Author Topic: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods  (Read 15495 times)

Yowbarb

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The next post will have some history on hardtack some links and a very old recipe from the civil war years. Below here is a modern recipe,
Yowbarb

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/1980-03-01/Hearty-Hardtack-With-Variations-on-the-Theme.aspx

Mother Earth News
Hearty Hardtack (With Variations on the Theme!)


March/April 1980

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/1980-03-01/Hearty-Hardtack-With-Variations-on-the-Theme.aspx#ixzz1Vm0ReigE

Gail E. Johnson passes along her time-tested recipes for...

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/1980-03-01/Hearty-Hardtack-With-Variations-on-the-Theme.aspx#ixzz1Vm19cZu0

A childhood ration of seafaring tales many of which described long voyages endured on a diet of hardtack-left me with ambivalent feelings about the long-time staple food. It was a pleasant surprise, then, to discover an old Swedish recipe that's both fast and easy . . . and produces delicious hardtack as well. What's more, one batch will make eight 12-inch-diameter discs which are great served "hot from the pan" with butter and make very convenient snacks to enjoy while camping or backpacking, too.

PLAIN OL' HARDTACK

To make a basic hardtack, mix 2-1/2 cups of old-fashioned oatmeal, 3 cups of unbleached flour, 1-112 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a large bowl. Then, in a separate container, add 11/2 cups of buttermilk (or soured powdered milk mix) and 3 tablespoons of honey to 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of melted bacon or sausage drippings . . . and combine this mixture with the dry ingredients. When the dough is thoroughly mixed, form it Into eight balls of equal size and roll each one out on a floured board (the thickness will depend on the size of your pans). Use a pegged rolling pin if such a (tool is available . . . if not, a standard rolling pin, jar, or large drinking glass will do. '

Transfer each circle to a lightly greased pizza pan, and pat and smooth the dough to fit. A meat tenderizing tool can be used to stipple-or dent-a pattern in the surface at this point if a pegged rolling pin wasn't used ... and you can mark the "pie" into squares, diamonds, or triangles with a regular pizza cutter, if desired.

Put the pans in the oven for 5-1/2 minutes at 450°F. Timing is crucial: The resulting "way bread" should be dry, but browned only around the edges.

When you remove your finished hardtack from the oven, let it stand for a moment .. . then use a pancake turner to place the discs on wire racks to cool, and put your next batch on the pans. (The pizza sheets will not need to be regreased to bake subsequent discs of dough.)

Finally, the hearty flatbreads should be stored in tightly covered containers to keep them crisp.

RYE OR WHOLEWHEAT HARDTACK

Substitute 2 cups of rye flour-or 2 cups of whole wheat flour-for 1 cup of the oatmeal and 1 cup of the unbleached flour called for in the basic recipe. You can please your taste buds with a variety of spices, too: Perhaps 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt in the rye mixture or 3/4 teaspoon of caraway seeds and 314 teaspoon of sesame seeds in the whole wheat mix might produce a hardtack that your palate finds particularly appealing.

BUCKWHEAT-MILLET HARDTACK

You might want to experiment by substituting 1 cup of buckwheat groats (kasha) for 1 cup of the basic recipe's oats, and 1 cup of millet (uncooked) for 1 cup of the unbleached flour . . . then adding 1/4 teaspoon more salt and spices as desired. The result will be a bit moist, as millet doesn't absorb liquid. (If you'd like a drier bread, compensate by mixing in an additional 112 cup of unbleached flour.)

SUNFLOWER NUT HARDTACK

For extra-crunchy hardtack, try using 1 cup of sunflower seeds (chopped) instead of 1 cup of the oatmeal called for in the basic recipe. (You can make the same substitution in the rye or whole wheat mixtures.)

CORNMEAL HARDTACK

Replace 1 cup of the unbleached flour and 1 cup of the oatmeal included in the basic recipe with a total of 2 cups of cornmeal. Or, if you're basing your conversion on the rye or whole wheat variations, you can simply let 2 cups of cornmeal replace 1 cup of rye (or 1 cup of whole wheat) and one cup of the remaining unbleached flour.

"Any way you mix it, you'll find hardtack - which was once the traditional army/ navy ration-to be a handy, hearty treat that's always nice to have around!"
....
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 08:53:25 AM by Yowbarb »

Yowbarb

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 08:55:03 AM »

Hardtack

This site has some history of hardtack and some recipes:

http://kenanderson.net/hardtack/recipes.html

1863 SPECIFICATIONS

Assistant Commissary General of Subsistence - Lt. Col. C.L. Kilburn - Notes on Preparing Stores for the United States Army and on the Care of the Same, etc, with a few rules for Detecting Adulterations - Printed 1863
Under Hard Bread

Should be made of best quality of superfine, or what is usually known as extra superfine flour; or better, of extra and extra superfine, (half and half). Hard bread should be white, crisp, light and exhibit a flaky appearance when broken.  If tough, solid and compact, is evident the fault is either in the stock, manufacture or baking; it should not present the appearance of dried paste. If tough and pasty, it is probably manufacture from grown wheat, or Spring wheat of an inferior kind. In all cases it should be thoroughly cooled and dried before packing. Kiln drying, where practicable, for long voyages, is particularly desirable; but if really and thoroughly dried in the oven, hard bread will keep just as well and its flavor is not destroyed. To make good hard bread, it is essential to employ steam; hand work will not do.

The dough should be mixed as dry as possible; this is, in fact, very essential, and too much stress can not be placed on it. Good stock, dry mixed, and thoroughly baked, (not dried or scalded) will necessarily give good hard bread.  If salt is to be used, it should be mixed with the water used to mix the dough. Both salt and water should be clean. Bread put up with the preceding requirements should keep a year; but as a usual thing, our best bread as now made for army use, will keep only about three months.  Good, bread, packed closely and compactly should not weigh, net, per barrel, more than 70 or 80 pounds; should it be heavier that 80 it indicates too much moisture.  The thickness of the biscuit is important; it should not be so thick as to prevent proper drying, or so thin as to crumble in transportation. The quality of stock used for hard bread can be partially told by rules mentioned in the article 'Flour,' as far as they apply.  The term 'sprung' is frequently used by bakers, by which is meant raised or flaky bread, indicating strong flour and sound stock. The cupidity of the contracting baker induces him to pack his bread as soon as it comes out of the oven, and before the moisture has been completely expelled by drying.  Bread of this kind hangs on breaking; it will also be soft to the pressure of the finger nail when broken, whereas it should be crisp and brittle.

The packages should be thoroughly seasoned, (of wood imparting no taste or odor to the bread,) and reasonably tight.  The usual method now adopted is to pack 50 pounds net, in basswood boxes, (sides, top and bottom 1/2 inch, ends 5/8 of an inch,) and of dimensions corresponding with the cutters used, and strapped at each end with light iron or wood.  The bread should be packed on its edge compactly, so as not to shake.

Bread thoroughly baked, kiln dried, and packed in spirit casks, will keep a long time but it is an expensive method. If bread contains weevils, or is mouldy, expose to the sun on paulins, and before re-packing it, rinse the barrel with whiskey.
Other Traditional Recipes
Army Hardtack Recipe

Ingredients:

    4 cups flour (perferably whole wheat)
    4 teaspoons salt
    Water (about 2 cups)
    Pre-heat oven to 375° F
    Makes about 10 pieces

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add just enough water (less than two cups) so that the mixture will stick together, producing a dough that won’t stick to hands, rolling pin or pan.  Mix the dough by hand. Roll the dough out, shaping it roughly into a rectangle. Cut into the dough into squares about 3 x 3 inches and ½ inch thick.

After cutting the squares, press a pattern of four rows of four holes into each square, using a nail or other such object. Do not punch through the dough.  The appearance you want is similar to that of a modern saltine cracker.  Turn each square over and do the same thing to the other side.

Place the squares on an ungreased cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece over and bake for another 30 minutes. The crackers should be slightly brown on both sides.

The fresh crackers are easily broken but as they dry, they harden and assume the consistentency of fired brick.

http://kenanderson.net/hardtack/recipes.html
...


More recipes on next post; not sure if these are from the 1863 article or not..
Yowbarb


Yowbarb

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 09:20:55 AM »
http://kenanderson.net/hardtack/recipes.html
Yowbarb Note: More hardtack recipes.


Swedish Hardtack

•   1 cup water
•   3 tbsp. vegetable oil
•   3 tbsp. honey
•   3 cups rye flour (or 1 1/2 cups rye & 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
•   1  1/2 tbsp. brewer's yeast (optional)
•   1/4 tsp. salt
Mix liquids together.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Combine the mixtures, stirring to moisten throughout.  Form a ball.  On a floured surface, flatten the dough, and roll out thinly. Cut into squares and prick each cracker with the tines of a fork a couple of times.  Transfer to lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 425° F for around 8 minutes, checking to be sure not to over-brown.  It is best served warm.

