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Basic Hardtack Recipe


  • a bowl to mix the dough in
  • a fork


  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  • Start with two cups of flour and slowly add water. Your goal is to make it into a consistent dough that you can roll out and cut. If it gets too watery, add more flour. There is no point in kneading the dough since we are not making bread.
    adding flour
  • On a floured table, roll out your dough with a floured rolling pin until it is about ΒΌ inch thick. Then you can cut it into whatever shapes and sizes you like. Think about storage and purpose. You will want larger pieces if you might use it as a plate for other food.
  • If you are packing it into a small space in a pack, you will likely want smaller pieces. It is important that all the pieces be the same shape and size so they cook at the same rate. You can use a ruler to cut a straight edge, or you can use cookie cutters, a jar, or a glass to cut various shapes.
  • Preheat the oven to 250F.
  • You next need to dock the biscuits. This means poking holes in the dough so it will dry properly and will not rise. You can use a fork, a nail, chopsticks, or a knife to poke evenly spaced holes all the way through the dough. As a general guide, you should cut 16 holes in a 3 inch by 3 inch square. This is the recipe used during the civil war.
  • Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, and make sure they are evenly spaced. Cook them for two hours and then flip them over to cook for two more hours.
    step 4 - poking holes
  • Remove the biscuits from the baking sheet and place them on a cooling rack until they are room temperature.
  • Repeat the baking process cooking for another two hours on one side and two hours on the other side at 250F. Move back to the cooling rack until room temperature.