Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad by logging in.


Hardtack 6264

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,457
Hardtack
« on: October 13, 2013, 08:09:08 PM »
On all of my hikes this year, I have been carrying bread with with me. Only problem is that it takes up a lot of space, and starts to degrade relatively fast.
When I was in the army we used to get theese packs of small crackers in our combat rations instead of bread wich was surprisingly filling, even though they tasted nothing. I remember we used to eat them with tube cheese that had often passed its expiration date by up to four years. (we never dared eat the schrimp tube cheese :-X)
I started searching online for theese crackers, and "hardtack" kept popping up. I have read about them in old army biographies from the sivil war, but never bothered to really find out how to make them. But they seem to be close to what I want, so today I decided to make some.
They where surprisingly easy to make. I cant eat them like ordinary crackers thoug, then the dentist bills will become very expencive  :D 
I think they will be an excelent supplement to the freezedried meals though, after a little soaking.

Ill post a pic later.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2013, 08:13:03 PM by Grathr »



-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 10,526 Join us! Embrace the Flicky Faith!
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 08:13:35 PM »
My uncle does some American Civil War reenacting, and hardtack is one of those things that's unavoidable at an encampment.  :)  Hardtack, salt pork, and black coffee - that's what you were issued in the field.  No wonder more men died of disease than combat.....  Easy to make though. http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Hardtack

There's no such thing as "Too pretty to carry".  There's only "Too pretty NOT to carry"...... >:D
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,526 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 10:45:59 PM »
I made a couple batches of hardtack some time back. Holy SMURF! I didn't know flour could turn into wood.

Yeah... not to be eaten in its whole form, unless you are a James Bond Villain named Jaws.

Today's equivalent, if you care, might be Pilot Crackers. Matzah is also a widely available alternative, and lasts just short of forever when stored properly. In the U.S., there are a number of places from which you can order MRE components, like 'Snack Bread' or Tortillas. For the cost, I think Matsah is the best deal. They taste like nothing (or maybe like cardboard), but work great for peanut butter or cheese spread.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,457
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 06:04:27 PM »
Thanks for the info. Ill have to look for those.  :salute:

I tried to eat a couple of them the traditional way today. I soaked them in water and fried them in duck fat. I should have fried them in bacon fat, but we roasted a duck for dinner yesterday, and it yielded a good 3dl of fat that I put in the fridge.
It tasted pretty good  :)



-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 17,438 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 06:22:42 PM »
I love hardtack. I take it when I go hunting or camping and is easy to make.

sent from my mobile

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,457
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 07:48:56 PM »
And heres the promised pic.


-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,526 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 07:56:22 PM »
Yep. That's pretty much what mine looked like. Did you do the double bake method?

Also, for certain I can tell you that this stuff will last at LEAST 5 years in a ziplock bag in a dry place. When I made mine, i gave some to all of my friends to try. One of them dropped a couple pieces (in a ziplock bag) in his backpack, and dug it out 5 years later. It tasted exactly the same.

I have Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin book series to thank for my desire to try this stuff out.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,457
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 09:07:27 PM »
I gave them some extra time on lower temprature, with the fan on and oven door partially open, if that is what you mean by the double bake method.  :think:
I packed them in ziplocks today, and will bring some with me on my next hike.

-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,526 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 09:35:36 PM »
I think initial temp is supposed to be about 325F (190C). Then take them out, and allow to cool completely. Then put them back in at 250F (121C). The cooling period in between and second bake is supposed to bring moisture content down to the proper level. At least, that's what I read.

I think the big thing is when they're done cooking, they should sound pretty much like pieces of wood being hit together.

I'm interested in hearing how you end up consuming them, so keep us posted.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 17,438 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2013, 05:56:10 PM »
I just eat them as is or put them in some soup. There good in beef broth too.

sent from my mobile

Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 29,774 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2013, 06:09:08 PM »
Yep. That's pretty much what mine looked like. Did you do the double bake method?

Also, for certain I can tell you that this stuff will last at LEAST 5 years in a ziplock bag in a dry place. When I made mine, i gave some to all of my friends to try. One of them dropped a couple pieces (in a ziplock bag) in his backpack, and dug it out 5 years later. It tasted exactly the same.

I have Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin book series to thank for my desire to try this stuff out.
I'm really not sure if that's a good thing or not. :rofl:

I have to admit I've never tried any, but surely some kind of flavour could be added when baking them?

Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 29,774 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2013, 06:14:00 PM »
Ah, just read Tom's link above and it suggests that any extra flavourings would reduce the shelf life.  I guess that makes sense.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 17,438 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2013, 06:15:52 PM »
Now days probably. Back then, no. Anything added to it would reduce the shelf life. And more importantly, add cost. They gave up flavor for more black powder and Minie balls.

sent from my mobile
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 06:18:10 PM by ducttapetech »
No Life Club Posts: 4,777 You don't want to see me SMURF!
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2013, 07:28:48 PM »
Very interesting...

Over here we have Crisp Bread which is staple ration in the military, but also in daily life...

Stays good just about forever if stored in dry place, something I always keep in my storage :)

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." - Douglas Adams

Completely Random Smurf with Aleph

Missing pics because of Smurfbucket? Check out Aleph's Pic Repost Thread - Smurf Off Smurfbucket
Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 29,774 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2013, 07:49:25 PM »
A good British version is the water biscuit.  The link also describes why it is the Americans call them crackers (something I didn't know).

Yes, they are rather bland, but they're also not rock hard either.  Don't know how long they keep, but I'd guess a good long time.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,457
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2013, 08:12:33 PM »
Yep. That's pretty much what mine looked like. Did you do the double bake method?

Also, for certain I can tell you that this stuff will last at LEAST 5 years in a ziplock bag in a dry place. When I made mine, i gave some to all of my friends to try. One of them dropped a couple pieces (in a ziplock bag) in his backpack, and dug it out 5 years later. It tasted exactly the same.

I have Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin book series to thank for my desire to try this stuff out.
I'm really not sure if that's a good thing or not. :rofl

I have to admit I've never tried any, but surely some kind of flavour could be added when baking them?

I added some extra salt for taste and increased shelflife  :D

-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,457
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2013, 08:18:14 PM »
I just eat them as is or put them in some soup. There good in beef broth too.

sent from my mobile

My plan is to bring with me beef broth cubes and soak the hardtack in the broth. I think a nice cup of warm broth with hardtack should make a nice breakfast.  :)


-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.
Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 29,774 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2013, 08:43:43 PM »
Very interesting...

Over here we have Crisp Bread which is staple ration in the military, but also in daily life...

Stays good just about forever if stored in dry place, something I always keep in my storage :)

We get Ryvita over here.  It's sold as a low fat alternative to people on a diet though, not considered 'real' food. :D  Actually, I quite like them sometimes but they're no substitute for a nice piece of bread.

No Life Club Posts: 3,022
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2013, 09:50:13 PM »
Over here we have Crisp Bread which is staple ration in the military, but also in daily life...

We get Ryvita over here.  It's sold as a low fat alternative to people on a diet though, not considered 'real' food. :D  Actually, I quite like them sometimes but they're no substitute for a nice piece of bread.

Crisp bread is staple food in Norway as well, and Ryvita isn't considered "real" food either. ;) The good stuff is either Swedish or from a good bakery.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 17,438 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2013, 12:22:43 AM »
I just eat them as is or put them in some soup. There good in beef broth too.

sent from my mobile

My plan is to bring with me beef broth cubes and soak the hardtack in the broth. I think a nice cup of warm broth with hardtack should make a nice breakfast.  :)
It is good that way. Do it a lot. Even when I am not camping.

sent from my mobile

Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 10,526 Join us! Embrace the Flicky Faith!
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2013, 01:55:38 AM »
I just eat them as is or put them in some soup. There good in beef broth too.

sent from my mobile

My plan is to bring with me beef broth cubes and soak the hardtack in the broth. I think a nice cup of warm broth with hardtack should make a nice breakfast.  :)
It is good that way. Do it a lot. Even when I am not camping.

sent from my mobile

Or for the true Royal Navy experience:

-Tow salt pork behind a ship for 24 hours to soften.
-Soak pork for 12 hours to remove most of the salt, while soaking hardtack in water that's been stored in a wooden cask for 6 months.
-Boil pork while frying soaked hardtack in pork fat.
-Serve with grog and a dose of complaining about Bonaparte's fleet not coming out of port like men.

And remember, no silverware for Jack Tar!

