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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure most of you have heard the names "HardTac", "sailors bread", molar breakers, pilots bread and so on.

The basic recipe consists of flour, water and salt.

I don't know about you but to me that spells one thing... EMPTY calories.

I essentially tweaked the recipe a bit to produce something that is equally long lasting and produces a more "nutritious" value to these empty calories.

Basic recipe :

- 5 cups of flour
- 2 cups of water
- 2-3 teaspoons of sugar

pretty bland tasting once cooled.

I modified it a bit to the following:

- 3.5 cups of flour (45.5g of protein)
- 3/4 cups of QUINOA (this gives you about 18G of protein per pack)
- 3/4 cups of CHIA seeds (this gives you 21.7G of protein per pack)
- 2 teaspoons of chicken noodle soup mix (or other soup mix) instead of salt

Mix until the mixture is uniform and evenly distributed

flatten with roller to a thickness of about 1/2". can reduce thickness to yield more units, however watch carefully when baking as it can burn pretty quickly

bake at 375 for 30 minutes PER SIDE

The soup mix gives it more flavour and can be incorporated when cooking noodles to thicken the solution.

On average, the ingredients mentioned above will yield you 16-20 2" squares.

that's 4.25G of protein rather than the basic 2g of classic hardtack

Shelf life is still years upon years upon years. I have some 3year old hardtack that still tastes just as fresh as the day i made it. using very basic dollarstore tupperware to store.
 

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It still contains fat, doesn't it? This sounds like a good option for "medium-term" storage, but not for "long-term" storage because any kind of fat will become rancid.
However, let me add some advice: be sure not to use self-rising flour. Don't ask. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It still contains fat, doesn't it? This sounds like a good option for "medium-term" storage, but not for "long-term" storage because any kind of fat will become rancid.
However, let me add some advice: be sure not to use self-rising flour. Don't ask. :rolleyes:
Actually, it doesn't contain ADDED fat other than the dry ingredients.

I tried last night a square of the Hardtack 2.0 i made back in 2013, still delicicious! :) hard as a rock.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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The original recipe included only flour and water.
Historically 'hardtack' was flour and water.


I have played with making and using hardtack a couple times. When I was a teenager and again a couple times with each of our children as 4H projects.

At this point, I would have to say that for long-term storage of grain you are fair better served by simply storing grain. We store grain now, and it will last for a long time when stored with desiccant.
 

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Historically 'hardtack' was flour and water.


I have played with making and using hardtack a couple times. When I was a teenager and again a couple times with each of our children as 4H projects.

At this point, I would have to say that for long-term storage of grain you are fair better served by simply storing grain. We store grain now, and it will last for a long time when stored with desiccant.
It is very difficult to make hardtack, especially for a modern man, accustomed to following precise instructions. In the old times the gov specs were imprecise, regarding the actual process. It is possible that nobody in America know EXACTLY how it was done. I know of SOME details, but not all: like folding very thin sheets of dough over themselves dozens of times.
As far as storage goes, there is a definitive requirement for long term storage of a finished product, without a need for any cooking.
Some of the requirements can be made by storing boxes of Matzos, but they are way too bulky to be used on patrols and such.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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Long-term storage food; small enough and lightweight enough that you can carry on your back while you hike and to sustain you for more than 3 days; is an extremely difficult criteria to meet.

I have not done much of that style hiking for 30-years. When I was doing it, I maxxed-out at 2 weeks.

2 to 3 days worth of food is easy to do. A week worth of food is much harder. The group of guys that I was hiking with, were not able to push it beyond 2 weeks.

If you stay in place, then what better thing do you have to do each day then to grind grain to flour?
 

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It is very difficult to make hardtack, especially for a modern man, accustomed to following precise instructions. In the old times the gov specs were imprecise, regarding the actual process. It is possible that nobody in America know EXACTLY how it was done. I know of SOME details, but not all: like folding very thin sheets of dough over themselves dozens of times.
As far as storage goes, there is a definitive requirement for long term storage of a finished product, without a need for any cooking.
Some of the requirements can be made by storing boxes of Matzos, but they are way too bulky to be used on patrols and such.
They were not imprecise they had detailed specs I have never seen one with sugar.
I'll dig around for the original recipes
 

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I was thinking of "added fat" as whatever fat is in that soup mix, if any. As I said, your recipe sounds fine for "medium-term" storage, which I think of as, up to five years. For "long-term" storage I would probably not add the soup mix.
 

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Has anyone ever tried boiling these in some water with some more soup mix? I wonder if the hard tack would dissolve and make you some gravy or if it would maybe come out like dumplings.

Man my wife's gonna be ****ed when I make her try my new "soup."
 

