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Need help with Hard Tack

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posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 04:24 PM
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Ok I need some experts to help on this one.

I have a decent flour grinder for course flour. I have been making blends to try to increase the stored energy and nutrients within common hard tack peices that I intend to bake, cool and then seal in small mylars with O absorbers.

I need help coming up with a good tasting flour mix that will still keep over the long haul.

Todays test batch:

ground to flour:
2 cups lentils (brown
1 cup rice
1/2 cup pinto beans

added:
2 tbsp of honey
1/2 tsp of salt
3/4 cup water


Oven 250 degrees until rock hard. all the way through, no browning.

I need help on a different grain mix or some spices to add or some tips for the long term storage idea. I would like to get them to be as nutritious as possible, and still not taste like dog biscuits like they do now.

Do you have any old recipes, ideas or links to any that might help?

And no, the dog wont touch them.... he has left the room and not been seen for a while.




posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 07:12 PM
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I went to Google after reading your post and found gobs of receipes, comments and historical info on the subject. Some receipes use rolled oats which sounded interesting.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 08:50 PM
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Good Luck on the recipe...traditional hard ,at best, tasted like dog bisquits and long term storage was accompanied by weevils for "extra protein."

Know further that the more stuff like honey you add, the harder it will be to keep long term as the sugars are a natural attraction for bugs... I run a feed and seed store and have that problem with my horse treats and pellet feeds.

Typical hardtack was wheat flour, salt, water...rolled flat...scored for even breaks... and baked rock hard.... petrified crackers so to speak.

That is why the Civil War soldiers soaked them in coffee before cooking or consuming....I suggest instead of producing a palatable version of hard tack...you focus instead on dehydrated fruits and jerky...jus' sayin'



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 03:16 PM
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I have been a Civil War reenactor for the past 17 years. I have had many different variations on hardtack. Some I've made myself and some I've bought. G. H. Bent Company was contracted by the US government during the war to make hardtack. The story has it that they found the original recipe and equipment that their company used to make it in an unused portion of their factory some years back. Since that time they have been making hardtack in the "traditional" sense. I will say however that the recipe has been changed slightly to make it more palatable and is more of a novelty item than a functional version of the cracker. That however only pertains to the durability of the cracker. I have never had a whole cracker survive in my haversack. As far as how they keep, I have some in my cabinet in a closed plastic bag (not ziploc) that I bough about four or five years ago and they are still good to eat.

www.bentscookiefactory.com...

As far as my own recipe for hardtack I use:
4 cups flour
1 cup water
1 tablespoon of salt

You mix the ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough until your arms are about to fall off. After that you continue kneading the dough until your arms actually do fall off. This is the most important step of the process to ensure that it is fully mixed. I roll out the dough on a flour dusted counter to be about a quarter inch thick. I then cut it out in squares that are about four inches by four inches. Then take a clean standard size nail to poke holes in the cracker, usually about 12 to 16. This helps to ensure that it cooks evenly. The result is a rock hard cracker that will keep, is durable and will help to sustain you. I generally supplement this with jerky and dried fruit. I usually only eat this way if we are doing an event that has no static camp and little opportunity for cooking. As the saying goes "it tastes like s**t but you can live on it." Trying to make hardtack more nutritious and better tasting is hard to as altering the recipe in the wrong way will make it tastier to bugs, molds, fungus and the like. In my opinion it would be better to supplement rather than trying to make it a one meal biscuit.

On the other hand I have numerous Civil War period recipes that involve hardtack, most of which are actually pretty good. If their is interest, and maybe if their isn't, I'll write a thread on it when I get home and have access to my books. Hope this helps.
edit on 9-9-2011 by mus8472 because: spelling



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 04:06 PM
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Maybe check out those Survival ration bars that are sold, see what's in them that guarantees the 5 year shelf life?



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 01:24 PM
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i can't claim any sort of knowledge about hard-tack, but a teaspoon or so of turmeric might be beneficial. turmeric has many interesting properties, including (among others) anti-bacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, it is also said to be effective against mold/yeast. here's the first link i came accross:

turmeric

a taste test would probably be a good place to start.



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by mus8472

As far as my own recipe for hardtack I use:
4 cups flour
1 cup water
1 tablespoon of salt


What temp for how long?



posted on Sep, 20 2011 @ 01:48 AM
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reply to post by InvaderSkich
 


Something like 350 until it just starts to brown



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