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.


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

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

  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!!

  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 :)

  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

  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

  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.

    1. Wonder how the texture would be with a little powdered egg and if shelf life would be the same???

    2. No, it wouldn’t be as shelf stable. This is bannock bread, used by voyaguers as they canoed the west and mid west to trap.

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

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

  10. Could Quaker Oats be used?

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

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

    1. I just made some and is DEFINITELY orange flavored. I will bet any flavor of Jell-O would work. Trying the lemon next and someone else suggested adding a pack of dry cheese mix from a mac n cheese box for another flavor. Going to try that, too!

    2. The mac and cheese pack is full of poisons.

    3. lol, that would matter after an apocalypse?

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

    1. I mentioned above: wonder about adding applesauce. OR perhaps a couple of packets of apple-cinnamon oatmeal? OR freeze-dried apples mushed in a blender or magic bullet. All sorts of options.

  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.

  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! :)

  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.

    1. I've made this. It is quite good. After baking, I've put them into my dehydrator to make double sure they didn't have any moisture. I use fruit from my dry fruit stash. Really good flavor. Note that nuts will go rancid after a while so these need to be eaten short term. For hiking and such, these are wonderful.

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

  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?

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

  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?

    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.

    2. I worked up the calories. I come up with 3370 per loaf. As a survival food, that's about 3 days for one person or 1 day for 3 people.

  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

  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.

    1. It is supposed to be baked to zero water/moisture content. Stored in an air tight container such as a vacuum sealed bag or mason jar. Originally it is only 3 ingredients 1) flour 2) water and 3) baking soda. Bake 30-40 minutes at 375° f it's called hard tack for a reason.
      It's extremely hard and will store and be shelf stable for a minimum of 10 years when packaged properly.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

  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. ;)

    1. Mmm fry bread. So good with wild rice venison soup or perfect for indian tacos.

  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. :)

  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.

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

  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!!

    1. Cinnamon should make anything last even longer.

    2. Sure! Plain gelatin with cinnamon and/or an oil extract, like orange or lemon. No dyes and those ingredients may help with shelf life.

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

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

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

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

    1. I agree here. The pure extract may help in preservation also. There are endless variations that can be used with this recipe, I'm sure. And like I said in the post - I hardly believe it lasts "indefinitely". But It's all ingredients that you can store, and should last a considerable time after it's made. I didn't test that - my boys ate it up within a day.

  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.

  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.

  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!

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

  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.

    1. Hey! THANKS for that tidbit! After growing up on fresh goat and cow's milk, I have always dreaded the day I have to live on powdered milk. i will look for that and give it a try. :)

    2. You were blessed by having fresh milk - and some from goats! I grew up on diluted powdered milk and cannot drink real milk now and would never go back to the powdered stuff.

  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!

  42. Try to use infantformula for more nutrients insted of just milk. That does taste worse, but then spice the bread with something antimicrobial. acid like vinegar should be added to and NaCl.
    Recommend artical:
    Copyright 1997 by O. Peter Snyder
    Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management; St. Paul, Minnesota
    Although the antimicrobial activity of some spices and herbs is documented, the normal amounts added to foods for flavor is not sufficient to completely inhibit microbial growth. The antimicrobial activity varies widely, depending on the type of spice or herb, test medium, and microorganism. For these reasons, spice antimicrobials should not be considered as a primary preservative method (6). However, the addition of herbs and spices can be expected to aid in preserving foods held at refrigeration temperatures, at which the multiplication of microorganisms is slow.
    Zaika (20) has given an excellent summary of the antimicrobial effectiveness of spices and herbs. A partial listing of this summary is as follows.
    Microorganisms differ in their resistance to a given spice or herb.
    A given microorganism differs in its resistance to various spices and herbs.
    Bacteria are more resistant than fungi.
    The effect on spores may be different than that on vegetative cells.
    Gram-negative bacteria are more resistant than gram-positive bacteria.
    The effect of a spice or herb may be inhibitory or germicidal.
    Spices and herbs harbor microbial contaminants.
    Spices and herbs may serve as substrates for microbial growth and toxin production.
    Amounts of spices and herbs added to foods are generally too low to prevent spoilage by microorganisms.
    Active components of spices / herbs at low concentrations may interact synergistically with other factors (NaCl, acids, preservatives) to increase preservative effect.
    Nutrients present in spices / herbs may stimulate growth and/or biochemical activities of microorganisms.
    Thus, food product safety and shelf life depend in some part on the type, quantity, and character of spices and herbs added to the products. )

    Because the high suger and protein levels in the bread I accept a slow caramelisation over time, that alters the taste but is harmless. Caramelisation hapens in dried milk to when its stored.

