Monday, April 27, 2009

In Hard Times eat Hard Tack

Poor? Hungry? Eat the crackers of great men.

What do pirates, george washington, and other famous old dudes have in common? They all had to eat hard tack back in the day - which was basically a cracker - with very little flavor - that got as hard as a brick when it dried.

These were tough times - there were armies on the march - and bellies had to make due with salt pork and this vile wheat brick. But it made great men out of them all - look at GW - he changed the world!

So printed below is the recipe for the simpleset tack of all.

Recipe from :

Army Hardtack Recipe


  • 4 cups flour (perferably whole wheat)
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • Water (about 2 cups)
  • Pre-heat oven to 375° F
  • Makes about 10 pieces

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add just enough water (less than two cups) so that the mixture will stick together, producing a dough that won’t stick to hands, rolling pin or pan. Mix the dough by hand. Roll the dough out, shaping it roughly into a rectangle. Cut into the dough into squares about 3 x 3 inches and ½ inch thick.

After cutting the squares, press a pattern of four rows of four holes into each square, using a nail or other such object. Do not punch through the dough. The appearance you want is similar to that of a modern saltine cracker. Turn each square over and do the same thing to the other side.

Place the squares on an ungreased cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece over and bake for another 30 minutes. The crackers should be slightly brown on both sides.

The fresh crackers are easily broken but as they dry, they harden and assume the consistentency of fired brick.

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