Enjoy!  ;)

There's no such thing as "Too pretty to carry".  There's only "Too pretty NOT to carry"...... >:D
No Life Club Posts: 3,022
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2013, 02:44:27 PM »
 :rofl:
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 10,526 Join us! Embrace the Flicky Faith!
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2013, 05:08:23 PM »
 :D  Hey, Trafalgar Day is Monday.  Forget a Burns Supper, have yourself a Nelson Luncheon.....

There's no such thing as "Too pretty to carry".  There's only "Too pretty NOT to carry"...... >:D
Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 29,774 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2013, 06:35:41 PM »
I just eat them as is or put them in some soup. There good in beef broth too.

sent from my mobile

My plan is to bring with me beef broth cubes and soak the hardtack in the broth. I think a nice cup of warm broth with hardtack should make a nice breakfast.  :)
It is good that way. Do it a lot. Even when I am not camping.

sent from my mobile

Or for the true Royal Navy experience:

-Tow salt pork behind a ship for 24 hours to soften.
-Soak pork for 12 hours to remove most of the salt, while soaking hardtack in water that's been stored in a wooden cask for 6 months.
-Boil pork while frying soaked hardtack in pork fat.
-Serve with grog and a dose of complaining about Bonaparte's fleet not coming out of port like men.

And remember, no silverware for Jack Tar!

Enjoy!  ;)
:rofl:

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,457
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2013, 07:05:12 PM »
I just eat them as is or put them in some soup. There good in beef broth too.

sent from my mobile

My plan is to bring with me beef broth cubes and soak the hardtack in the broth. I think a nice cup of warm broth with hardtack should make a nice breakfast.  :)
It is good that way. Do it a lot. Even when I am not camping.

sent from my mobile

Or for the true Royal Navy experience:

-Tow salt pork behind a ship for 24 hours to soften.
-Soak pork for 12 hours to remove most of the salt, while soaking hardtack in water that's been stored in a wooden cask for 6 months.
-Boil pork while frying soaked hardtack in pork fat.
-Serve with grog and a dose of complaining about Bonaparte's fleet not coming out of port like men.

And remember, no silverware for Jack Tar!

Enjoy!  ;)
:rofl:

I guess the closest I will come to that is:
-Tow salt pork behind canoe for a couple of hours
-curse a lot when salt pork becomes stuck in a dead tree at the bottom of the lake.
-Heat spam in a can  while chewing moist hardtack
-Serve with beer and a dose of complaining about the fish not biting like proper fish.

-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 17,438 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2013, 08:54:50 PM »
 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,526 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2013, 04:51:41 AM »
So, i was just watching an old episode of 'Good Eats' (S01E07), and heard something I didn't know. The word 'biscuit' in English comes from the Middle French 'bescuit' which means 'twice baked'. This is the 'double bake' method I mentioned earlier. This is getting dangerously close to educational.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biscuit#Etymology
Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 29,774 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2013, 08:17:54 AM »
That's one I did happen the know (unlike the etymology of your 'cracker').  Here's another; the legal definition of a biscuit vs a cake is that a biscuit starts off hard but goes soft with age, whereas a cake starts off soft but goes hard with age.

Now I hear you ask; what does that matter?  Well, we pay tax on biscuits but not on cake (don't ask me why though), so for the makers of small cakes it makes a great deal of difference.

So no tax on these excellent Jaffa Cakes. :drool:

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 17,438 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2013, 02:17:49 PM »
Mmmmm.......those look good.

sent from my mobile

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 11,688 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: Hardtack
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2013, 05:00:16 PM »
That's one I did happen the know (unlike the etymology of your 'cracker').  Here's another; the legal definition of a biscuit vs a cake is that a biscuit starts off hard but goes soft with age, whereas a cake starts off soft but goes hard with age.
(...)

Must... fight... temptation...

Don't... make... pun...

 :twak: :ahhh :twak: :ahhh :twak: :ahhh :twak: :ahhh

________________________________
It is just a matter of time before they add the word “Syndrome” after my last name.

I don't have OCD, I have OCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

Eff the ineffable, scrut the inscrutable.

IYCRTYSWTMTFOT

 

Operational Funds

Keep the Unworkable working! Donate with PayPal!
November Goal: $275.00
Due Date: Nov 30
Total Receipts: $405.43
PayPal Fees: $24.41
Net Balance: $381.02
Above Goal: $106.02
Site Currency: USD
139% 
November Donations

Community Links

Powered by EzPortal
© 2017 Defender Web & Tool