Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Survival Bread

Many years ago, at a Preparedness Fair, I picked up this recipe for Survival Bread. The recipe says that after it's made, it "will keep indefinitely". Hmmm... Made me think of Lembas bread - something the elves would make (for you Lord of the Rings fans). "One small bite will fill the belly of a grown man." Since I can't stand to waste, it didn't sound like anything I wanted to HAVE to consume on an otherwise perfectly good day, with soft yeast bread and an abundance of other good foods in the fridge. But this recipe keeps popping up in front of me, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and bake up a brick of Survival Bread today.

Here's the original recipe, just as I received it:

Survival Bread

2 cups oats
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 cup sugar 
3 Tbl honey
3 Tbl water
1 pkg. lemon or orange Jell-O (3oz)

Combine oats, powdered milk and sugar. In a medium pan, mix water, Jell-O and honey. Bring to a boil. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. (If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of water a teaspoon at a time.) Shape dough into a loaf. (About the size of a brick.) Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool. Wrap in aluminum foil to store. This bread will keep indefinitely and each loaf is the daily nutrients for one adult. 

 Well, the ingredients don't sound too bad, but that last line bothers me for some reason. Healthy food should deteriorate, shouldn't it? I have teenage boys and not much goes to waste around here, so I figured it was worth trying out. Even though the recipe doesn't specify, I used quick oats. As for the liquid, that little bit didn't even begin to cover it. It was so dry, I was still stirring mostly powder, so I ended up adding another 1/3 cup water plus more - almost 1/2 cup! It was very stiff, and very sticky. I wonder if I should have added less and got my hands in there and just packed it all together when it was still a lot drier. I don't know, but here's  the results:












It doesn't look so bad! AND - it actually tasted pretty good! It has a heavy powdered milk taste, which I'm not a big fan of, but with a little butter, or honey, or butter AND honey(!) I hardly noticed. I'm sure the recipe can be altered. Maybe less powdered milk and more oats? Unless it's formulated to an exact scientifically nutritional specification! :)  But I doubt it.

Has anyone else had any experience with survival bread? Or maybe if you have a different recipe you'd like to share, email it to me and I'll post it with your name. My email is naugafarm@gmail.com. I'm always looking for good recipes that are made from truly storage-type ingredients - things easy to store, and nothing out of the ordinary.

44 comments:

  1. I haven't tried it yet, but I saw a similar recipe a few weeks ago and wanted to. I procrastinate...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Never heard of it.
    Could you mail me some so I can try it? It looks delish!

    ReplyDelete
  3. ohh, for me it looks good!! i am sure it would taste fine! i try it, hope the translator names me the right things to take..... maybe if not the elves like it... haha...

    have a wonderful day!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It certainly makes a pretty picture! Anything with butter and honey added is good. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such kind words :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Susan, just stopping by to say hi. And to tell you that I send you an email with some information about how to make a solar cooker maybe it is interesting for you. Saludos desde Panamá. Mhathy

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is certainly a new recipe for me and it does sound interesting. I guess it would be perfect for when one goes camping for a few weeks or goes on a very long hike, as this bread would not go stale.

    But only 3 tablespoons of water to 5 1/2 cups of dry ingredients plus a package of Jell-O doesn't sound like nearly enough liquid...maybe that's where we'd need the help of the elves? :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey! Hiking food! That's a great idea too. My family actually really liked this. My 17 yr. old son said it was "addicting". Ha Ha! I didn't think it was THAT good, but I did eat my share. And since the elves weren't around, I just dumped in more than another 1/3 cup water. Whatever works.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mhathy - thanks for the solar cooker info! I'll go look at it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just found your blog. Looks great! The bread looks yummy as well. Looking forward to your postings. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Could Quaker Oats be used?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would think that apple juice used as part of the liquid would perk up the taste.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm curious...did it taste decidedly orange or lemon, (whichever Jello you used)?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Not sure about the apple juice. That might cut into the longevity...or make portable moonshine :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. This bread sounded intriguing especially adding jello, but I figured that's where the protein comes from. All I had was orange jello. I made it this morning. The dough was extremely sticky. I had to use a metal scrubby to get the dough off my hands. I had heard to shape it like a brick...wish I'd seen your pictures before attempting this loaf because my brick was much thicker. I did use my hands to mix it but would have added more water like many suggested. I ended up baking it for almost 40 minutes and it never did firm up. Most likely because the batter was too thick and I shaped it too thickly. I cut it and served it anyway. All 5 kids (11,12,14,14,16) tried it and liked the taste even though it was doughy. IT WAS VERY ORANGE TASTING but not in an unpleasant way. It was a bit addicting... we just kept taking bites because it was so different. It was very very filling.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Glad you tried it! Because of the stickiness, sounds to me like you may have had too MUCH water. The moister it is, the sooner it will spoil, also.

