Survival Bread With No Yeast (Top 5 Survival Flatbreads)


Flatbread is an excellent way to use stored survival grain. With the ancient-trifecta of grain-flour or oats, water, and salt, you can make a staple survival flatbread. Flatbreads have no wait time and don’t require yeast or kneading—5 Perfect survival foods for an emergency, whether sheltering in place or walking out on foot.

Five 3-Ingredient Survival Flatbreads With No Yeast

Bread TypeFlour/OatsWaterSalt
1. Ancient FlatbreadWheat flourOptional
2. HardtackWhole-wheat flourOptional
3. JourneycakeCornflourOptional
4. Scottish Oat CakesRolled Oats/Oat FlourOptional
5. Ash CakesCornflourOptional
√-Ingredient Required

Learn How To Make Yeast From Ready Squirrel (flour and water are the only ingredients needed) Click Here

1. Ancient Flatbread 

In its purest form, flatbread is a flour and water mixture mixed into a dough. The dough is then cooked: on a hot rock, directly on coals, in a cast iron pan, or from radiant heat in an oven.  No leavening agent, such as yeast, is required as an ingredient.

Flatbread Ingredients: Wheat-flour, Water and Salt (optional)

The first archeological evidence of flatbread dates back 14,000 years to the Jordan Valley.Ev

10 Reasons Flatbread Is A Solid Survival Food

  1. Grain has a long shelf-life (Up To 30 Years, Wheat Flour will keep about a year if stored properly.)
  1. Bread is a staple food (Flatbread can be a dominant portion of your diet)
  1. No Cooking Pan Required Cook on a rock or right in the coals.
  1. Two, or Three ingredients:  Flour/Oats, Salt, and Water (You don’t “need” Salt, but it improves the flavor)
  1. Flatbread dough is an excellent medium for foraged ingredients like wild raspberries, blueberries, wild onions, and herbs. Flatbread is also enhanced by perishable ingredients like animal fats, butter, eggs, and meat when they are available.
  1. Cook large batches, and store, or prepare fresh in minutes: Soldiers dating back to the Romans carried flour or whole-grain on marches and added ingredients as they could get them. Flatbreads were the fallback food. Soldiers during the American Revolution and the Civil War also depended on flatbreads.
  1.  Cook On The Move: With a provision of flour all you need to make flatbread is water and a campfire.
  1. Minutes To Make (make the dough in minutes)
  1. No Leavening, So No Waiting For Dough To Rise. Leavened dough (yeast added to raise bread) needs to sit hours before it’s ready to cook.
  1. Dough Consistency changed to fit your needs. For example, make a thicker dough and cook flatbread to accompany sopping up stewed beans, or add more water to make a pancake-like batter, and add foraged berries. Change the dough to fit the available ingredients.
Food Wishes: Homemade Flatbread In Minutes

2. Hardtack

If you want to get technical hardtack isn’t a flatbread, it’s a cracker or a tough biscuit made from flour, water, and if available salt—a precursor to military C Rations and MREs. Hardtack was the term used to describe the hard-cracker ration during the American Civil War. Much of the hardtack issued during the American Civil War were made during the Mexican Civil War, 15 years earlier. That’s an old cracker.

Hardtack Ingredients: Whole-wheat-flour, Water and Salt (optional)

The English Navy called hardtack, “Ships Bread.” English Sailors used the ration to replace perishable foods like leavened bread that wouldn’t survive long ocean journeys.

The oldest known piece of hardtack is in the Kronborg castle in Denmark believed to be manufactured in 1851

The Sea Biscuits made in London were known for longevity. Each biscuit was baked three or four times to remove as much moisture as possible.

