Making bread in the Great Outdoors

Making bread in the Great Outdoors

by Kyt Lyn Walken Allsopp


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 intrinsically 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 we 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 relaxation.

Sounds, colors, smells may do the rest.

One of these elements is bread. Simple as it is, bread represents a source of welfare 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 a symbol of war, pestilence, famine.

By that, it shouldn't surprise us how much bread plays a special role 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?

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 nutritional 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, and
  • harvest time

 If we compare bread to other nutritional 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 favours digestion).

If we focus on nutritional 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-wheat (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 (like calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium) you need to consume 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 eat a slice of bread or even more during meals may suffer the most from an absence of bread if caught up in an emergency situation.

With a true abundance of all kinds of MRE (Meals Ready to Eat), dried food, energy bars or whatever the role of bread seems to have lost its 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 nutrition.

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.

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 ingredients in ziplock bags, except for olive oil which requires a small tin canteen.

Chickpea flour is very high in vegetal protein, but you can indeed use any other kind of flour.

I make farinata by adding

  • rice flour
  • whole wheat flour
  • sourdough
  • oat flour

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


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

Put some oil in your skillet – 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 aluminium.

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 flatbread 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

  • sattu (a type of whole-meal flour eg Sattu is prepared by dry-roasting grains or grams, most often barley or Bengal gram. In Odisha, Sattu or Chatua is made by dry-roasting cashew, almond, millet, barley and chickpea and grinding to a fine flour).
  • water

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.


Mix all the ingredients – establish the dosage to your needs – in a collapsible 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 good cooking on both sides.

Wait for it to cool down for 5 minutes.

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 aluminium or in some baking paper.


Better dry bread in peacetime than meat in wartime.” - Hungarian Proverb

Simple recipes can help us to make our Post-Apocalyptic life or simply a day out hiking more positive and comfortable.

Both farinata and chapati, are staple foods, and they smell and taste very good.

In case of farinata, the only critical element to carry is olive oil. A good oil may be expensive and not easy to find but worth the effort. You may try to replace it with coconut oil.

You can enhance 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 to your taste, and easy to preserve in case of a long term bugging out situations.

Easy to prepare, that home-cooked aroma and light to carry: a lot of pros.

They will become your sandwich of the woods!


About the author: Kyt Lyn Walken

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