    Thanks to everyone for all your great comments! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. This article looked interesting but as it says, we don't know the longevity. Would seem to be very adaptable;

    Survival Recipe: Tasty Hardtack
    By LEON PANTENBURG - Fri Nov 02, 11:00 am
    Looking for a way to use up surplus flour, or make a cheap trail food or durable survival rations? One answer may be hardtack, a baked, unleavened wheat cracker. As a survival food, hardtack has a proven track record.

    Mark's hardtack recipe is tasty and nutritious!
    by Leon Pantenburg
    One of the more popular posts on SurvivalCommonSense.com has been how to make hardtack, a basic survival food. I was gearing up for an elk hunt, so I tried this recipe from Mark, who had commented on the post.
    “I’ve been making and enjoying hardtack for years,” Mark wrote. “I like to use native pecans in mine.” Immediately intrigued, I made up a batch, using Mark’s recipe as a base. Using only the ingredients that were on hand, I had to make a few substitutions.
    And, as is my wont, I can’t resist tweaking a recipe when there is potential to make it more healthy. (I always amend flour: For each cup of white flour, add 1 Tbs of soy meal; 1 tsp of wheat germ, and 1 Tbs of dried milk. This creates a whole protein!)
    The result was wonderful! Unlike the traditional hardtack recipes which can be nutritious, but REALLY bland, this recipe is tasty! And it’s kind of like opening a bag of chips – you can’t eat just one!
    Here’s the recipe – try it yourself on your next camping trip, or if you have some extra flour you want to put to use. But while hardtack is renowned for its longevity, we’re not sure how long this particular recipe will last.
    To quote Mark: “I’m not sure of shelf life as they disappear quickly.”
    Mark’s Hardtack Recipe
    2 cups organic whole wheat flour
    2 cups unbleached organic flour
    2 cups whole rolled oats (I had to leave this out, since there was no oatmeal, or an appropriate substitute. Next time, I will be sure to add this, since oatmeal’s health benefits are off the charts!)
    2 cups pecans (chopped) – (I used peanuts, almonds, and some sesame and roasted pumpkin seeds.)
    1 cup raisins or any dried fruit that you like (I didn’t have raisins, but I did have dried cranberries.)
    1 cup organic olive oil
    1 Tbs baking soda
    1 tsp sea salt
    2 cups buttermilk (I had 2-percent milk, so that’s what was used.)
    Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then combine them. Roll out to about 3/8 -inch thick. Cut into squares or rounds, then bake in the oven at about 375 for about 40 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This sounds great! I am definitely going to try it! Thanks for sharing it here. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. From: Curt - Chico, CA

    Here is a thought for a slight modification to the recipe:

    Instead of using oatmeal, why not quinoa flour? That would increase the nutritional value of the bread immensely! You have your proteins and vitamins all in one! Maybe a little molasses for iron too?

    ReplyDelete
  19. instead of the powdered milk i would try it with buttermilk powder.
    2nd i would try it with plain gelatin??

    ReplyDelete
  20. While I love the idea of a 'survival bread' and am working on my own version, I have to challenge you on your statement that "each loaf is the daily nutrients for one adult". Can you provide some sort of reference to how you determined this? Do you have a nutrient breakdown you can post?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey John! The reference to each loaf being the daily nutrients of one adult, is NOT my determination. You may not have read the whole post. That was part of the quote from what I received. I don't know how that determination was made, but if you look at the post below this one, "Anonymous" gave a very good breakdown of their determination of nutritional content, calories, etc.

