Today I want to show you how to make hardtack. You may wonder what it is, I get it. It’s basically a biscuit of sorts baked until there is zero moisture in it. This is a good food to have on hand because it lasts forever.
It’s a hard cracker that is made from water, salt, and flour. Keep reading to discover how to make this food storage standby.
Where Did Hardtack Originate?
Hardtack goes way back before you or I were born. In 1801, Joseph Bent created the cracker. However, Newburyport (a city) invented Hardtack. This type of cracker was taken on long voyages.
Hardtack has also been known to be called a ship biscuit or sea bread. So, it’s safe to say that Hardtack has been around for a while. You can read more about the history of hardtack here.
Others will tell you that hardtack was created during the Civil War. There is even evidence that hardtack went all the way back to Egyptian times. It’s safe to say that there have been many versions of hardtack floating around since early civilization.
Kitchen Tools You’ll Need
- Medium mixing bowl
- Sharp knife
- Cookie sheet
- Nail or a dough docker
3 Ingredients-That’s It
- White flour
How To Make Hardtack
Combine the flour, salt, and water in a bowl.
After mixing, scoop the dough onto a floured countertop. The dough will be sticky at first. Knead until mixed thoroughly.
Roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thick into a rectangle shape. Use a sharp knife to cut the sections evenly about 3-inches apart. I used a ruler to keep them square.
Use a nail or something with a sharp point to poke holes as shown.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the hardtack pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake one side for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn the hardtack over and cook the other side for an additional 30 minutes.
Set the cookie sheet on a cooling rack after baking until cool.
After it cools, it’s ready to store in airtight containers.
How Do You Store It
A lot of people would think that hardtack is hard to store, but it’s not. It’s very simple! Because of the way it’s made, hardtack can be stored for a very long time, up to 50 years. Grains typically have a long shelf life and it comes in handy when fresh food isn’t available.
I recommend using mason jars. Here’s the deal, you can make a batch and then store it, then repeat when you have time. You will never have to buy what I call forever crackers because YOU can make them.
What Do You Serve With It
Here is the fun part. You may be wondering HOW to serve hardtack. Back in the day, you would soften it with water or coffee. You can serve it with anything.
Do you remember Grandma eating bread and milk? Mark’s parents would have bread and milk every Sunday night. They would grab a bowl filled with milk and place bits of bread in it.
Mark’s parents would eat it with cheese. You could soak hardtack in milk and eat it just like they did.
Just add some cheese, jam, meat, or anything else your stomach desires. You can eat it by itself. However, it’s recommended that you soak it in something prior to eating.
Does It Stay Hard Forever
The unique thing about hardtack is that it will stay hard forever. It will last forever because it is only made with three ingredients. If you are able to keep it dry, it will last forever.
It will stay good even through extreme temps. If you are looking for something to store, hardtack is something to make in case of an emergency. At least you know you will always have food.
How Long Is The Shelf-Life
Some experts say that it can be stored for up to 50 years. As long as it does not get wet, it can last through anything. Only soak it, if you are ready to eat it. Remember, it’s like a cracker, only way harder.
- 3 cups white flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup water
Combine the flour, salt, and water in a bowl. After mixing, scoop the dough onto a floured countertop. The dough will be sticky at first. Knead until mixed thoroughly. Roll out about 1/2 inch thick into a rectangle shape. Use a sharp knife to cut the sections evenly about 3-inches apart. I used a ruler to keep them square. Use a nail or something with a sharp point to make the holes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the hardtack pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake one side for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn the hardtack over and cook the other side for an additional 30 minutes. After baking place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack.
I really believe we need to know how to make hardtack, along with tortillas, bread, biscuits, and pasta. It fills the belly and when the SHTF we will need to make it, I promise. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda