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Breads, Rolls and Muffins

People have been making bread for over 30,000 years. Earliest recipes were made from pounding the starch extract from plant roots to create flat breads. Loaves from grain came about about 10,000 years ago.

Hardtack, Breakfast of Champions

Hardtack is the world's first processed bread product.

History of Hardtack

The name derives from the British sailor slang word for food: "tack".

The Romans were the first people to grind seeds into flour on cone mills around 6000 BC. (Over 8,000 years ago!). The cracker-like bread was proven to be a reliable source of food which could be stored for a long time. Roman soldiers were provided hardtack as part of their daily rations. Egyptian sailors had their own version of hard tack, the dhourra cake, a flat brittle millet bread. In 10th century England, hard tack was referred to as a "biskit of muslin" mix barley, bean flour, rye.

Hardtack continues to be a staple in modern military rations worldwide and is currently a popular snack in many countries. The Alaskans indigenous people (Iñupiaq: qaqqulaq, Central Alaskan Yup'ik: sugg'aliq, Tlingit g_aatl) are among the last culture to make hardtack a significant part of a normal diet.

Names for Hard Tack

  • Hardtack
  • cabin bread,
  • pilot bread,
  • sea biscuit,
  • sea bread (as rations for sailors),
  • ship's biscuit,
  • dog biscuits,
  • molar breakers,
  • sheet iron,
  • tooth dullers,
  • worm castles.
  • ANZAC wafers (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp)

Virtually every cracker, dry biscuit or cookie in any store today owes its roots to hardtack

Recipe for Basic Hardtack

  • 3 cups of white flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt (optional)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Non stick Cookie Sheet
  • Medium Size Mixing Bowl
  • One knife or cookie cutters
  • A common nail or ice pick

Preheat oven to 250° Combine flour and salt in the bowl. Slowly add water and mix the dough by hand till is comes together.

Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Use the nail or ice pick to poke holes in the dough to prevent puffing and uneven baking.

Cut into shapes about 1 1/2 to 2 inches and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 2 hours. Turn the biscuits over and bake an additional 2 hours. Total baking time is 4 hours.

Cool and allow to air dry. Seal in air tight containers. Properly stored, hard tack can last several years.