  43. The only thing with adding nuts, seeds, raisins is that it wouldn't last indefinitely. I think the main idea for this bread is for survival. It may not taste the best, but it will fill a hungry belly.

  44. you may also try mini cupcakes
    2 cups flour
    2 tablesoon baking powder
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tablesoon sea salt
    1/2 cup oil
    4 packets hot chocolate mix
    add water until smooth batter
    place in mini cupcake pan and bake

    1. Bake for how long at what temp?

  45. For 1 Cup of Sugar,
    * 1 cup honey (decrease liquid called
    for in recipe by 1/4 cup. In baked
    goods, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking
    soda for each cup of honey substituted
    and lower baking temperature 25
    degrees. In cookie recipes using eggs
    and no additional liquid, increase the
    flour by about 2 tablespoons per cup
    of honey. Chill before shaping and
    baking. Half of the sugar in cakes,
    can be replaced with honey. Two-thirds
    of the sugar can be replaced in fruit
    bars, but replace no more than a third
    of the sugar in ginger snaps with
    honey. When making cakes or cookies,
    first mix honey with the fat or the
    liquid, then mix with other
    ingredients. If this is not done, a
    soggy layer may form on top of the
    baked product.)

  46. I just made this bread. after it was done baking, it was apparent why this will store indefinitely. It is for the same reason that they say a fruit cake will keep forever. The Jell-O and honey form a sugar glaze over it. Once you cut a piece off, that seal will be broke and it will no longer keep. The next time I make it, I will make cookies instead of a loaf.

  47. hard tack will last 50 years and more. the recipies you talk about are variations.

    How to Make Hardtack

    Five Methods:Traditional HardtackSofter HardtackFried HardtackEating HardackVariations

    Hardtack is a very hard flat cracker, that was often eaten by soldiers during the Civil War and sailors during sea journeys. Usually infested by weevils, larva, and grubs, the soldiers invented many ways to ingest these "edible rocks". Fortunately, that's probably not something you have to worry about. If kept dry, these crackers can and will last easily over 50 years. If you intend on going on a long backpacking trip, make a dozen or so, and take them with you. These will help keep your energy up for the length of the trip.


    Traditional Hardtack

    3 cups flour
    1 cup water
    2 teaspoons of salt

    Softer Hardtack

    4 cups of flour
    2 cups of cold water
    2 tablespoons of cold butter or shortening/margarine
    4 teaspoons of salt

    Fried Hardtack

    One of the above recipes (ingredients from)
    Olive oil
    Confectioners sugar (optional)

    Method 1 of 5: Traditional Hardtack

    Make Hardtack Step 1 Version 2.
    Preheat oven to 375°F. (190°C.)
    Mix flour, salt, and water together in a bowl. Place the water and salt in the bowl, and slowly add in flour while stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes too thick to stir, at which point enough flour has been added.
    Knead dough and roll out until it is 1/2" (1cm.) thick.
    Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3"x3" (7cm. x 7cm.) squares.
    Poke four rows of four holes in the cracker using a skewer stick.
    Lay the crackers out on an ungreased cookie sheet.
    Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
    Remove from oven, flip crackers over, and bake for another 30 minutes.
    Take crackers out when they are a light golden brown. Let the crackers cool for 30 minutes before eating.

    Method 2 of 5: Softer Hardtack

    Preheat oven to 375ºF or 190ºC.
    Put flour into a bowl.
    Quickly crumble in butter or shortening.
    Add water.
    Stir just a few times until a dough forms.
    Press dough into 3 x 3 (7cm x 7cm) inch pieces that are about half an inch (1cm) thick.
    Put pieces on non-greased pan.
    Using a skewer stick, poke four rows of four holes in the pieces in a square formation that has the holes half an inch away, and have the holes cover the pieces.
    Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool.
    Note: because fat has been added, it will oxidize / become rancid over a relatively short time and thus the softer version is not for long term storage.

    part two added

  48. hard tack part two...

