Baking and Scratch Cooking

As you can see from the list of meals provided earlier, simple raw materials for baking, such as flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, yeast, oil, and shortening, are important assets in a food storage plan. With these staple items, you can make everything from pancakes or rolls to breading for fresh fish or game.

For those looking for a simpler answer, consider mixes for muffins, corn bread, and pancakes.  You will still need to add water, but there will be less or measuring of ingredients. These ready-made or pre-mixed ingredients can be a boon for those who do not like to cook or do not want to store baking staples like yeast. Of course, you may need a Dutch oven or griddle for that stove or fireplace.  Corn bread, corn tortillas, corn pancakes and other items made from cornmeal can be cooked more easily than traditional bread, even if you have nothing but a flat rock and an open fire.  It may not sound too appetizing, but when you have not had a meal for several days, a hot cornbread pancake cooked on a piece of salvaged metal would be terrific.

For long-term survival storage, honey stores for years and can replace sugar in recipes. Captain Dave has kept five pound containers of honey until they crystallize, but this does not hurt the honey or reduce its sweetness.  Simply set the container in a pail of very hot water – boiling or close to it – for as long as it takes for the honey to return to its liquid state.  This will vary from minutes to hours, depending on the amount of honey.  Over time, the honey may crystallize again, but you can simply repeat the process.

White flour should be used in six months, preferably sooner, while whole wheat should be used in less than six months or it may begin to go rancid.  Dave recommends storing wheat or other whole grains, which will last almost indefinitely, rather than milled flour.  If you store grains, make sure you have at least one hand crank grain mill and appropriate spare parts.   Then you can mill your own flour whenever necessary. Red winter wheat, golden wheat, corn and other grains can be purchased in 45-pound lots packed in nitrogen-packed bags and shipped in large plastic pails.  You can also buy 50 pound bags and store them yourself.  (See the Food Storage FAQ for more on grains and storage methods.)

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