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Some kinds of bread get hard as time passes by. These kinds that harden usually stay soft for no longer than a day after being baked. I've once forgotten a loaf of bread for about a week on a shelf - I needed a saw to cut it in two.

I think such bread only gets harder as time goes by. Can bread become so hard that we could make bricks and build houses out of it, though?

If regular bread won't do, can we add some readily available food product to the dough to enable such use?

I don't care if it takes years to reach brick-grade hardness and tenacity.

Edit: thanks for the comments about water, guys. Imagine that we're going to use this technology in a pretty dry place, though.

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    $\begingroup$ You may find issues with rain, cold and birbs. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Sep 12 '18 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ Several cultures used what was essentially seriously overbaked bread for traveling supplies. They would boil it in water to make soup. So even after hardened enough to last months, it still softens in water. $\endgroup$ – Trevor Sep 12 '18 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ You can make houses out of any solid if you distribute the weight enough. Mice might be a problem, though. $\endgroup$ – JBH Sep 12 '18 at 17:27
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    $\begingroup$ Some Dwarf Bread may do the trick for ya... wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Dwarf_Bread $\endgroup$ – ivanivan Sep 12 '18 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ but why? bread is quite hard to make. If they have trees, they will have planks or at least sticks that are much easier to get. $\endgroup$ – Bald Bear Sep 12 '18 at 20:40
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Bread is made using flour, water and salt.

With the same ingredients, different proportions, one can do salt dough

Salt dough is a modelling material made from a mixture of flour, salt and water. It can be used to make ornaments and sculptures, and can be dried in the oven or microwave. It can be sealed using varnish or polyurethane, and can be painted with acrylic paint, or coloured using food colouring, natural colouring, or paint mixed in with the flour or water.

Properly mixed dough does not crumble or crack. It is a dense, and hence heavy, material, which can cause issues with large designs. It can be moulded by hand, without using special tools or fixtures, and it does not stain hands. More complex sculptures can be made using basic tools.

I guess it can be used to make bricks, too. And then stack the bricks as you would do with normal bricks.

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  • $\begingroup$ One relative of mine used that to make ornaments. We never tried to make bricks out of it, but certainly it was not very strong. $\endgroup$ – SJuan76 Sep 12 '18 at 23:51
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How to prepare building bread

The other answers talk about what sorts of bread to use, but I'm going to give some tips on how to prepare bread for long term, construction use:

  • Don't use yeast. Yeast makes bread rise; rising adds porosity increasing surface area and increasing the ability to absorb moisture. Since you don't want that, make unleavened bread, not allowing time to rise between dough preparation and baking.
  • Use much gluten. Gluten is the protein chain that binds bread together; it makes dough 'sticky.' Use as much gluten as possible. Wheat has the most gluten of any common grain, and it is possible to concentrate gluten itself. If you wash flour to remove starch, you can increase the gluten concentration.
  • Bake many times. Hardtack, as used by the British Navy, was baked four times. Keep baking to completely dessicate the interior and give the exterior a hardened finish.
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What your essentially looking to build your building out of is hardtack. Hardtack has around 100 year shelf-life, So you absolutely could build a house from this. Just don't spill any hot water on the walls.

I can't find anything on how high you can stack hardtack on itself or how much weight it can hold. I imagine at the bottom of the wall it might become more like sand.

This sort of structure would have interesting secondary benefits such as being relatively non-flammable, decently good insulation, and a source of food during famine.

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