      Delete
  21. I made this "Survival Bread" tonight using the recipe as it is listed. The only modification I made was to cook it for 30min, which I now think was too long.

    Over all, it turned out as expected if a bit too hard. Shouldn't have cooked it for so long.

    My "brick" was 5in x 10in x 1in thick.

    First: I'm not sure "Bread" is the right word for this.
    It's very much more like a giant oatmeal cookie.
    It (the one I made) is very hard and a bit crumbly. It is hard to cut into portions. Cut it while it's hot, before it cools and hardens.

    Suggested modifications:

    If I make it again, I will make it into 3oz 'biscuits' about 1in thick. These should be much easier to store, carry, and portion out.
    --- Perhaps I can find or make a mold of some kind. Cookie cutter?

    It is Very sweet. Too sweet for my tastes.
    I think, next time, I will use 1/2 , 1/3 or even 1/4 as much sugar.

    The flavor is very good even if the orange is almost overpowering. I might try a different flavor Jell-O (or unflavored) next time.

    It is very filling. 2 - 3oz servings (it tasted that good) made me feel a little bloated. Consider, though, that I had eaten dinner an hour or so before.
    Even so, I think I would be hard pressed to eat an entire batch of this in one day, even if it was all I had.

    It also occurred to me that adding some raisins and/or other dried fruits might be good as would nuts, seeds, grains or bits of chocolate.

    Other suggestions:
    Seems like a lot of powdered milk. Plus it kicks the sodium and Cholesterol WAY up.
    Replace some or all of the powdered milk with:
    Protein powder, Powdered buttermilk, Quinoa flour (may go ransid), or some other flour.
    Or leave the powdered milk for last and mix it (and/or the alternatives) in slowly until the dough reaches a consistency you can work with.

    Needs more fiber. Add some ground flax seed.

    Needs more fat. You will need the fat in a survival situation or any high activity situation such as long distance hiking.
    Add the nuts. Nuts are "good" fat, but consider they will reduce the longevity as the oils may go ransid fairly quickly.


    I calculated the Nutrtion Facts of the original recipe as follows:

    Calories 2620
    Calories from Fat 100
    Total Fat 12g
    Saturated Fat 2g
    Trans Fat 0g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
    Monounsaturated Fat 4g
    Cholesterol 50mg
    Sodium 1430mg
    Total Carbohydrate 557g
    Dietary Fiber 16g
    Soluable Fiber 8g
    Insoluable Fiber 8g
    Sugar 432g
    Protein 108g

    Total cost of ingredients $3.65

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow! That's an impressive breakdown! And lots of good alternate ideas. I haven't experimented with it - just made it as I received the recipe to give it a try. I think you definitely cooked it too long. Mine was pretty soft and cut easily - not "biscuit" like. But like I mentioned before, as moist and good as mine was, the "keeps indefinitely" part seemed unreasonable.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I made it yesterday. I mistakenly boiled the sugar with the honey, but it turned out better because it became a clay-like dough instead of dry powder. I took a palm-full of dough, squeezed it into a ball, then formed it into a "fish stick" sized block. The orange flavor was strong, and very sweet. They cooked for about 25 min at 350,and were a burnt orange when they came out. The only thing that I was concerned with was the stickiness, but I caught it in time and removed them from the tray before they cooled. They did cool to rock hard bricks, but they are small enough to worry a bite off. As to keeping for a long time, think candy rather than bread.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I used steel cut oats, only 2 cups powdered milk, and an extra tablespoon of both honey and water. That got everything wet with just a few dry pockets here and there. Baking now for the 20 minimum to cook out the extra moisture.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think i will make one with strawberry jello. Cornmeal plus strawberry jello is great carp bait. This just might work for that too.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This sounds great. I love your blog. I will be visiting you more often.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Susan I read your recipe for survival bread and all the comments loved them. you said you like to collect different bread recipes. I was curious if you had heard of buckskin bread?
    Native Americans were given weekly rations from army forts in the very early days, and natives had to learn how to cook with flour and baking powder etc,so here is the recipe I grew up eating/ cooking at home.
    Buckskin Bread
    4 c white all purpose flour
    4 Tablespoon baking powder
    2tsp salt
    1/4 cup powder milk
    2 Tablespoon sugar
    1 1/2 cups to 2 cups tepid water
    mix all ingredients knead for a few minutes until dough gets tough (hence buckskin bread)let rest for 10 to 20 mins spray a baking pan with Pam or what ever you might use, and place in a 9 by 12 inch baking pan, bake at 350 until bread sounds hollow when thumped. bread should be 1 inch to 2 inches high. cut into squares and enjoy, this will last 3 to 4 days if wrapped loosely in tin foil and it is tough on the crust but soft on the inside, tastes great dipped in coffee, tea or hot chocolate. I like mine with butter spread on it for breakfast. use any kind of spread you like. I have had it with beans for dinner, or peanut butter , jam what ever you like, it is a very versatile and heavy bread, it gets tougher with a few days and may get stale too. heat up in micro for a few seconds until soft and steaming. Enjoy.
    Hope you like it, I have survived on buckskin bread as well as fry bread too. ;)
    Verlie