    Method 3 of 5: Fried Hardtack

    Mix water, salt, melted butter and seasoning of choice. Add flour as needed. Follow one of the recipes suggested in the previous methods.
    When you've made a good dough, take a handful and roll into a ball. Crush into a disk shape.
    Fry in oil. Fry at low temperatures; increase the temperature as needed. (Be aware that grease will pop at high temperatures.)
    Olive oil is preferred.
    Remove from the pan. Place on a plate lined with paper towel, to drain the grease.
    Serve immediately. You can sprinkle with confectioners sugar if wished.
    Store in an airtight container.

    Method 4 of 5: Eating Hardtack

    Crumble into a cup of coffee, and allow it to soak for a few minutes.
    Crumble into a pan full of bacon grease, then fry.
    Make "waffles" by soaking them in water overnight, then frying them in butter for breakfast. Genuine hardtack would not disintegrate in spite of soaking, but simply become softer and rubbery.

    Method 5 of 5: Variations

    For better tasting hardtack, add 3 tablespoons of cooking or olive oil. However any oil or fat added will likely become rancid over a few weeks or months time depending on temperature, etc.
    Add 1/4 cup cinnamon and/or sugar for sweetness, though this will dramatically decrease shelf life and encourage mold.
    Adding salt will improve flavor, but decrease authenticity if used for living history.

  49. part three to the above 5 methods/varitiions,,..

    The crackers will be semi-hard out of the oven, so if you want them for living history, make them about a month ahead of time and then store them in a cool dry place to achieve maximum hardness.
    Hardtack was often shaved with a sharp knife to get slivers into meat broth so that it has more of a soup consistency.


    Hardtack has virtually no flavour. It has to take on the flavour of what it is soaked in.
    If you wear braces, have crowns or very fragile teeth, don't eat these!
    Adding sugar and/or flavourings will dramatically reduce the shelf life of hardtack.

    Things You'll Need

    Mixer and bowl
    Cookie Sheet
    Skewer stick
    Pizza cutter or knife
    Rolling pin

  50. Was wondering if the oats was ground up to a flour along with added water do you think it be easier to mix?

  51. HI Susan,
    I was wondering if I could possibly use this recipe for my column in a local newspaper? All I was going to use is the recipe. Please let me know...Thanks!

    1. Hi Emily! I haven't been checking the messages for a while, so I apologize - but please feel free to use the recipe. If you can, I would appreciate it if you could add a note where you got it ( thereliantself.blogspot.com ).
      Have a great day! :)

    2. Perfect!!! Thank you! If you would like I can send you a link to it

  52. Can you substitute the knox unflavored geleting for the orange/lemon jello?

  53. 3 tablespoons water and honey will not give you the liquid showing in the photo.

  54. a teaspoon of vanilla added a nice bit of flavor to it.

  55. Hi! Just made this tonight as an experiment. Here are my thoughts/observations:

    1. All of the materials in the original recipe are items that naturally store long-term without going bad PROVIDED THEY ARE KEPT DRY, ergo the statement that this "will store indefinitely". Note that you have to wrap it in aluminum foil; that will help keep the moisture out. Putting it in a vacuum sealer should work just as well.

    2. Unflavored gelatin will work just as well as flavored. The flavored gelatin just helps to keep the product from being too bland. The only reason to add gelatin is to act as a binding agent. In most recipes egg is the binder, but for long-term storage you want something other than egg. The amount of protein in gelatin is negligible; the protein is coming from the oatmeal and the milk powder.

    3. I got around the sticky problem when baking it by putting baking parchment (sold in the grocery store with the aluminum foil) on the cookie sheet first, then the dough. Also, this isn't "baking" the bread so much as "drying" it. That's why the recipe calls for the minimum amount of water to be used.

    4. After thinking about it, I don't think I would add anything to the recipe. Raisins, maybe, but even after a few years their diminishing vitamin C content might not make it worth the while. All the other suggestions I read have oils that will go rancid over time. It's best to have separate sealed sources of those items to use at later dates.

  56. I would think anytime you add powdered milk you reduce the shelf life??? milk will go bad and when mixed is no longer stable dry.????

  57. I am thinking the powdered milk must be reconstituted made into liquid milk for the recipe given Then you may need to only add a couple of spoons but I wouldn't even try mixing all those dry ingredients like that. it has to have enough liquid to cook.

  58. I wonder if it is actually full oats and not porridge type of oats that it means. Like a whole grain bread.

  59. For the survival bread recipe to be corrected, cut the powdered milk back to 1/2 cup or so, the sugar back as well to 1/4 cup or so. This is going to be sticky do to the jello, that's also what gives it a long shelf. I add more protein by using peanut butter ( any ground nuts or seeds leftovers from my oil press ) . Hope that helps next time you .

