so I'm writing a story where one of the characters is trying to make some bread with minimal ingredients in a short amount of time. I'm not having much luck with my normal means of researching so I came here for some help. I'd like to know what bread takes the shortest amount of time. Breads that can be made with minimal ingredients. And also I would just like to know if you have to knead flat bread.

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    What are you thinking of when you say "bread"? Something risen and baked? If your definition is loose enough, you can make a tortilla with two ingredients (flour and water) in a couple of minutes.
    – Juhasz
    Oct 24, 2019 at 20:28
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    @ReputableMisnomer: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com was my thought: it's for questions about getting details of things (usually science or history) to fit what a story needs. Sometimes such questions can be on-topic on physics or chemistry.SE, or in this case cooking.SE. Oct 25, 2019 at 11:23
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    Years ago I did a camel safari in Rajasthan and the guide was very adept at making chapati when we stopped for meals. He'd ask a couple of people to gather wood, make a fire, mix up flour and water, put a bit of mix on the metal plate - and in a minute or so there was a chapati.
    – paj28
    Oct 25, 2019 at 14:59
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    Ask a Jewish friend why we eat matzah on Passover. (Flour, water, "no time to rise.")
    – Damila
    Oct 25, 2019 at 16:55
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    As much as I am wanting to help, asking for recipe recommendations is off topic here. cooking.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic
    – Rob
    Oct 26, 2019 at 17:17

3 Answers 3


A basic flatbread can be made by mixing flour, a little oil (if possible) and just enough water to make it stick together. Salt is often added. No real kneading is needed, just mixing, but a little kneading helps. Then roll/pound/press flat and cook in a frying pan or on a hot stone. In Egypt I've seen something similar cooked on the side of an old jerrycan over a wood fire. This is basically what a chapati is, so very recognisably bread (but not risen).


Your two requirements are somewhat at cross-purpose. The minimal ingredients for a fairly typical bread are flour and water, but then you need to have several days to weeks to establish a working starter.

If you are willing to have a three-ingredients bread, then your best choice is a soda bread. You only need flour, water and baking powder. The time would be about 5 minutes for mixing it and 25 minutes for baking (can be more depending on the shape of your mold). A yeast bread can also be made with three ingredients - water, flour and yeast - but it needs a couple of hours for kneading and rising before it can be baked. Flatbreads like pita or lavash will also need this time for kneading and rising.

As somebody mentioned in a comment, if you are willing to relax your definition of "bread", you can have a tortilla or maybe something cracker-like prepared in a very short time, and without the need for an oven, with only flour and water.


A cup of oats mixed with 2 cups of natural yoghurt will make a "bread" loaf in a lined tin. Paul

  • Then you bake this? for how long? Does it have to sit, be kneaded, etc? Can you edit to include more details?
    – Luciano
    Nov 1, 2019 at 10:28

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