Simple Recipes

Flour, water, and a little salt. Mix them together to form an elastic but not sticky dough, Roll to a one-inch thickness, bake in a 400° F oven until slightly brown. Allow to cool. It may yet be soft. Put it in 200° F oven until it is hard. Prick with nail or sharp instrument. No baking powder, soda, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, or anything else.
Just mix about 2 cups of flour and a half-tablespoon of salt with enough water to make a stiff dough.  Roll it out thin on a cookie sheet.  Score it into squares of about 2”x2” and poke some holes in it (not all the way through). Bake it at 400 ° F for about 45 minutes or until it is lightly browned.  Let it cool in the oven.
Preheat oven to 400° F. For each cup of flour (unbleached wheat), add1 tsp. of salt. Mix salt and flour with just enough water to bind ingredients.  Roll the dough about 1/4 inch thick, and cut into squares 3 inches by 3 inches.  Pierce each square with 16 holes about ½ inch apart.  Place hardtack squares on cookie sheet and bake in oven until the edges are brown or the dough is hard (20-25 minutes), making sure all moisture is removed from mixture before taking out of oven.  Note: The longer you bake the hardtack, the more authentic it will appear. If you want to make it softer for eating, bake only about fifteen minutes.
Mix: two cups of all-purpose flour and a half teaspoon of salt.  Use more salt for authenticity. Mix by hand. Add a teaspoon of shortening and a half cup of water, stirred in a little at a time to form a very stiff dough.  Beat the dough to a half inch thickness with a clean top mallet or rifle butt.  Fold the sheet of dough into six layers. Continue to beat and to fold the dough a half dozen times until it is elastic. Roll the dough out to a half-inch thickness before cutting it with a floured biscuit cutteror bayonet. Bake for about a half hour in a 325° F oven.
The basic ingredients are flour, salt and water. General directions are also similar: Dissolve the salt in water and work it into flour using your hands.  The dough should be firm and pliable but not sticky or dry. Flatten the dough onto a cookie sheet to about 1/4 inch thick, and cut into squares 3 inches by 3 inches.  Pierce each square with 16 holes about ½ inch apart.  Bake in oven until edges are brown or dough is hard. 
Preheat the oven to 400° F For each cup of flour add 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix salt and flour with just enough water to bind. Bake 20-25 minutes.  The longer you bake the hardtack, the more authentic it will appear.
Use one part water to six parts flour. Mix in salt. Roll the dough flat and score into cracker shapes. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400° F and let it cool until completely dry before storing in canisters. The crackers should be hard as bricks and indestructibly unappetizing.
•   A cup of water
•   2 cups of flour
•   6 pinches of salt
Mix flour, water, and salt into a stiff dough, kneading it several times.  Spread dough ½ inch thick onto baking sheet and slice into 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch squares.  Poke holes in dough, four lines of four holes across and four down.  Bake for ½ hour at 400.° F.   Remove from the oven, cut the dough into 3 inch squares. Turn dough over, return it to the oven, and bake for another ½ hour. Turn the oven off, leaving the oven door closed.  Leave the hardtack in the oven until it is cool.

Less Traditional Recipes

•   2 c Flower
•   1/2 tb Salt (optional)
•   1/2 tb Sugar (optional)
•   1/2 c Water
Mix together in an electric blender at medium speed until it has the consistency of playdough. Roll it out with a rolling pin to about 1/3" or so, the thinner the crisper, then cut it into 3 x 3 inch squares.  I use the barrel of a ball point pen to punch 16 holes (4 x 4) in each square. Bake at 375° F on the first side for 20-25 minutes or until it turns a light brown color, then turn them over and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
 
Small Batch, Just for a taste.

