Today I bring you pictures and a recipe for Hardtack, I have been working on making food that I can carry in my backpack I keep in my car and also use as a staple food while I am out camping. I know that many people keep MRE’s (Meals ready to eat) in their packs, but I didn’t really want to spend the money on them, and I admit, I have a fascination with re-creating ancient food and drinks. Hardtack is about as old of a recipe as you are likely to find, a quick look at Wikipedia traces it back to at least the time of the Crusades (1189 was mentioned). It has been used for hundreds of years by sailors and also was one of the staple foods during the American Civil War. Stored properly Hardtack can last for years.
I have made several batches of Hardtack so far, and though many people don’t seem to like it because of its toughness and plain taste, I quite enjoy it. I have been using it as a snack while I am driving into work (After my morning workouts I tend to be pretty hungry), also I eat it for lunch when I go out hiking at work, this gives me an extra 15 minutes to hike since I can eat while on the move.
Below is the recipe I am using, it is a combination of two recipe’s I found on the internet and then I added the Cinnamon myself.
3 Cups wheat flower
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup water
1) Prehead oven to 450 degrees
2) mix and knead the dough (was really hard to knead and roll out because it was very stiff).
3) Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick, cut into 1″x2″ blocks, then go over the blocks with a fork.
4) Lay out blocks on a cookie sheet, do not use any grease, spray, etc. These dry out enough they don’t stick at all.
5) bake in oven for 7 minutes under 450, then turn oven down to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes (I think it may need to be a couple minutes more).
Also, we have also been making dog treats using almost the same recipe, use the same instructions, just don’t put the salt or cinnamon in it, the dogs love it!