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How to Make Hardtack (The Bread that Lasts Forever)

How to Make Hardtack (The Bread that Lasts Forever)

Hardtack has been around for hundreds of years. It is a food source that can be carried wherever you go, be it on a forced march, a sail across an ocean, or a hike into the woods. It lasts a long time.

Christa Swartz, from, shows us how to make it.

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Shorty Dawkins



    1. Charlie,

      It is/was usually softened in a liquid, like boiling water or coffee, whenever possible, as it is a real jaw-breaker otherwise. I had some when I was young.


  1. Is she a sweetheart or what?

    I just did a quick check on the internet for hardtack recipes. All the ones I saw talked about 375 degrees and up. I’m going to try a combination of that and the above: 375 deg. for 15 minutes per side then half an hour more or so per side at more or less 200 deg. I’ll use a mixture of whole flours. We’ll see how long it lasts in a ziploc bag.

    1. StormN1,

      I would not recommend storing any foodstuffs in plastic bags for an extended period of time. Plastic is a petroleum product, and any organic matter that comes in contact with it will start to breakdown immediately. You won’t notice it for some time because the process is very slow.
      This is why Forensic-wise Investigators and evidence collectors always use paper bags, small cardboard boxes, and things of that nature to store any organic evidence in. Even fingerprints will deteriorate if stored in plastic.
      One study used 27 plastic bags bearing latent fingerprint impressions taken from the researcher’s left hand in March 1989. Nine were stored at room temperature, nine in a manual defrost refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and nine in a manual defrost freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Individual bags were removed and analyzed at 4-month intervals through October 1991.
      Results revealed significant deterioration of fingerprints stored at room temperature, slower deterioration of those stored in the refrigerator, and no deterioration in those stored in the freezer.
      So, unless you intend to freeze the hardtack, I would recommend glass or ceramic jars for long term storage.

  2. I made Logan bread when I was hiking in 1998. It seemed to keep indefinitely in my pack. Logan bread is more nutritious than hardtack but has the same consistency.
    We threw it at bears in an emergency. 🙁
    Here’s one (of many) recipes. Suggest making any changes you want but use sea salt, all honey (no sugar), and olive oil.
    The Long Trail was a bitch, by the way.

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