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One time I was reading about the history of hardtack used by the British Royal Navy. The Crown had awarded the contract to a specific company to provide all hard tack biscuits to the fleet. After a century of this, it came to be known that among colonies and distant out-posts a black-market had grown up. Sailors were trading these biscuits to locals to be used as roofing shingles. The Admiralty ordered that the cakes be made stamped in a press, with a pattern of holes in the middle of each cake. So they would no longer be useful as shingles.

http://www.123rf.com/photo_13771638...-isolated-on-a-white-background-industri.html



 

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Amat victoria curam
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Check out Jas Townsend and son on YouTube. He has a number of authentic recipes from colonial Times and such. One of which was ships biscuit a form of hardtack. I believe the recipe came from a 1700s cookbook. I found a number of things on there were quite useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@forestbeekeeper

Man history is so awesome :) Thanks for that information!

@Monique, the soup mix that was added is to my knowledge fat free as it is the run of the mill bulk chicken noodle soup mix but now you have me wondering, WILL investigate.

The preparation that i found to be the most "pleasantly" tasting is as follows:

Prep for 4 people

8 Hardtac squares crushed and broken (in a bag with a hammer lol)
freshly skinned pheasant meat
wild garlic
basmati rice(1 cup)

Soaked the crushed/pulverized hard tack in water for 15 minutes (while the rice soaked as well)
Cleaned and quartered pheasant while other ingredients soaked

Cooked pheasant chunks/pieces then tossed all other ingredients in the pan over medium camp fire for another 20 minutes.

It produced a porage like texture that while may not have been the best looking dish, was actually pretty freaking decent. so much so that the kids asked for seconds.

I'll try to dig up the pictures of what it looked like.
 

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You can make hardtack in the microwave...that was a result of my attempt at microwave bread...also, I am the inventor of mealloaf jerky, which is quite good.
 

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A more palatable option is pinole, or parched corn. I buy some made from heirloom 60 day Pima corn. You need to watch what you are buying as grocery store stuff is often sweetened and yucky. Pinole is easy to carry in a bag or Tupperware, and makes a good supplement to game in the field. Indians used to carry a bag when travelling light, and you can eat it or even drink it in water. It keeps you going. Pemmican and pinole out in the woods and you are stylin'. re: pemmican (not jerky) closes thing I know of is Tanka bars. Out in the desert that was my wakeup and nothing else until dinner meal yesterday, in fact.
 

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Has anyone ever tried boiling these in some water with some more soup mix? I wonder if the hard tack would dissolve and make you some gravy or if it would maybe come out like dumplings.

Man my wife's gonna be ****ed when I make her try my new "soup."
sounds like Hoosh which was Antarctic trail food; here's what looks like a modernized recipe;
http://www.lostinthewander.com/tag/hoosh/

alternatively here is a civil war hard tack recipe Skillygallee; My kids have eaten this before in history class;
https://loweryleather.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/civil-war-recipe-union-skillygalee/
 

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One time I was reading about the history of hardtack used by the British Royal Navy. The Crown had awarded the contract to a specific company to provide all hard tack biscuits to the fleet. After a century of this, it came to be known that among colonies and distant out-posts a black-market had grown up. Sailors were trading these biscuits to locals to be used as roofing shingles. The Admiralty ordered that the cakes be made stamped in a press, with a pattern of holes in the middle of each cake. So they would no longer be useful as shingles.
More information regarding preparing rations for sea in the 1700-1800's can be found here;
Feeding Nelson's Navy: The True Story of Food at Sea in the Georgian Era: Janet Macdonald: 9781848327474: Amazon.com: Books
I have this book on my shelf, i acquired it after also reading "Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels" which are historical fiction set during the early 1800's in the royal navy, Hardtack is discussed through out the books. Amazon.com: Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels (9780393320947): Anne Chotzinoff Grossman, Lisa Grossman Thomas, Patrick O'Brian: Books
 

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You almost need to grind your own flour to make good hardtack. Use a mixture of whole grains, and grind it coarse. Doing this provides more nutrition and fiber than using the flour you get in stores these days.

One time I was reading about the history of hardtack used by the British Royal Navy. The Crown had awarded the contract to a specific company to provide all hard tack biscuits to the fleet. After a century of this, it came to be known that among colonies and distant out-posts a black-market had grown up. Sailors were trading these biscuits to locals to be used as roofing shingles. The Admiralty ordered that the cakes be made stamped in a press, with a pattern of holes in the middle of each cake. So they would no longer be useful as shingles.
That's a great story. :thumb:

But you poke holes in hardtack and crackers to keep the dough from 'blistering' while baking, forming bubbles that will keep the product from stacking compactly. Besides which, after several months at sea, the weevils in the biscuit would have made for porous shingles...
 
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