•   2 1/2 cups flour
•   1/2 tablespoon baking powder
•   1/2 tablespoon salt
•   1/2- 3/4 cup water
Mix to a stiff dry dough.  It should not stick to your hands.  Add water slowly. Add more flour if needed.  Cut to 3x3 inch squares 1/4" to 1/2" thick. Now put 16 little holes in each one, using a 10 d nail or some other such thing. Toothpick are too small. Bake in an ungreased cookie pan, preheated to 400° F for about 20 to 30 minutes on each side, or until dry. Check it every now and then.
•   1/8 teaspoon baking soda
•   3 tablespoons buttermilk
•   1 cup flour
•   4 teaspoons real maple syrup
•   3/8 teaspoons salt
•   1-1/2 tablespoons shortening
Preheat oven to 425° F.  Mix the soda and buttermilk, then set aside. Combine flour, syrup, and salt.  Cut in the shortening.  Add the buttermilk mixture. Roll out very thin and score rectangles in the dough without cutting all the way through. Prick each rectangle several times with a fork.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.
•   2 cups of flour
•   3/4 to 1 cup water
•   1 tablespoon of Crisco
•   6 pinches of salt
Mix the ingredients together to form a stiff batter, kneading several times. Spread the dough onto a baking sheet at a thickness of 1/2 inch. Bake for a half hour at 400° F.  Remove from oven, cut dough into 3-inch squares, and punch four rows of holes, four holes per row into the dough.  Turn dough over, return to the oven and bake another half hour. Turn oven off, leaving door closed.  Leave the hardtack in the oven until cool.
•   3 cups all-purpose flour
•   1 cup whole wheat flour
•   1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
•   1/2` cup cracked wheat
•   1 tablespoon sugar
•   1 tablespoon salt
•   1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Combine the flours, cornmeal, wheat, sugar and salt. Add buttermilk, mix well, and knead briefly. Shape dough into golf-ball-sized portions. Dust with flour and roll very thin.  Place on greased and floured baking sheet.  Bake at 400° F turning several times, until lightly browned on both sides. Cool; then store in waterproof container.
•   2 Level teaspoons baking powder
•   1 pinch of salt
•   1 1/2 cup flour
•   2 cups sugar
•   4 eggs, well beaten
•   1 jelly glass of orange marmalade
•   1 lb Finely chopped walnuts
•   1 lb Finely chopped dates
Sift ingredients together. Add the remainder of ingredients; mix well.  Bake about an inch thick on a cookie sheet in an oven at 375° F for about 45 minutes. Cut into squares while warm.
•   2 cups of flour
•   1 cup water
•   1 tablespoon of Crisco or vegetable fat.
•   6 pinches of salt
Bake for 30 minutes at 400° F. Remove the dough from the oven, and cut it into 3-inch squares.  Punch four rows of holes into the dough. Turn the dough over, return it to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.

A Sailor's Diet

•   2 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick oats.
•   3 cups unbleached flour.
•   1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
•   1 teaspoon baking soda.
In a separate container, mix:
•   1 1/2 cups buttermilk.
•   3 tablespoons honey.
•   1/2 cup melted bacon drippings or shortening.
Combine the two sets of ingredients. When the dough is thoroughly mixed, roll it out on a floured board to a thickness of about a quarter inch.  Cut out circles of dough with a large drinking glass dipped in flour and put them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for about 5 1/2 minutes at 450° F.  Let the hardtack cool on a wire rack before serving with jam or jelly.

Willsorr75

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 01:13:49 PM »
I wonder if its physical attributes would come out the same if you added a small amount of chicken broth to give it a meaty flavor. I know doing that with things like vegetables it can be really good. I'll have to get my wife to make some. It sounds like it could be really good...
Stay informed, information is our first line of defense!
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Yowbarb

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 01:19:20 PM »
I wonder if its physical attributes would come out the same if you added a small amount of chicken broth to give it a meaty flavor. I know doing that with things like vegetables it can be really good. I'll have to get my wife to make some. It sounds like it could be really good...

One of the recipes listed has bacon drippings... I am not an expert on it yet, some chicken fat or broth might work...
 :)

Yowbarb

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2011, 01:24:43 PM »
I am going to look into the old style hardtack more. The 1863 US Military specs on hardtack should work. (About the second post here.)
the idea is, for a survival group to have portable something to eat, cheap and made in big quantities ahead of time.

Found a wikipedia article on it which states it was used on long sea voyages so that means months...

- Yowbarb

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardtack

Hardtack (or hard tack) is a simple type of cracker or biscuit, made from flour, water, and sometimes salt. Inexpensive and long-lasting, it was and is used for sustenance in the absence of perishable foods, commonly during long sea voyages and military campaigns.[1] The name derives from the British sailor slang for food, "tack". It is known by other names such as pilot bread (as rations for ship's pilots[2]), ship's biscuit, shipbiscuit, sea biscuit, sea bread (as rations for sailors) or pejoratively "dog biscuits," "tooth dullers," "sheet iron," "worm castles" or "molar breakers".[3] Australian military personnel know them as ANZAC wafers.