4 Reasons To Make Hardtack One Of Your Survival Provisions

  1. Long-lasting, non-perishable, survival food
  2. Thickening Agent: Crush and add to soups or stews as a thickener. To reconstitute these rock-hard biscuits, crush them in a towel and add them to soups or stews.  
  3. Reconstitute For flour: crush, grind and use as flour.
  4. Lightweight: Most of the water is baked out of hardtack, making it lighter and more resistant to spoilage. If you are keeping your eye on pack weight, hardtack is an excellent addition to your bug out bag.
Townsend’s: Ship’s Biscuit – Hard Tack: 18th Century Breads

3. Classic Journeycake

A simple three-ingredient unleavened bread eaten in 18th century North America by the working poor. An American adaptation of the oat or barley cake from the UK. Colonists used whatever grain was cheap and readily available—cooked on a skillet or a hot rock.  Eaten fresh or as hardtack.

Journeycake Ingredients- Cornflour, Water, and Salt (optional.) These are the ingredients for the North American version of Journeycakes (any grain-flour will work)

  • Colonial-era Russian troops used Rye flour in their cakes cooking large batches and baking them twice in improvised outdoor ovens to remove excess moisture. The extra baking removed the moisture so that the cakes would last on long military campaigns.
  • Alternate Drying Method For Journeycakes: Bake cakes once and then set in the sun to dry them further.  
  • There are modern versions of johnnycakes that include milk, butter, or other fats but these ingredients reduce shelf life significantly.  
  • Other Flours Commonly Used for Journeycakes: Wheat, Oats, Barley, and Rye
  • Leavening Optional

Recipe for Johnny Cakes: These flatbread cakes are so simple there is no recipe.  American Colonial Foods of the poorer classes were rarely put into a recipe book.  Check out the following video to watch Townsends make a Journeycake on the fly.

Keep in mind that flatbreads were sustenance foods. People used what was available, what was in season, what could be traded, or bartered. They weren’t thinking of food as a comfort but as a part of survival.

Cooks before the American Colonial period didn’t cook by recipe. They eyeballed everything, learned as they went, and prepared from experience with available ingredients.

There are multiple versions of the Journeycake from runny batter-like pancakes to dough with just enough water to moisten.

Make cakes in different shapes, sizes and moisture levels to fit your needs.

Townsends: Journey of the Journey Cake – Any Grain Will Do

4. Scottish Oat Cakes: Bannock

A favorite food ration of Scottish highland warrior, and drover during the 17th Century

Oatcake Ingredients- Rolled Oats, Water, and Salt (optional.)

If you have fat available like butter or animal fat, mix it with your oats when you cook to create an ancient PowerBar.

 Cooked on a cast iron griddle,  bannock board or hot rock.

  • The first record of Oatcakes in Scotland stretches back to the Roman conquest of Great Britain around 43 A.D.
  • Oat Cakes are a blank slate, you can add just about any ingredient you want or use them as a bread staple to sop up beans, soup or stew.
  • Highlanders would forage for herbs, and add them to Oatcakes when available

Recipe: There isn’t really a recipe.  Experiment and use just enough water so the oats will hold together.  You can make the cakes soft or hard depending on how long you cook them. 

 How much water you use and the cut of your oats will determine the consistency of the cake. 

Make a dry dough that doesn’t crumble apart.  

Add enough water to get a dough-like consistency but not so much water that the dough gets sticky.  

Finer cut oats will produce a finer biscuit.  If you look up modern oatcakes, you will find recipes with sugar, flour, butter, and fats.  I focused on the old version because the ingredients fit an emergency or survival scenario.

Check out the video below to watch Fandabi Dozi make a Highland Oatcake

Fandabi Dozi: Oatcakes on a fire (Highlander Trekking Food)

5. Ash Cakes

Ash Cake Ingredients: Cornflour, Water and Salt (optional)

American Colonial soldiers ate Ash Cakes during the Revolutionary War. Washington’s soldiers were issued rations of flour instead of bread. Soldiers didn’t carry heavy cook equipment, like cast iron skillets, so they cooked directly on campfire coals

Ashcake dough is cooked directly in the fire, wrapped in leaves, or pressed to a board and leaned over hot coals.   

When Making Ash Cake Dough:

  • Add enough water to the flour to create a stiff paste
  • Start a fire and cook down to hot white ashes if cooking dough directly on coals

Check out Townsend’s great video Cooking Ash Cakes on a campfire.

Townsends: Cooking Ash Cakes – 18th Century Cooking

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