Updated 04/07/2003 11:46
Yorkshire Brand Hard Tack Sea Biscuits
Alternate Recipes for hardtack vary from extremely simple to more elaborate.
The simplest is:6 parts flour to 1 part water, mix, knead, roll out thin, and bake until hard.
A more elaborate version:
For about 10 crackers (1 ration): 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 or so tsp baking soda, and 1 1/2 tsp salt water to form to a workable dough. Kneed the dough. Crackers should be cut to about 3"x3" (although some contractors made 'em 5x5, even 7x7). When you cut the dough, it should not "pull away" - if it does, it is still too wet. With a nail, or similar object, punch about 16 holes in each cracker (4x4 pattern - although this was not the only way to do it). Put in oven at about 375F for about 50 minutes - different ovens may act differently. In any event, it should be brownish on the bottom. You are not "baking" cookies here: you are essentially trying to heat all the water out of the cracker. Take out and cool. - they should get hard.
Evidence" indicates that hardtack was made with "self-rising" flour. ... Some recipes call for oil, but this has no effect on the final product. In any event, experiment with kneeding, time to bake, etc., to get a final product which is a nice hard slab of flour.
Recipe Version #3:2 cups flour, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp baking soda, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, salt to taste, water to consistency. Mix up well, (dry ingredients first, then wet) roll out thin, bake at 450 degrees about 15 minutes, or to tooth-breaking quality.
Super Deluxe Recipe:A Living History programs makes hard tack as follows: 3 cups milk, 8 cups plain flour, 8 tbl spoons shortening (crisco), 6 tea spoon brown sugar (opt), 3 tea spoon salt. Mix, roll on floured board, to 1/2" thickness. cut into 3" squares, punch holes (3 rows of 3 with ice pick). Lightly grease baking pan. Bake in oven 400 deg for 45 min or till golden brown, cool in open air. Don't store in plastic (no plastic in 1800's) because of moisture. This recipe is the same they used except the sugar. A good dose of cinnamon, and not cooking it as long, is good eatin'.
"Ouch! I think I just broke a
tooth!"'s since 7 April 2003
This page is from the website of SSS YORKSHIRE - Sea Scout Ship 25, York, PA, USA - http://ship25bsa.org