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How we need to prepare


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Our daily bread

As part of my interest in self reliance I like having a look at things from the ground up so to speak. How you create the final result from raw materials yourself will be required after any significant event.

So one, of the many, things I don’t know much about is the simple process of making bread. Bread has been made by people in their homes for centuries so it clearly is well known how to do so but at the moment we make bread by putting prepared ingredients in a unit and turning it on and out comes a nice loaf or rolls or whatever. Sounds good but what about the creation of the ingredients so we can make our own bread from scratch?

Bread is not really all that complicated. First of all you grow the wheat, a 10ft x 10ft plot will yield enough wheat for about 15-20 loaves. When ready the wheat should be harvested by cutting the stalks down, tying into bunches and waiting till they ripen. They should then be threshed, which involves beating the inside of a casket with the bunch of stalks until the wheat has fallen off. The wheat is then separated from the chaff by winnowing, pouring the wheat from one container to another in a stiff breeze. The light chaff is blown away while the heavy wheat remains and is stored. The wheat is most nutritious when fresh so leave the grinding till you need it and just do enough for your current batch. The grinding is best performed by a wheat grinder and these are key to survival on wheat. Good wheat grinders are very expensive and come as electric or hand cranked. As usual we must remember that after an event we may have difficulty with power. I recommend a hand cranked mill for our survival stores.

Of course that is just the flour. We can add several other simple ingredients which when baked gives us unleavened bread, or flat bread. Leavened bread, raised bread or just bread as we call it, requires several other ingredients, one of which is more of an issue than others and that is the yeast. Yeast is a culture that is required to be kept alive and stored. Part of the yeast culture is added to the bread mix to make the bread.

There are two types of yeast, sour dough, which is an older type, some sour dough cultures are hundreds of years old and passed from generation to generation and baking yeast, used in beer as well as bread. Both cultures require cultivation and although it is possible to create yeast without a culture, a very difficult process, it is much easier to ensure we have a culture available now. This culture must be kept clean and carefully looked after to ensure it will grow and live. It would also make a nice bartering item.

Sugar is the final item that is also an issue as we don’t really have a good way of growing that plant. Make sure you have plenty of sugar in store and protected.

The other ingredients are less of an issue being salt, butter, eggs, milk and water. All available in the UK in various forms although you may have to barter for them long term unless you have a cow, chicken and live near a salt supply.

So simply knead the ingredients together and leave till it rises where it is kneaded again and then put in the over to bake.

Nice fresh bread much better than you can buy in the shops.

Put in your stores;

  • Several bags of wheat
  • Several bags of sugar
  • Several bags of salt
  • Several bags milk powder
  • Cooking oil
  • Hand cranked wheat grinder

Not forgetting;

  • Sourdough culture
  • Yeast culture

Although these will need constant maintenance.

Not forgetting of course some instructions on how to make the bread. Here is a good link.

In the meantime there are several different ways to make bread. Find one that you like that can be made with the minimum of ingredients. I quite like flat bread so I’m off to a good start.

3 comments to Our daily bread

  • fred

    Doesn’t even need to be wheat. It could be rye, for example.

  • half

    You could grow sugar beets for sugar, I think beets provide most of the UK with sugar. Stevia is another crop thats grown for sweetness, I’m going to try and grow stevia next year.

  • Skean Dhude

    Fred,

    Good point. I like the wheat ones myself so think wheat when bread is mentioned.

    For those with a gluton intolerance there are other grains, such as buckwheat or corn, that can be used to make the bread. I’ll update this article when I have more info.

    Half,

    Knew that forgot about it completely. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Looks like this article is going to get some serious updating when I get the chance.

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