Bread is a versatile staple for a reason: it can be eaten on its own, or it can be paired with various ingredients like meats, cheeses, jams, and jellies to make a quick and easy meal. Instead of buying processed bread that contains additives and preservatives that are bad for your health, you can learn how to make whole wheat bread from scratch so you can bake fresh bread whenever you want. (h/t to ModernSurvivalBlog.com)
If you’re new to baking, try this simple recipe for whole wheat bread.
Whole wheat bread
- 3 cups whole wheat flour (milled)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons (tbsp) sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) salt
Tips when using yeast
Use a thermometer to determine the correct liquid temperature for the yeast. Any thermometer will do, as long as it measures temperatures between 75-130 F.
Steps (traditional baking):
- Dissolve the dry yeast in water that has a temperature between 110-115 F. If you’re adding the yeast directly to the dry ingredients, the liquid ingredients should have a temperature between 120-130 F.
- Mix the dough by hand. Knead the dough for at least 15 minutes, or until it becomes soft and elastic.
- Cover your dough and let it rise until it doubles in size. This will take at least one hour.
- After the first rise, punch the dough down slowly to release the gases. When you’re done, place the dough in a greased loaf pan. Cover the dough, then let it rise again for 20-30 minutes.
- Once the dough rises for the second time, bake it in a 350 F oven until done. This can take about 30-40 minutes.
Tips for using a bread machine
To save time, use a bread machine. This is also a good alternative if you have difficulty kneading dough with your hands.
When using a bread machine, you need to add the liquids first, then the dry ingredients. Add the yeast last. But before adding the yeast, make a shallow indentation in the dry ingredients, then pour the yeast into the hole.
This will prevent the yeast from coming into contact with the liquid ingredients, which will prevent the yeast from being activated too early in the bread machine cycle. Use liquids with a temperature of 80 F if you’re going to use a bread machine. (Related: Powerful survival food: How to make your own Bannock, a leavened bread made with oats and flour.)
Bread on a stick recipe
Whether you’re camping or you just want to know how to make bread without using an oven or a bread machine, you can try making bread on a stick. This recipe makes 15 bread sticks.
- A campfire
- Clean sticks
- 2 cups bread or plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup coconut or sunflower oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Combine the dry ingredients.
- Make a well in the center, then add the water and oil. Mix well until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Dust your hands with a bit of flour, then work the dough for several minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable.
- Let the dough rest for a couple of minutes as you check the fire and prepare the sticks.
- Divide the dough into 15 equal-sized balls, then roll the balls into a sausage shape. Flatten out the dough a bit before you wrap it around a stick. Let the dough overlap slightly so it doesn’t fall off.
- Hold the sticks over the flame. Turn them periodically until the dough is done.
Tips for making bread on a stick
- It’s best to use branches from apple, ash, birch, hazel, sycamore, or willow trees when making sticks. You can also use bamboo.
- Don’t use branches from a tree that you can’t identify. You can die from using poisonous oleander (Nerium oleander), a common garden shrub.
- You should also avoid trees elder, laburnum, laurel, and yew. Pine can make the bread taste strange because it contains resin.
- If you have room in your bug-out bag, bring stainless steels skewers with wooden handles.
- When using dry sticks, soak them in water first so they don’t burn.
Learning how to bake bread from scratch means you can bake fresh bread made with quality ingredients even after SHTF.