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Here's The Deal With The Survival Bread That's All Over Pinterest

It's made out of just three ingredients.

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Picture this: A global crop pandemic has wiped your grocery stores clean, you've just finished your last can of soup, and your only hope for survival until staple foods are restocked is your supply of emergency meals. Which... You have, right? Right?!

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Or — okay fine fine — imagine this more realistic scenario: You're on a strenuous weeks-long hike and you need a caloric snack that won't go bad or fall apart while being schlepped around in your bag. What do you pack?

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Enter: Survival bread, also known as hard tack, pilot bread, and sea biscuits. It's been popping up all over the Internet as of late, and according to Food and Wine, it's the most-searched recipe on Pinterest in Alaska.

But what's so special about it? 1) It only needs three ingredients: flour, salt, and water. And 2) It can last for a year or more (!) when stored in an airtight container.

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I tried it, and TBQH? It’s bland, hard, and the least tasty bread I’ve had in my life. That’s not its point, though.

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The bread is about utility. It's popular among hikers, survivalists, and rural residents who need a shelf-stable food to get them through long periods of time without access to a grocery store or other fresh food source.

In Alaska, residents purchase a popular version of it in stores. In rural parts of the state, it's even considered soul food.

If you're planning on packing an emergency kit, going camping, or are simply an apocalyptic aficionado, here're five ways you can prepare the nonperishable stuff:

1. The original way:

Basically, add 3 parts flour to 1 part water and some salt, bake each side on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 375°F, and you're good to go. The original recipe is so simple, it's no wonder the bread was historically carried on long sea voyages and was the foodstuff of choice among soldiers during the American Civil War. Recipe here.

2. In a grapefruit or orange, over a campfire:

3. With sugar and oats:

Instead of flour, use oats and add sugar to make a slightly more palatable emergency food source. You can even add dried fruit, though the extra ingredient might shorten its shelf life. Recipe here.

4. With bread flour (instead of all-purpose flour):

Bread flour, also known as strong flour, has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, and helps make a denser bread with a high gluten content. Recipe here.

5. With olive oil:

Though optional, olive or any other vegetable oil is said to make the bread more tender and palatable. Recipe here.

6. In an Altoids tin:

You don't have to be on top of a mountain to try out this DIY. Pretend your kitchen is the only one left standing in the midst of an apocalypse and try it at home. (Then snap yourself back to reality and appreciate the deliciousness of non-survival bread with a fresh grilled cheese sandwich.) Recipe here.

This week, we're talking about, preparing for, and surviving the worst things imaginable. See more Disaster Week content here.