  60. Adding peanut butter, nuts,seeds all have oils so it is not long lasting it will go rancid over a year or so. Using regular powdered milk also has some oil so use non fat thus it will store longer. If you plan on eating this for a hike or camping or sooner than later then you can alter the recipe other than that I try to keep close to recipe for the purpose it was created.

    1. Does anyone have an suggestions on how to store this for the long

    2. They used to store in tins.

  61. Does anyone have a suggestion about how to store the bread for the long term?

    1. By long term, I assume we are talking a few years. Keeping that in mind, I currently have about 2/3 of my first loaf sitting in a plastic bag above my desk at work. I am going to check it monthly to see how long it takes for mold to form. I am also going to try another batch and seal one in a vacuum sealed bag and another the same but put in my deep freezer for a couple of years. I'll be back posting results as I go.

    2. How did the trial go? Any results?

    3. I store the bread in a quart mylar bag with an oxygen absorber and moister absorber in it. You can buy them on amazon.com cheap.

  62. Just made some last night. I had to add more water as someone commented before. I also added quinoa and amaranth to the mixture and baked at 250° for a longer time. I ended up with a brick that is 10"×7"×1". It is very dense and somewhat hard but not hard to chew. I will be making this again with an addition of cinnamon and molasses. Preparing a portion size is a must. It is very tasty and has some added texture and earthy flavor from the amaranth and quinoa. The sugar could be cut some but I rather enjoy the flovor as a whole. Shelf life is a concern of mine, this is one reason I baked at such a low temperature. To draw out moisture and have an evenly baked product.

  63. Has anyone tried storing this for a lengthy period of time? If so, how long and what were the results?


  64. Could you replace the powdered milk with protein shake powder. Like a vanilla?

  65. As a scout master I will try this bread out

  66. I am going to make this recipe and try swapping the water and sugar amounts. 1 cup of water and 3 TBS of sugar sound more reasonable


  67. Author Notes: The whole-grain, gluten-free, no-knead, no-mess, life-changing loaf of bread. Psyllium seed husks are available at natural food stores or online. Other (…more) —Genius Recipes
    Makes 1 loaf

    1 cup (135 grams) sunflower seed kernels (not in the shell)
    1/2 cup (90 grams) flax seeds
    1/2 cup (65 grams) hazelnuts or almonds
    1 1/2 cups (145 grams) rolled oats (if making gluten-free, make sure to get certified gluten-free oats)
    2 tablespoons chia seeds
    4 tablespoons psyllium seed husks (3 tablespoons if using psyllium husk powder)
    1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (add 1/2 teaspoon if using coarse salt)
    1 tablespoon maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
    3 tablespoons melted coconut oil or ghee
    1 1/2 cups (350 milliliters) water
    In a flexible, silicon loaf pan or a standard loaf pan lined with parchment, combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil, and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it or lift the parchment.
    Preheat oven to 350° F / 175° C.
    Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing.
    Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

  68. Hello, I am wondering what the shelf life is for this "indefinite" bread. Has anyone kept this in or out of their refrigerator for an extended period of time? Thank you!

    1. why would you keep it in your refrigerator ? Moisture is the enemy it is supposed to be vaccum sealed . nothing in it will spoil unless moisture is added

  69. I've seen this recipe repeatedly for the last several months, so a month or so ago I decided to make it. The only difference is, this is the first one I saw the suggested making something other that bars out of it. I made my bars about 3in x 1in x 1in.

    Anyways, I found that using your hands to mix the the ingredients together and adding a few extra TBL spoons of water (never more than 10 as every other recipe warned against it) made things easier to mix.

    I made several batches and on a few of them I mixed hemp protein in the mix. It turns everything to a chocolate color, so I started sprinkling it on top before I baked it. As well, I sprinkled Chia seeds on it as well for added help during a survival situation.

    Furthermore, since water content can shorten the lifespan of products, I added as little water as possible and baked as long as I could to get as much of the moisture out without making them so hard that someone chips a tooth. This took several hours.

    Finally, when all was done and said with, I vacuumed packed the bars to increase the life.

