How To Eat Hardtack

Hardtack is a dough made from water, flour, and salt.During the Civil War, hardtack was the preferred food of sailors on long expeditions as it can sit for months without spoiling.Hardtack is seen as a novelty dish or a survival food now.It can still be prepared using historical methods, yielding more of a snack than a meal.

Step 1: The oven should be set to 375 F.

Setting the oven at least 10 minutes before you bake will allow you to make hardtack quickly.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and water.

Add 2 cups of water, 1 cup of whole wheat flour, and a small amount of table salt.You can flavor your hardtack with whole wheat flour.White flour will suffice if you don’t have whole wheat flour.

Step 3: The ingredients should be thoroughly mixed before being kneaded.

The water should be put into the dry ingredients with both hands.The flour and salt need to be fully worked into the dough.The dough should have a dry consistency after being kneaded.

Step 4: The dough should be 2 inch (1.3 cm) thick.

You can place the dough on the rolling board.Roll the dough with a pin.Roll the dough to 8 inch (0.95) thick if you prefer thicker biscuits.

Step 5: Cut uniform 3 in biscuits from the dough.

Cut the biscuits from the rolled-out dough with a pair of kitchen shears.Each biscuit should be roughly 3 inches in length.Make your best estimate, they don’t need to be exact.If you don’t want your hardtack to be in squares, you could cut it out with a cookie cutter.

Step 6: Place the hardtack pieces on the cookie sheet.

Set the hardtack pieces on a cookie sheet once you have cut them.The hardtack won’t expand in the oven so you can set the pieces apart.

Step 7: The dough should be cooked for 30 minutes on each side.

Set a timer for 30 minutes while the cookie sheet is in the oven.After the first 30 minutes have passed, flip the pieces of hardtack over and bake them again.Pull the cookie sheet out of the oven with an oven mitt.To flip the hardtack over, use a metal spatula.

Step 8: After baking, cool and dry the hardtack.

After 60 minutes have passed, use an oven mitt to pull the hardtack out of the oven.Place them on a cooling rack.To dry the hardtack, leave it on the cooling rack.It will take at least 4 days to dry.The cooling rack of hardtack should be in an out-of-the-way location.

Step 9: Put the hardtack in a container.

You are ready to store it once the hardtack has cooled.Hardtack can be kept for 20 years because none of the ingredients can ruin it.The hardtack can be kept as long as it is stored in a dry environment.Throw out the hardtack if it becomes soft.

Step 10: The hardtack should be soaked in water for 2 hours.

If you want to consume genuine hardtack in a historically authentic way, you need to soak it for at least 1 or 2 hours.You can submerge as many pieces of hardtack as you want in a bowl filled with tap water.As the hardtack soaks, keep an eye on it.Once it is softened to the touch, pull it out of the water.If you want a more intense hardtack, soak it in a mug full of coffee.

Step 11: If you don’t want to soak it, go on a chunk of hardtack for 30 minutes.

It is not meant to be eaten quickly.Bite and gnaw at the edges and corners of the hardtack, then eat the small bits that break off in your mouth.Think of the hardtack as a loaf of bread.If you want to chew 1 bite for 15 minutes, you need to work through the food slowly.

Step 12: Fry a few pieces of hardtack in bacon grease.

Hardtack needs to be softened before being eaten.The hardtack can be softened by Frying it in bacon grease.Add bacon grease to a skillet and heat it on medium-high until it starts to sizzle.Drop in a few pieces of hardtack.The hardtack should be cooked for about 5 minutes on each side.

Step 13: If you want not to fry it, top the hardtack with jam and cheese.

Hardtack can be eaten in the same way that many water crackers are eaten.Add your favorite fruit jam or Jelly when you top the hardtack with a creamy cheese.At first, bite into the hardtack gingerly.The hardtack is hard to gnaw through.If you don’t want the hardtack to break in your mouth, soak it in water for 5 minutes.

Step 14: For a dessert-like option, crumble hardtack with butter and brown sugar.

For a sweeter take on eating hardtack, use your hands to break up a few pieces over a large bowl.The aim is for the chunks to be about 1 inch wide.Add butter and brown sugar to the bowl.When the brown sugar has melted, stir the ingredients together.Add 2 ounces (57 g) to the hardtack and sugar mixture if you have whiskey on hand.Use your spoon to stir the ingredients together.The end result should be thick.