Prepper Flat Bread

I modeled this on a fancier flatbread, made in much larger lots.

This is a more plain bread, made a bit more roughly. Only flour, water, oil and salt.

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/8 to 1/4 cup water
1 Tbs. Oil (I used olive oil)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. salt. To my taste, 1/8 was not quite salted enough.

In a soup bowl, dump in the flour and salt. Give it a stir.
Add the oil. Stir well to combine.

I used the same 1/4 cup scoop for two measures of flour, then filled it with water. Dump in about 2/3 to 3/4 of the scoop. The exact amount it will take depends on your flour, how fluffy or dense, the humidity, and more. But no worries, it evens out in the kneading and rolling.

With a fork or spoon, mix that together. If, after a good mix, there is still flour loose, add more of the water in little dribbles, and mix some more. If it is too sticky to handle, add a bit of flour. You want a firm but pliable dough that pulls away from the bowl.

Dust the counter or table top work surface with flour. Put the doughball on it, and knead it for a few minutes. A too wet dough will pick up the flour it wants. When it is a nice smooth elastic state, put it back in the bowl.

Then put something to cover it and go do something else for a half hour.

When you come back, divide the ball in half, and roll out each piece into a bread. Take a roll, turn it a quarter and roll again. Flip it over and repeat.

I put a cast iron skillet on the stove at medium. Place one bread in the skillet. After 2 or 3 minutes, it will start to bubble up. Flip it and cook the other side. Here’s the finished bread on a dinner plate.

Prepper Flatbread

Prepper Flatbread

I oiled the pan with a bit of olive oil for the first one, but the second was fine too. I’d have put both in the picture, but by then I’d buttered and eaten the first one 8-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in cooking, Emergency Preparation and Risks, Food and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Prepper Flat Bread

  1. Henry Lyles says:

    Maybe this is a stupid question, but is that pretty much a tortilla? Cause to this Texan, that looks a lot like one.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @Henry Lyles:

    Not stupid at all! This is thicker than a tortilla, and tends to separate into a pocket in the middle. IF I put about half as much dough in each piece and rolled it about 1/3 as thick, it would be a tortilla. A tortilla is a kind of flat bread too.

    I chose to make these thicker for two reasons: it is hard to roll a tortilla without practice and I wanted something anyone could do first time. As a “getting by” meal / food, I wanted more food in each piece.

    I learned to make a fatter Mexican flat bread, called a “gorditto” (fat one) about 50 years ago that is similar but less diameter.

    This is a bit more like naan in shape and size, but IIRC naan is leavened.

    There’s a huge similarity in various flat breads and most cultures have them, so the differences are often small. Size, shape, thickness, leaven or not, particular grains or flours, kind of fat, salt, and exactly how cooked. Change any one, you moved to a different culture and product name.

    Make a square tortilla, it becomes a “wrap”… A bit thicker and yeast leavened, it becomes an Itallian bread. Foccacia. So it goes.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Digging into it, mine is more like a chapati

    Chapati (alternatively spelled chapatti, chappati, chapathi, or chappathi), (pronounced as IAST: capātī, capāṭī, cāpāṭi), also known as roti, safati, shabaati, phulka and (in the Maldives) roshi, is an unleavened flatbread originating from the Indian subcontinent and staple in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, East Africa and the Caribbean. Chapatis are made of whole-wheat flour known as atta, mixed into dough with water, edible oil and optional salt in a mixing utensil called a parat, and is cooked on a tava (flat skillet).

    I don’t use atta flour so it isn’t the same, but size, shspe, unleavened, pan fried… it’s close.

  4. wyzelli says:

    I tried making these and they worked a treat. I’m in a very humid location so the water I needed was on the low side, but you said as much. Day two I tried a 3x batch and that also worked quite well. I guess the practice at rolling out the dough helped!

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    Nice to know I helped a little!

    It’s a fun kind of bread, useful for wraps too.

  6. Greg Hall says:

    Made it and topped it with some cheese and sauce to make a couple mini pizza’s. They were not too bad!

  7. H.R. says:

    Here are the ingredients for a naan flatbread and a link to the article with a nice discussion and pictures. It’s traditionally made in a tandoori oven, but the cast iron skillet method E.M. brought up is also the one used here.


    1 teaspoon sugar
    1/2 cup warm water
    1/4 oz active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup plain yogurt
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon oil
    some oil, for greasing the skillet
    3 tablespoons melted butter


    1) In a small bowl, add the sugar, warm water, and yeast together. Stir to combine well. The yeast should be activated when it becomes foamy, about 10 minutes. Transfer the flour to a flat surface and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast mixture, yoghurt, salt and oil, knead the dough until the surface becomes smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place (for example: beside the stovetop or warm oven). The dough should double in size, about 1 hour.

    2) Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll the dough to a 8” circle using a rolling spin.

    3) Heat up a skillet (cast-iron preferred) over high heat and lightly grease the surface with some oil to avoid the dough from sticking to the skillet. Place the dough on the skillet. When it puffs up and bubbles and burnt spots appear, flip it over and cook the other side. Repeat the same until all dough are done.

    4) Brush the naan with the melted butter, serve warm.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    I actuslly msde a naan version of the flat bread in the article by adding baking powder. It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t good enough for an article… I’m thinking the yogurt matters ;-) it made a nice but bland flat bread.

    Naan traditionally has yeast, but can be made with baking powder. But the flavor just wasn’t right. So at some point I figured I’d try with yeast, or yogurt, then both. The idea being to find the minimal ingredient list for a ‘prepper naan’.