    ReplyDelete
  28. I tried this today. Some of my observations, the recipe didn't say to grease the pan, so I didn't; and as it cooled it stuck like cement! lol Next time, I will grease the pan some. Also, it's much easier to cut before it is cold. When adding the wet to dry, after mixing it a little, get your hands in there and knead it together. Otherwise, it mixes too dry but sticks together well when you knead it; so don't add too much water before trying that. Also, I thought the jello flavor was just a tiny bit too strong. I'd use a little less. That's my 2 cents. ;) I plan to do my own blog post on it with photos and will put a link to here as well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. PS, Hard Tack is a great "survival" bread that will truely last indefintely if you want to give that a try someday (if you haven't already.) I did a blog post on that if you want to check it out. http://doablesurvival.blogspot.com/2013/01/hardtack-and-survival-bread.html I have some stored away for emergencies.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This site is very interesting!Thank you all for the great ideas,can't wait to try them!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Is there a reason you have to use Jello? I was thinking of using non flavor gelatin and adding cinnamon. Wondering if anyone knows if by adding the cinnamon would it deplete the life of the bread? I would think it wouldn't because it is not adding any kind of oil/fat but I'm not sure. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cinnamon should make anything last even longer.

      Delete
  32. I wonder if whole powered milk might make this taste better. Something like Nestle
    Nido. That stuff is very good!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I was thinking while milk powder as well, also, pain gelatin and grated lemon rind

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sorry for the typos. Whole* milk powder and plain* gelatin

    ReplyDelete
  35. Plain gelatin and orange extract. Good to avoid all that food coloring

    ReplyDelete
  36. I made some, but I changed it a bit. Half white sugar/ half brown. 1 1/2 tablespoon of honey, 1 1/2 tablespoon of molasses.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Interesting recipe though I really can't believe it would outlast hardtack. It's taken me years to learn how to make hardtack that won't break your teeth, but your recipe sure looks like it would be more palatable.

    I do make a modified Irish bread that lasts a long time - as long as you keep it out and don't put it in a plastic bag. I can't say how long it will last as it always gets eaten before it goes bad. It just sits on a tray on the counter - no covering at all.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have not tried to make this (yet) but in reading through the ingredients, I wonder if some PB2 could be added for flavor and protein. I don't know how it would affect storage, but if "giant oatmeal cookie" was how it tasted, I think that adding peanut butter powder might be even better. Going to give it a try this weekend! Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  39. If it had milk instead of powdered milk and cocoa instead of jello this would be very much like no-bake cookies.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I have a suggestion on the dry milk. Try NIDO (usually found in the Mexican food section of the grocery) This dry milk tastes EXACTLY like regular fresh milk.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This looks good, but in reading the ingredients, it's a baked oatmeal. None of the ingredients have a very long shelf life, so to call it "survival" bread is a bit of a stretch as far as that goes. Maybe it's because all of the ingredients are easily found in a typical stockpile? Would possibly be a good recipe to keep taste buds from getting bored in a survival situation, too, as the texture is different than 'regular bread'. ANY food that keeps the body goin' one more day is a bonus, right?? Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails