Author Topic: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes  (Read 41238 times)

Offline TekkieFae

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merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« on: January 15, 2009, 09:41:24 PM »
What about good old-fashioned Hardtack?? Has anyone tried this in our age? It seems like only folks of my grandfather’s generation know about Hardtack. I’ve researched and found that some of our soldiers in the war of 1812 used hardtack from the previous war?!? Couldn’t we store it longer now that we aren’t limited to wax paper and wood crates? With the flowers and flavorings available nowadays are there no current, good recipes? What about using Rice flour? Almond flour? Other flours?? New ways to make it or eat it? Anyone? Anyone?

Claymore

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2009, 09:55:02 PM »
I don't want any hardtack . . . my Dad died from one.  Yeah, I might be a redneck!

Offline TekkieFae

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2009, 10:00:00 PM »
OK. That's helpful. WTF? If you're serious, what happened? If you're not, then please only reply if you have a serious contribution to offer.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 10:02:15 PM by TekkieFae »

Offline 19kilo

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2009, 10:11:18 PM »
I don't want any hardtack . . . my Dad died from one.  Yeah, I might be a redneck!


Damn.  I didn't get it until I moved on from the post.  Funny.

TekkieFae,

Relax,  It was a joke.

I have been a bread making fool as of late.  I will find out what is in it and try some.  If two of my distant relatives lived off it during the Civil war,  Then maybe it isn't a bad idea. 

One did die of dysentery though.

Offline 19kilo

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2009, 10:14:48 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardtack

People still eat it and the article says it will last for years if it is kept dry.  Something to think about storing.


Here is the recipe. 

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Hard_Tack
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 10:23:39 PM by 19kilo »

Offline TekkieFae

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2009, 10:26:22 PM »
My apologies. I used to bartend - cutting off drunks and breaking up fights. I guess that makes me a little impatient with people I see as trying to waste my time. I know I tend to cut to the quick of things, but I am sincerely curious. My research shows it may not be the ideal thing, but it is something that can be easily made at home that one can survive on for a good duration - as many have in the past. I think most of us can afford some flour and oven time if nothing else, so maybe it's an option that should be looked at again. My research has not turned up anything recent, so I'm wondering if Hardtack is just a terrible thing, or something just forgotton. I do have quite a few recipes, but I didn't know if it was worth testing them. If you are able to put it to the test, I will eagerly await your results!! Thank you!!

Claymore

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 10:45:37 PM »
Yes, I probably was wasting your time.  I'd never heard of "hardtack" and had a WTF moment of my own.  I erroneously thought that a cheesy crack about a "heart attack" might lighten the mood. 

Damn commercial bankers, incompetent govt theives, "the office of the president elect", folks losing jobs by the thousands, the list goes on.  The chaos is starting to snowball, and I'm trying to keep my wits.

Make some and let me know how it is.  Good luck.

johnnybgood30

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2009, 10:55:27 PM »
ok ok what the heck is hardtack?someone please help

Offline TekkieFae

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2009, 10:56:07 PM »
Oh, I completely hear and understand that. I have learned one simple thing that may help you once in a while....

OOOHHH!! Look at the pretty sunset!
OOOHHH!! Look at the pretty flowers!!
OOOHH!! Look at _____________

I find I sometimes have to deliberately look away from the chaos and BS around me and focus on something nice for a while to keep my brain sane. Don't let it get to you.

The difference between a pessimist and an optimist is what they pay attention to....
Don't always pay attention to the bad, hon. Go have fun as much as you can!!

During that fun, let me know if you try making hardtack!! Take care!

Offline TekkieFae

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2009, 11:02:23 PM »
ROTFL... I didn't know until I started researching this stuff years ago.

Hardtack was used by Civil War Soldiers and maybe back to ancient times. It's basically flower, salt, and water baked about 1/4th an inch thick until bone dry. It ends up looking like really hard, thick crackers. I've read this stuff lasts decades and is similar in concept to 'Sailor's Biscuits'. Soldiers would eat them by dipping them in coffee or frying them over the fire. The main complaint was that weevils would get into the hardtack, but hey - more protein!! I have not found any current references to it's use, however, nor any person under 65 that has ever heard of it. Just curious.

Offline TXChikk

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2009, 11:06:12 PM »
I've heard of hardtack but only in the fiction western novels I used to read. I does not sound appetizing in the least bit. But, if I'm starving I'm sure it would be great, I would pretend it's thin crust pizza......

