Learn to Make Hardtack | Easy Traditional Recipe (2024)

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You may be wondering what is hardtack? With a variety of spellings, Swedish Hard Tackis simply a long-lasting homemade cracker-like flatbread.

This unleavened bread type cracker has been a staple food for decades.

Learn to Make Hardtack | Easy Traditional Recipe (1)

Learn to Make Hardtack Crackers

Here is a traditional yet simple hardtack recipe. It is a perfect food for healthy everyday snacking or to take when hiking, backpacking, camping, or traveling and even as Emergency or Survival Rations.

I had always wanted aDeep-Notched Linden Swedish Rolling Pinand finally found one on Amazon.

This is a heavy-duty, deep-notched rolling-pin specifically made for Hard Tack. So, with my new rolling pin, I was able to begin making my own hardtack!

The original recipes could,with proper storage, last for years. The recipe that I am sharing today is for a more palatable delicious homemade cracker…..

Read on and learn to make delicious Swedish Hardtack as it is no longer just for hard times! It is perfect for snacks, camping, traveling and taking on long trips!

HISTORY of HARDTACK

Swedish Hardtack History from Western Wyoming:

I was thrilled to learn of this traditional recipe for theselong-lasting biscuit type cracker from a recipe made by theSwedish Tie Hacks in the Wind River Mountainsof western Wyoming.

The history is that railroad ties were cut from logs, by men called Tiehacks, in the Wind River Mountains near Dubois during the winter months.

Due to the difficulty in transporting these heavy ties, flumes were built along the drainage to wash the ties down the mountainside into the Wind River during spring runoff.

Tie Hacks Moved Logs Down River:

These ties were then moved downriver to Riverton, Wyoming where they were processed into railroad ties.

Many of these lumbermen were from the Scandinavian countries which is probably how this Swedish Hard Tack Recipe arrived in Dubois, Wyoming.

Learn More about the Tie Hacks in the Wind River Mountains and how prisoners of war had volunteered to work in these camps. This is a fascinating piece of our US History.

This recipe for Swedish Hard Tack arrived in the Dubois, Wyoming area in 1913.

I would assume this recipe was in our country much earlier but, 1913 is when it came to western Wyoming.

For further reading: The warm springs Canyon Tie Flume

The Tie Hacks lived in mountain camps all winter long. This Swedish Hardtack Recipe was a staple food in these camps as it was nutritious and offered long-term storage.

I was fascinated with the history of this staple food item plus the simplicity of making it.

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SOLDIERS & SAILORS:

These types ofsurvival biscuits were was also a survival food for soldiers and sailors on long sea voyages.

There is a similar staple food called Pilot Bread which is similar to Hardtack but not exactly the same.

Hardtack and Pilot Bread were also widely eaten by American Civil War soldiers due to the long-shelf life.

This hard cracker has also been known as a sea biscuit, molar breakers, hard bread, ship’s biscuits, cabin breador sea bread by sailors as it, too, can be stored for a long time during long voyages.

If you are looking for a moresurvival bread versiontype of long lasting food, then the recipes will have just the basics of water, flour and salt.

And, of course, the long lasting quality is only as good as the storage method. You must research on how to keep your items in airtight, waterproof packaging only.

But, if you just want to buy some modern day Pilot Bread or Survival Bread to tuck away for safe keeping, then that works, too!

TRADITIONAL HARD TACK RECIPE

Here is the original Swedish Hardtack Recipe that was obtained from the Swedish Tie Hacks in Dubois, Wyoming.

I have updated this recipe to include Einkorn Flour and all organic ingredients but any type of unbleached flour and oil will work out just fine.

There are several recipes on the internet but I have found this to be the Best Hardtack Recipe ever! This is delicious!

This is an interesting recipe. I think you will be surprised by one of the ingredients.

There is a large amount of vinegar which seems odd but it was necessary to raise the acidity of these hardtack biscuits to insure a long shelf life.

The taste is amazingly delicious!!

A Swedish Linden Rolling Pin is used to make Hard Tack.

LEARN TO MAKE HARD TACK

Wet ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

*Please try alternative milk powders for a lactose free version. I have not used any of these, but it is definitely worth a try.

First, combine all ingredients to make the hardtack dough and gather into a ball.

Next, divide the dough into 15 smaller balls.

Roll out each ball with your Deep-Notched Linden Swedish Rolling Pin.If you do not have a notched rolling pin, then use what you have and poke holes in your dough prior to baking.

Rolling Dough:

Prepare your breadboard or counter to roll out the dough. Sprinkle flour on the surface. Roll each ball one at a time.