  70. I just made a pre-election batch...LOL It wasn't exactly what I was expecting in that it was more of a cookie than a bread... A very sticky oatmeal cookie! It didn't taste all that bad except around the edges where it burned a little. Even though it says it is good indefinitely I still through what I didn't eat into the freezer.

  71. I made the orange & tasted it & was ok I set it on the shelf & about 6 months later tried it & was still ok, it would beat starving to death.

  72. I tried to subscribe but ended up with a blog called Torneio Armas Nerf UK that is not in English. Please help!

  73. I have a vacuum sealer. Wrapping this in Aluminum Foil to store indefinitely seems kind of bizarre to me. Does anyone know if vacuum sealing it would work and/or be better? TYIA

    1. After reading the comments above I see that a few did say you could vacuum seal it. Thanks! Debby

  74. Nothing says healthy food should deteriorate. Honey is healthy and it will keep indefinitely in your cupboard. Dried Beans, Dried brown rice kept in the right conditions can last almost indefinitely. This isn't a macdonalds see it never rots so its bad for you cause of preservatives test.

  75. Oops! Should have a recipe for single guys!

  76. https://www.dropbox.com/s/y4h22yduetgw3xl/Survival%20Bread.jpg?dl=0
    Seems we can't post photos, but this is how mine turned out! Either have to keep trying, or be a very thin survivalist, :D! Sure the recipe works. Just have to try again and keep a fire extinguisher handy!

  77. At first I thought it was a total loss,



    Finally we figured out if you cut it with a carbide hole saw for installing doorknobs in steel doors, the neighbor kids could use it as a hockey puck. Not giving up yet!!

  78. Survival Bread Recipe for Men!

    2 cups oats - No, you can not use instant oatmeal with honey!)

    2 1/2 cups powdered milk (No, coffee creamer won't work! And don't use a beer mug. Cooking cups are a lot smaller!)

    1 cup sugar - (Remember, small cup!)

    3 Tbl honey - (Found out a TBL is the large spoon.)

    3 Tbl water - (You can not use beer in place of water, here!)

    1 pkg. lemon or orange Jell-O (3oz) - (Yea the stuff that wiggles like your new lady neighbor doing her morning jog. I used Strawberry Jell-o. See why below!

    Combine oats, powdered milk and sugar. Keep this aside, but mix it up well. In a medium pan, (large enough to put all this stuff in), mix water, Jell-O and honey. Bring to a boil. (Bubbling, not bubble over!) Add dry ingredients. (The stuff you set aside. Mix well. (If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of water a teaspoon at a time.) (OK, some people said they mixed this with your hands, but use a spoon at first. You just added the stuff to BOILING hot fluid. Using your hands at this point will hurt worse than when you walking and staring at the girl in the hot pants and your girlfriend "accidentally" stepped on your foot with her high heels. Shape dough into a loaf. (About the size of a brick.) Not a 16" basement brick. A small brick. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. (When getting this out of the oven, use those fingerless gloves hanging over the stove. Think - BURN)
    Cool. Wrap in aluminum foil to store.
    This bread will keep indefinitely and each loaf is the daily nutrients for one adult.

    Why the Strawberry? It makes the bread pink. If your girlfriend comes home, and sees the kitchen, you will only be banned for a month or two. Just tell her you made it for her, (hence the pink!), because it is the anniversary of your first date/kiss/time she put the handcuff on you.

    Finally got the recipe to work. Kitchen looks like it was bombed with a large box of Pink Peeps, but I should have time to clean it.

    Finally, success!

  79. Is it possible to use something besides the Jell-O? I don't want to put that many artificial ingredients into my bread.

    1. jello is not artificial just use plain unflavored gelatin it isin the recipe for the protien

  80. Just found this site quite by accident. Very glad I did too!! Thank You to everyone for the recipes and suggestions. These are definitely on my "to do" list now.

  81. Has anyone vacuumed sealed the survival bread instead of just storing it in aluminum foil?

  82. We have sell some products of different custom boxes.it is very useful and very low price please visits this site thanks and please share this post with your friends. thesurvivallife

  83. I like this website its a master peace ! Glad I found this on google.



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  85. If this will keep indefinitely do we need to store this in the freezer?

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  87. I wonder if using a different flavor gelatin would make it ruin faster? Like a strawberry or peach flavor jello

  88. Just tried this. Not bread but more like an oatmeal rice crispy treat lol. Definitely not good for a fat old man but would be great as a moral booster for kids and give needed calories in a emergency.



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