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Military Bread
(Panis Militaris)

Pliny the Elder: Natural History 18.67, Cato the Elder: On Agriculture 83

Panis Militaris

Hard tack military bread made from emmer wheat flour, water, and salt.

Original recipe:



  • 2.2 lbs emmer flour
  • 4 cups water
  • salt


  • Place a brick, flat rock, or roofing tile in a fire that has been reduced to coals and cover with coals and hot ashes.
  • Add flour and salt to water to make a dough of a kneadable consistency.
  • Clear the tile or heating surface of coals and ashes and flatten handful pieces of dough on it to about a palm’s thickness and breadth.
  • Cover with a clay pot or patera to trap the heat and bake to the consistency desired.
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