suitable one in order to make chapati.

indian roti displayed in street food stall.
Chapati

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients – establish the dosage to your needings – in a collapsable bowl.
Stir them together, using a spoon or, in lack of it, with clean hands.
Make it patiently, until you have a homogeneous dough.

Give it a round shape using your hands – as to make pizza!

Put it directly on your grill and turn it repeatedly in order to have a good cooking on both sides.
Wait it to cool down for 5 minute.

As for farinata, you can preserve it easily for several days to come.
Keep it in a dry and clean paper bag or wrap your chapati bread into some aluminum or in some baking papaer.

Conclusion

“Better dry bread in peacetime than meat in wartime.”

Hungarian Proverberb

Simple recipes can help us to make our Post-Apocalyptic life more positive and comfortable.
Both farinata and chapati, in fact, are staple food, but they smell and taste very good.

In case of farinata, the only critical element to carry is surely olive oil. A good one, in fact, can happen to be expensive and not easy to find. You may try to replace it with cocunut oil.

You can taste them with peanut butter, jams, or even jelly.
In case you are fortunate enough to harvest some fresh fruit or veggies or nuts, you can put them inside your farinata slices or chapati small breads.

Remember than you can always add more sugar or more salt to create a bread customized on your needings, and easy to preserve in case of a long term bugging out situations.

Easy to prepare, home-smelling, light to carry: a lot of pros.

They will become your sandwich of the woods!

cropped kyt lyn walken.jpg

Kyt Lyn Walken is the official European representative and instructor for Hull's Tracking School (Virginia, USA), and is a certified Conservation Ranger for C.R.O.W. (Conservation Rangers Operations Worldwide). She has been an outdoors and tracking enthisast since childhood. She is contributor as a writer for several magazines in U.S. and U.K.Kyt is author of the manuals "The importance of being a Tracker", "The Urban Tracker, "Tracking Compendium" (this one with Andy Martin), "Jungle Trackers: S.A.S. In Malesia and Borneo".

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