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Quick References

How to Make Hardtack

Hardtack is another survival food, that is, food that should keep you alive but otherwise tastes like cardboard. Others state that “Hardtack (or hard tack) is a simple type of cracker or biscuit, made from flour, water, and sometimes salt. Inexpensive and long-lasting, it was and is used for sustenance in the absence of perishable foods, commonly during long sea voyages and military campaigns.” A different survival recipe, called bannock, uses baking powder instead of flour.

Ingredients include (this is half of the ingredients listed in the link above and made enough for one baking sheet):

  • 2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. Water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional in other recipes I’ve found)
  • 1 nail (clean of course!)
Directions: Combine wheat, water and salt, roll out flat, cut into approx. 3×3 squares, poke holes using nail (I figure you could just use a fork to poke holes), then bake at 375 for 30 minutes to one hour, turning half way through. Note: After baking, do not try to eat these without soaking them first as you can easily break a tooth.

To be honest, this looks worse than most recipes… especially when you include the nail!

My Experience: After locating the rolling pin I never use and subsequently making a huge mess in the kitchen, I was able to whip up a batch of these biscuits. I would say that what I made approximated the directions. I can also say that this survival food tastes awfully bland (as expected) and are definitely harder than a rock! I think I’ll wrap up a few to see how long they last, especially since neither I nor my kids will be raiding the pantry to eat these anytime soon. :)

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