Offline 19kilo

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2009, 11:10:34 PM »
I am pretty sure I had some during a history class presentation.  The civil war was/is kind of a big deal down in Fredericksburg,VA. 

Tasted like a rock hard saltine that was about a half an inch thick.

Hardtack

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2009, 02:17:42 AM »
What an excellent thread topic   

I first had hardtack when I was a kid at some place like Bent's Fort or some other historical site. Can't remember exactly where, but I remember it was salty and hard. I'm sure if they had Powerbars back in the day the old-timers would have preferred them. I think these were simply easy to keep sources of carbs for long trips or time in the field. They say that the hardtack from the civil war tastes just as good now as it did back then. ;D

Offline quietmike

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2009, 04:33:45 AM »
I have made some before.
The recipe I used is:
3 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1TBSP sugar
1TBSP salt
11/2 cups milk

roll out until about 1/4" thick bake at 400 on greased cookie sheet,  turning, til both sides are slightly browned.


It is rather tasteless and you could easily break a tooth if you bite into it as-is. Take a small piece and let it soak in your mouth for a while before you chew it. Or crumble some up and fry it in bacon grease.

Hope this helps.

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2009, 06:38:22 AM »
I have made some before.
The recipe I used is:
3 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1TBSP sugar
1TBSP salt
11/2 cups milk

roll out until about 1/4" thick bake at 400 on greased cookie sheet,  turning, til both sides are slightly browned.


It is rather tasteless and you could easily break a tooth if you bite into it as-is. Take a small piece and let it soak in your mouth for a while before you chew it. Or crumble some up and fry it in bacon grease.

Hope this helps.

Hardtack is like a brick of bread (truly as hard as a brick) snap a piece off and let it sit in your mouth for a few minutes or dunk in coffee/tea for a couple of seconds. I have seen a couple recipes that substitutes the sugar for honey (not sure how much) to add a little flavor.

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2009, 06:44:32 AM »
found it:

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.

Offline ejsandstrom

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2009, 07:47:24 AM »
kind of OT but not

What about Permmican(sp?)
I havent tryed to make it yet I am waiting for another guinnepig. It may be an excellent complament to hardtack.

Offline Conductor71

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2009, 08:21:51 AM »
For Hardtack and other alternative recipies for use in emergencies, check out

http://www.beforethestormhits.com/

There's also a recipie for "waffles".  (I found this through another post a while ago on this message board.)  If you haven't listened to this guy's free audio, in my humble opinion it is definitely worth your time.  He even talks about making tortillas and donuts and how easy that is in an emergency.  Frankly, I'm all about the donuts! :) (P.S.  This isn't a joke, listen to his audio.)

Offline archer

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2009, 01:11:20 PM »

Offline quietmike

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2009, 01:23:31 PM »
kind of OT but not

What about Permmican(sp?)
I havent tryed to make it yet I am waiting for another guinnepig. It may be an excellent complament to hardtack.

Pretty easy too. The way I did it was to take unsalted, unflavored and VERY dry jerky and put it into a blender until its almost a powder consistency (has to be very dry). Then I add some very dry craisins (dried cranberries) to the bleder and chop them very fine. You can use other dried fruits, or omit fruits entirely for traditional pemmican, I just like the tartness that the craisins add to the mix. When that's done mix about 5 parts jerky/berry mix to 4 parts of melted tallow or lard. The exact proportion isn't important, you just want it to have a smooth consistency. Let it cool and dig in.

This will store for years as-is. even longer in the freezer.

Pemmican is very "rich" and I'd advise eating a very small portion 'til you know what effect so much grease has on you're guts (don't ask why I know this).

Offline creuzerm

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2009, 09:52:50 PM »
I guess I read too much too. I have heard of it, never tried any. I will need to give some a try.

Of interest, if you look on the back of Hawaiian sweet rolls, it says that it's history is as hard tack. Basically, it's leavened hard tack. I think I can learn to eat hard tack. :)

Another thing to point out, is that biscuit literally means 'twice baked', as does biscotti. Now, biscotti is quite dry and hard as I think it really is baked twice, the biscuits we now eat aren't. I can imagine trying to eat some of my sister's biscuits... she wouldn't need to bake them the second time.
I remember reading about soldiers in wars gone past eating 'tinned biscuits'. In fact Lewis and Clarke explored the Louisiana purchase on Salt Pork and Biscuits.

I imagine hardtack is about the same as baking some Dakon (bison survival) flat bread after you pan cooked it, to dry it out.

