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Friday, August 27, 2010

GUEST ARTICLE Bread vs Grain Stored

Wheat flourImage via Wikipedia
Bread vs Grain Stored
By: Yukon Mike

Topic: Food Storage

Date: August 1, 2010

Bread, an Important Survival Food

You can’t stock-up on bread because it’s perishable. If the stores are closed due to a disaster or the shelves are empty due to long term food distribution failures. What’s your option? You must bake it yourself.

Bread is important because it’s filling and good for you. During disaster times it also adds bulk to your stored food meals and makes you much more satisfied at the end of the meal because your belly is stuffed full.

If there are just 2 or 3 in your family and for a familiar survival mode meal plan you probably will bake the equivalent of 4-6 loaves of fresh bread or bread items every week. That’s 2-3 loaves per person per week for the average family of bread and baked items. Imagine breakfast without toast, a grilled cheese sandwich without the bread or a burger without the bun, even simple soups taste better with a slice of bread or dinner roll.

Learn how and then bake bread every week even in the good times as there’s nothing better than home made, chemical free bread. It’s easy and you will be eating healthier than ever because you know what ingredients are in it!

Now that you’ve been faithfully storing wheat grain for the future. Do you know how many loaves of bread can be made from your stored grain?

You finally have 400 pounds of wheat grain in you’re survival stocks and you’re happy because you think you reached your goal with the grain storage portion.

Well have you?

What about all the needed ingredients to turn that stored wheat grain into bread?

For this example let’s say your plans are to make just bread from that 400 lbs. of wheat grain stored. Yes, there are many other dishes you can make from wheat berries but for this example we will focus on just bread. 1 lb. of wheat grain milled will make one loaf of bread and from what you have stocked, the 400 lbs. you can bake 400 loaves of bread.

Now the surprise; Here’s what else you need (besides a mill) to bake 400 loaves of bread.

The total amount of ingredients that must be stocked to bake 400 loaves of bread:

400 lbs. wheat grain (1 lb. per loaf)

37.5 gallons of water (500 cups)

42.5 lbs. of dry milk powder (200 cups)

47.5 lbs white sugar (100 cups)

3.2 gallons of oil (400 ounces)

8 lbs. dry yeast (400 tablespoons)

1.6 gallons of molasses (400 tablespoons)

10.6 lbs shortening (400 tablespoons, greasing the pans)

200 lbs. of propane needed for baking in an RV oven (½ lb per baking cycle, baking a single loaf).

300 lbs. of propane needed for baking in a full size oven (¾ lb per baking cycle, baking a single loaf).

(If baking 2 loaves at a time reduce total propane amount by ½, 4 loaves will use just ¼ the total amount)

Standard Survivalist whole wheat bread recipe to make one loaf:

3½ cups fresh milled grain (2 1/3 cups of kernels)

1¼ cup of 100-105 degree water

½ cup dry milk (optional but is preferred; use ½ cup dry milk into the 1¼ cup of water and reconstitute)

¼ cup sugar

1 tbs molasses (optional, it removes the sharp taste of fresh home milled wheat and makes he bread taste better)

1 oz oil (2 tbs) or melted lard or shortening

1 tbs yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tbs shortening to grease the pan with


In a bowl add ‘all’ the dry ingredients except the dry milk and thoroughly blend together.

Reconstituted the dry milk in the water, add the oil and warm to 100-105 degrees.

If using a mixer attach the dough hook and add the liquids and blend. Once all the ingredients are combined into a dough ball then machine knead the dough for about 5 more minutes.

If mixing by hand, once the ingredients have combined then aggressively hand knead for 15 minutes.

I do not let the dough rise in the bowl as I’ve found through baking hundreds of loaves it’s just not necessary. I take the freshly kneaded dough and shape and place it in the greased bread baking pan.

Let it rise in the pan until about 1 inch above the top of the pan (about double in size).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees then bake for 25-27 minutes.

Personal Notes:

When baking whole wheat bread from your own home milled flour, be patient as the first few tries may have disappointing results. It’s not like using all-purpose white flour at all. It may take 10-20 try’s before you get it figured out.

I bake bread at least every other weekend using fresh milled wheat grain and I recommend you do the same for the practice plus it’s good for you. Practice now while you’re not under pressure. Trust me once you mill and bake your own it gets addictive and you won’t be buying supermarket bread anymore.

I use the ‘Family Grain Mill’ steel burr type because, for one I can power it with my KitchenAid mixer and the other reason it comes with a hand crank for manual milling. This is important because grid power may not be available or affordable during SHTF.

When milling the grain, the flour produced needs to be a fine as possible to allow gluten to form and gluten traps the co2 from the yeast which makes the bread rise. I mill my grain twice on the finest setting and I just get by with it. However, when I purchase my next mill it will have interchangeable steel burrs and stone burrs as stone burrs will produce the finest flour possible.
Rising height of the dough will be less. Fresh milled flour using steel burrs is not as fine as commercial milled flour and because of this does not raise the same. Expect about ½-¾ the rise and 4-6 hours for the rise to complete. Expect a denser bread texture.
Oil in the recipe can be substituted with melted shortening or melted lard.
Dry milk is not required and can be omitted, but it does make a difference in taste and texture. I would expect many of us will be short of dry milk during an extended disaster so water only will be fine in any bread recipe.

Molasses: I’ve been baking with fresh milled grain and eating it daily for several years now. In the beginning I noticed what many people said about eating only fresh milled whole wheat bread. It has a sharp or slightly bitter but not unpleasant taste and the stomach isn’t real happy with it day after day. Through my many recipe experiments I tried light brown sugar in place of white sugar. Bingo! The molasses in the brown sugar masked the sharp taste; the stomach liked it and actually makes the bread taste better!
Brown sugar doesn’t need to be in your food storage plan. You can make it yourself by using the molasses you already stock for other recipe uses.

Recipe for ‘Light’ Brown Sugar:

To make ¼ cup of light brown sugar:

¼ cup white sugar and 1 tsp molasses

Recipe for ‘Dark’ Brown Sugar:

To make ¼ cup of dark brown sugar:

¼ cup white sugar and 2 tsp molasses

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