    Then again, maybe just saying proper prep involves a frozen yeast packet and knowing how to propagate more, plus making yogurt from dry milk and a frozen cup of starter…

    I guess until that’s done I’ll just have to make naan as you linked ;-)

  9. Greg Hall says:

    Did some more testing of this recipe. We found that leaving the oil out of the mix AND the cooking, we liked it better.

  10. Greg Hall says:

    And I have done further development with this recipe and made a video about it: “Pandemic Sandwich Bread”,

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    @Greg Hall:

    Wonderful! Now I’ve got to get one of those Diablo things! I love meat pies and I think it would do it.

  12. H.R. says:

    @Greg Hall – Nice video!

    BTW, the voice-to-text cc on your video has dough as ‘dole’. On the Italian grandma’s video, dough was ‘dog’.

    So this video is all about the dole ;o)

  13. H.R. says:

    I’m going try the flatbread with the self-rising flour I bought for the 2 ingredient pizza dough.

    I realize this thread is prepper-centric using staples and not many people have sef-rising flour as a staple, but I am curious how it will turn out.

    I think it will make an airier flatbread, but who knows? Maybe it will just blow up.
    I’m also wondering if these flatbreads can be made into a puff pastry for the meat pies. It’s not out of the realm of prepperdom to have some lard or bacon grease around.

    It seems to me that all you’d need to do is take the flatbread and roll it out as thin as possible. Then, brush on a thin(!) coating of melted lard or bacon grease, fold the dough over, and roll it out and brush it again. Repeat this three or four times and then use the dough to make a Diablo sammich. It could be interesting.

    Or, if self-rising flour is used, it could blow up AND catch fire from the bacon grease ;o)

    If I get motivated, I’ll try it and any survivors can report the results of the experiment.

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    Preppers are very likely to have lard or other solid fat as it stores well. You can even store meat under lard (confit). As to self rising or not: Will depend on the person. I have some of each. Other folks, especially in the south, have lots of self rising for biscuits. It IS simpler.

    For the pastry: Yes, but don’t melt the lard.

    Proper pastry depends on little flat lenses of SOLID fat between the layers to make it flaky. Refrigerating that fat is often done for that reason. You can’t make flaky pastry with oil, you get a tough brick So COLD SOLID fat, “cut in” to the flour, kept below melt temperature (often on a cold stone for rolling it out)

    Put flour (self rising or otherwise) in bowl. Shred in the cold solid fat. Mix until sort of granular never letting the fat melt. Add liquids. Rest the dough in the fridge… Then roll, fold, roll, fold. etc.

    This turns the shreds of solid fat into little flat disks of fat between layers of flower and makes the flakes happen.

    Oh, and as a Prepper, I’m set up for making my own yogurt. I’ve done it “on the road” using powdered milk and a mason jar (warm car in Florida is great for making yogurt ;-) and all you really need to do is have a bit of yogurt to get it started. I’ve just got too many other things going on right now to be making yogurt too. It’s pretty easy. Milk in jar, add spoon of yogurt and stir. Put in a warm place ( 85F to 105 F is about ideal) and come back in 8 to 12 hours.

  15. H.R. says:

    Yeah, now that you have spelled puff pastry, I’m remembering that from about 20 years ago. I was doing bread then and messing about with other things, including biscuits and puff pastry.

    After writing about not a lot of people having self-rising flour, I got to thinking about people who are really into baking, as my wife was before she had a stroke. Bakers will have cake flour, bread flour, whole wheat flour, self-rising and all-purpose flour, and usually some Bisquick around. I think for many years, we usually had all of those except whole wheat flour. My wife has only started eating whole wheat baked goods in the last 3-4 years.

    I keep a bag of masa harina around and the Mrs. has no clue what it is and what it’s for. It’s my ‘secret ingredient’ for thickening chili. I don’t like watery chili so at the end, I use some masa harina for the thickener and the flavor is perfect with all those other Tex-Mex flavors. I’ve told one or two people about the secret, but then I had to ki!! them ;o)

    Anyhow, a prepper baker could whip up a lot of trade goods as most people will only have all-purpose flour.
    In the ’60s, yogurt was only to be found in ‘Health Food’ stores, and there were precious few of those in the Mid-west.

    She made her own yogurt and tried to get us kids to eat it. Only my sister could get it down. No-one had the bright idea of blending fruit into yogurt at the time. “If it tastes like crap, it must be healthy.”
    The one thing I did like was halvah. When we made a run to the health food store, I always snagged a few bars. For a while in the ’70s, halvah was popular enough that the grocery chains carried an assortment and even had a house brand. Now it’s hard to find again.

  16. Power Grab says:

    @ EM re:
    “For the pastry: Yes, but don’t melt the lard.”

    For sure! In my salad days (before I had a stand mixer), I made chocolate chip cookies one time. Not having a mixer to blend the butter/shortening into the flour, I softened (or melted?) it. The cookies were not up to my normal standards. The flavor was OK but they flattened a lot when they baked. I didn’t try that again until I had a stand mixer.

  17. cdquarles says:

    Yogurt only in ‘health’ food stores? At least here in the Heart of Dixie, that is *not* how I remember it. Yogurt and cottage cheese were found in the cheese section of the dairy aisle back in the 60s.

  18. cdquarles says:

    Lactose intolerance is a thing here, so these were what these folk ate to get dairy products, along with buttermilk or sour cream. These were the days before Lactaid ;p.

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    FWIW, here in California I was eating yogurt from the grocery store before I ever even saw a “health food store”. May be due to me originating in farm country where fru fru food was not a thing and then moving away to college where “specialty food stores” could survive…

  20. TechEditor says:

    And further flat bread development:

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