This also looks to be about the same as Matzo bread (which you should be able to find in abundance around passover).

Now I am going to have to try to make some for a snack for at work. I am invisioning a multigrain hardtack with a good amount of honey or maybe maple syrup for flavour. Make it into something I would want to eat if I gotta work through lunch or I am running late to get somewhere.

Hrmm, mind wandering already... I an invisioning making a stack of 3-4 of these the right size to fit into a plastic sandwich bag. The middle one or two (depending on thickness) have the centers cut out so I can put 4 of those cafe-toast jelly packet inside. I now have a 'hardtack box' that has jelly stored safely inside.

Offline Jack Crabb

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2009, 10:02:34 PM »
Try:

http://www.bentscookiefactory.com/Products.html

Be aware however they supplied hardtack to the Union Army.


Offline ChadK

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2009, 01:16:11 PM »
Be aware however they supplied hardtack to the Union Army.

ROTFL.  I'm a yank, will you hold it against me too? :)

Offline chris

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2009, 05:57:43 PM »
ROTFL.  I'm a yank, will you hold it against me too? :)

Yankee is a state of mind. Are you sorry your ancestors violated the Constitutional perogative of the States to leave the Union? If so, then you're not a real yankee.

Offline ChadK

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2009, 10:56:46 AM »
Sorry, I am not up on my Yankee/Confederacy stuff.  Just meant I was from MN, which is north of Mason-dixon, and I thought he was trying to be funny with the Union army comment.  I do realize some people take this seriously so I shouldn't have fun with it, and anytime the Constitution is messed with it is very serious.
I hope no one was offended, I didn't intend anything offensive by it.

dragonart

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2009, 03:27:44 PM »
What about good old-fashioned Hardtack?? Has anyone tried this in our age? It seems like only folks of my grandfather’s generation know about Hardtack. I’ve researched and found that some of our soldiers in the war of 1812 used hardtack from the previous war?!? Couldn’t we store it longer now that we aren’t limited to wax paper and wood crates? With the flowers and flavorings available nowadays are there no current, good recipes? What about using Rice flour? Almond flour? Other flours?? New ways to make it or eat it? Anyone? Anyone?

I've never made Hardtack, and I don't see a reason to right now.  Anything you buy in the stores that has partially hydrogenated oil (aka shortening) in it has a shelf life for months to years.  So right now, economically it would be better for a person to buy a crate of Saltines (which are basically the same as hardtack) than it would be to make hardtack. 

I'd done some research and you can make flour out of white acorns, but it's a lot of work.  You need to soak the acorns in water to remove the tannin first, otherwise they will not only taste horrible but they will make your stomach really hurt.  The way you can tell there is no more tannin is when the water is no longer brown and is clear; it takes 2-3 days of soaking with changing the water every 12 hours.  Then you just prick them with a knife and roast them, then shell them.  Store them unground / as whole nuts as they keep better that way.  When you make a flour out of them, just grind them down to powder but note that the flour you get from them doesn't keep for more than about a week (it will get rancid). 

Other flour I use – flax seed, which is great for making a bread when mixed with other flours.

Offline quietmike

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2009, 07:43:49 PM »
  So right now, economically it would be better for a person to buy a crate of Saltines (which are basically the same as hardtack) than it would be to make hardtack. 

Hardtack and Saltines have almost no similarities. Entirely different animals.

Offline Jack Crabb

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2009, 07:54:14 PM »
  So right now, economically it would be better for a person to buy a crate of Saltines (which are basically the same as hardtack) than it would be to make hardtack. 

Hardtack and Saltines have almost no similarities. Entirely different animals.

I'll second that.  A paving brick is basically the same as hardtack.

dragonart

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2009, 06:29:31 AM »
  So right now, economically it would be better for a person to buy a crate of Saltines (which are basically the same as hardtack) than it would be to make hardtack. 

Hardtack and Saltines have almost no similarities. Entirely different animals.

In qualities – true, they're not but in ingredients, they're very similar.

Offline Grasshopper2Ant

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Re: merged:Good Old-Fashioned Hardtack Recipes
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2009, 03:30:13 PM »
My first preppin' thing I tried was to make hardtack, from http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/how-to-make-hardtack/.  I just found the batch I made in the pantry this weekend and it was all moldy.  I don't think I cooked it long enough or let it dry out enough.  I'm also not sure how to store it.  I put mine in a plastic ziplok, but I think that just trapped moisture inside.  YUK! :P