Gently roll over each dough several times front and back to make sure it is thin enough and that it is perforated nicely.

These perforations actually insure that the dough bakes completely through. As mentioned, if you do not have a notched rolling pin, simply poke holes in the dough. This will actually help achieve the desired crispness.

Each hard tack ball of dough can be rolled in approximately 4″x 10″ pieces and then broken into small pieces when eaten.

Or, you can divide the original dough into 20+/- balls and roll dough into 3″x 6″ pieces that are more of an individual serving size. Plus, if you want a particular shape, consider using a cookie cutter.

See what works best for you!

Learn to Make Hardtack | Easy Traditional Recipe (2)

Smaller Individual Size Hard Tack Pieces

Baking:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 20 minutes on the first side, turn each hard tack piece over and continue to bake for 8 to 10 more minutes.

Remove from baking and transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Learn to Make Hardtack | Easy Traditional Recipe (3)

Freshly Baked Golden Brown Hardtack

Food Storage:

When cool, you may store your Hard Tack in plastic bags, glass jars or an airtight container likevacuumed sealed jars for long term storage. Store on the counter or in the freezer.

This hard biscuit-like flatbread is perfect just plain but you can also add butter, peanut butter, and jelly, cheese or any type of dip you would like!

Learn to Make Hardtack | Easy Traditional Recipe (4)

Hard Tack, Laughing Cow Cheese and Strawberries are perfect for snacks and light lunches!!

SPECIAL HARDTACK RECIPE NOTE:

Make sure to add enough flour so your dough is not sticky. Flouring your deep notched rolling pin keeps your dough from sticking.

I made the mistake of rolling my dough when it was too sticky and this is what happened!!

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NOT fun to clean out…..make sure your dough is not too sticky!!!

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Yield: 48 Servings

Learn to Make Hardtack | Easy Traditional Recipe (6)

Hard Tackis a delicious long-lasting cracker-like flatbread!

Prep Time30 minutes

Cook Time20 minutes

Total Time50 minutes

Ingredients

  • WET INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Organic Milk Powder*
  • 3/4 cup Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil (I love using Avocado Oil)
  • DRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 cups Organic Rolled Oats
  • 3 cupsWhole Wheat Flour( I use Einkorn Whole Wheat Flour but you can use any type of flour)
  • Plus, 2 to 3 Cups ofUnbleached White Flour (I use Einkorn Unbleached Flour but you can use any type of all-purpose flour)
  • 3/8 cupOrganic Brown SugarorCoconut Sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and gather into a ball. Now, divide into 15 smaller balls. Roll each balls thinly out with yourDeep-Notched Linden Swedish Rolling Pin.

If you do not have a notched rolling pin, then simply poke holes in your pieces of dough after you have rolled them out.

Or, use cookies cutters if you want a particular shape!

Rolling Dough:

Prepare your bread board or counter to roll out the dough. Sprinkle flour on the surface. Roll each ball one at a time.

Gently roll over each dough several times front and back to make sure it is thin enough and that it is perforated nicely.

These perforation actually insure that the dough bakes completely through. Plus, since this is a cracker it helps achieve the desired crispness.

Each hard tack ball of of dough can be rolled in approximately 4"x 10" pieces and then broken into smaller pieces when eaten.

Or, you can divide the original dough into 20+/- balls and roll dough into 3"x 6" pieces that are more of an individual serving size. See what works best for you!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 20 minutes on the first side, turn each hard tack piece over and continue to bake for 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from baking and transfer to a wire cooling rack.

When cool, you may store your Hard Tack in plastic bags, glass jars or vacuumed sealed jars for long term storage. Store on the counter or in the freezer.

Notes

This biscuit like flat bread is perfect just plain but you can also add butter, peanut butter and jelly, cheese or any type of dip you would like!

Please Note:

Make sure your dough is not sticky and that your deep-notched rolling pin is floured. I made the mistake of rolling my dough when it was a bit too sticky and this is what happened!!

Nutrition Information

Yield

48 serving

Serving Size

1

Amount Per ServingCalories 167Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 75mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 4gSugar 2gProtein 5g

Learn to Make Hardtack | Easy Traditional Recipe (7)

So, no matter how you want to spell it, Hardtack, Hard Tack or Hard Tak……

I hope you will give this recipe a try and begin enjoying this long-standing traditional food today!!!

Learn to Make Hardtack | Easy Traditional Recipe (8)
Learn to Make Hardtack | Easy Traditional Recipe (2024)

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