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Hard Tack Recipes

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  • Hard Tack Recipes

    Can't take credit for these recipes, have had them stored in a disk for some time.

    Recipe I

    Measure out about two cups of flour and have a cup of water handy. Put the flour in a mixing bowl, and mix in the water a little at a time until you've got a dough. You may use more or less water - you mix until it's a dough, NOT until you put in all the water.
    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    Next roll your dough out, about 1/4 inch thick. (Thicker if you want to be more historical but harder on the teeth). It helps to do the rolling on a floured surface.

    Next cut the dough into squares - BIGGER than modern saltine crackers. Use a fork to prick holes in the tops of the squares: three rows of four tine holes looks about right. (I think the holes let steam escape.) Put the squares on a cookie sheet or pizza pan.

    Bake at 350 degrees for the first 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 250 and continue to bake another 30 minutes, then down to 200 and watch for another 30 minutes. Flip them with a spatula during this process. Bake until it's hard, and either still white or just begins to turn color from white NOT burned (in other words, watch your hardtack, don't just set the timer).

    The next day, give your hardtack a second baking at a lower temperature, about 225 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Reason: the second baking finishes
    drying it out. One baking is not enough, short of burning the food.

    After the first baking, or if you package it up too soon, the bread will "sweat" as it cools, making it possible to mold. Rest assured: if you bake twice and let it cool first, you can package hardtack in gallon baggies and it should keep at least six months.

    Recipe II

    Probably the one, first, and most requested recipes on the net, in the discussion groups, or anywhere ACW enthusiasts get together, is for hardtack (also known as 'tack, iron plate biscuits, army bread, and other colorful names). OK, out of the 1862 US Army book of receipts, is one that is guaranteed to keep your dentist happy with bridge and upper plate work, and not satisfy your culinary hunger. But these actually work and stay fresh for eons.

    5 Cups Flour (unbleached)

    1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

    1 Tablespoon Salt

    1-1 1/4 cups Water

    Preheated Oven to 450
    In a bowl, combine the ingredients to form a stiff, but not dry dough. The dough should be pliable, but not stick a lot to your hands.

    Take this mound of dough, and flatten it out onto a greased cookie sheet (the ones with a small lip around the a real shallow pan...), and roll the dough into a flat sheet aprox.. 1/2 inch thick.

    Using a bread knife, divide the dough into 3x3 squares. taking a 10-penny nail, put a 3x3 matrix of holes into the surface of the dough, all the way thru, at even intervals (Village tinsmithing works sells a cutter that does all of great!).

    Bake in the oven for aprox. 20 Min., till lightly browned. Take out and let cool.

    Do this the day before your go on the field, and your will have enough tack to fill your haversack. It will be somewhat soft on Saturday morning, but, by Sunday, you should soak it in your coffee before eating, else you will have a hard time chewing.

  • #2
    I'll copy them down in case someone needs road food!

    Have you seen the pinole info?
    "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012


    • #3
      Do you think you could mix the dough with dried fruit before cooking? I am thinking it would cause it to mold prematurely. That would make it a more tasty and nutritious trail food.


      • #4
        Suspect you need a pemmican recipe, they added pounded meat and fruits to that.
        "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012


        • #5
          Swedish Hardtack

          * 1 cup water
          * 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
          * 3 tbsp. honey
          * 3 cups rye flour (or 1 1/2 cups rye & 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
          * 1 1/2 tbsp. brewer's yeast (optional)
          * 1/4 tsp. salt

          Mix liquids together. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Combine the mixtures, stirring to moisten throughout. Form a ball. On a floured surface, flatten the dough, and roll out thinly. Cut into squares and prick each cracker with the tines of a fork a couple of times. Transfer to lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 425° F for around 8 minutes, checking to be sure not to over-brown. It is best served warm.