[Continues]
IMAGE: A preserved hardtack on museum display

Willsorr75

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2011, 01:34:31 PM »
I wonder if its physical attributes would come out the same if you added a small amount of chicken broth to give it a meaty flavor. I know doing that with things like vegetables it can be really good. I'll have to get my wife to make some. It sounds like it could be really good...

One of the recipes listed has bacon drippings... I am not an expert on it yet, some chicken fat or broth might work...
 :)

I'll have to look again. I definitely missed that one. I'm a huge bacon fan. I put bacon on everything.. Hard bacon bits are really good on spaghetti!!! Don't hate it until you try it!!! :P
Stay informed, information is our first line of defense!
-Will

Yowbarb

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2011, 04:07:50 PM »
Heres' a bit more on the history of hardtack, going back to the Egyptians, wikipedia article. So now we now if it is baked hard, and kept dry, it will literally last for years. I'm sure some of the modern ways we could package it would help too.
- Yowbarb

...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardtack  Hardtack

History

The introduction of the baking of processed cereals including the creation of flour provided a more reliable source of food. Egyptian sailors carried a flat brittle loaf of millet bread called dhourra cake, while the Romans had a biscuit called buccellum. King Richard I of England, (aka Richard the Lionheart) left for the Third Crusade (1189-92) with "biskit of muslin," which was a mixed grain compound of barley, rye and bean flour.[4]

Many early physicians believed that most medicinal problems were associated with digestion. Hence, for both sustenance and avoidance of illness, a daily consumption of a biscuit was considered good for one's health. The bakers of the time made biscuits as hard as possible, as the biscuits would soften as time went on.[citation needed][5] Because it is so hard and dry, hardtack (when properly stored and transported) will survive rough handling and endure extremes of temperature. The more refined Captain's biscuit was made with finer flour.

To soften it, it was often dunked in brine, coffee, or some other liquid or cooked into a skillet meal.
Baked hard, it would stay intact for years as long as it was kept dry. For long voyages, hardtack was baked four times, rather than the more common two, and prepared six months before sailing.

At the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the daily allowance on board a Royal Navy ship was 1lb of biscuit plus 1 gallon of beer. Later, Samuel Pepys in 1667 first regularized naval victualing with varied and nutritious rations. Royal Navy hardtack during Queen Victoria's reign were made by machine at the Royal Clarence Victualing Yard at Gosport, Hampshire, stamped with the Queen's mark and the number of the oven to which they were consigned to be baked. Biscuits remained an important part of the Royal Navy sailor’s diet until the introduction of canned foods; canned meat was first marketed in 1814, and preserved beef in tins was officially introduced to the Royal Navy rations in 1847.[4]

In 1801, Josiah Bent began a baking operation in Milton, Massachusetts, selling "water crackers" or biscuits made of flour and water that would not deteriorate during long sea voyages from the port of Boston, which was also used extensively as a source of food by the gold prospectors who emigrated to the gold mines of California in 1849. Since the journey took months from the starting point, pilot bread was stored in the wagon trains, as it could be kept a long time. His company later sold the original hardtack crackers used by troops during the American Civil War. The G. H. Bent Company is still located in Milton, and continues to sell these items to Civil War re-enactors and others.

During the American Civil War, 3-inch by 3-inch hardtack was shipped out from Union and Confederate storehouses. Some of this hardtack had been stored from the 1846–8 Mexican-American War. With insect infestation common in improperly stored provisions, soldiers would break up the hardtack and drop it into their morning coffee. This would not only soften the hardtack but the insects, mostly weevil larvae, would float to the top and the soldiers could skim off the insects and resume consumption. Another way of removing weevils was to heat it at a fire, which would drive them out. Those troops too impatient to wait would simply eat it in the dark so they wouldn't have to see what they were consuming.[7]

During the Spanish-American War some military hardtack was stamped with the phrase REMEMBER THE MAINE.
[edit] Modern use
Reproductions of two 19th century styles of hardtack
Japanese Hardtack "Kanpan"
Retail shelf of Sailor Boy Pilot Bread in the Stuaqpaq ("big store") AC Value Store in Barrow, Alaska
"Kanpan" (JMSDF)

Hardtack is a common pantry item in Hawaii, and The Diamond Bakery "Saloon Pilot" cracker is available in all grocery and sundry stores. The round hardtack crackers are available in large- and small-diameter sizes.

Alaskans are among the last to eat hardtack (Iñupiaq: qaqqulaq, Central Alaskan Yup'ik: sugg'aliq) as a significant part of their normal diet. Interbake Foods of Richmond, Virginia, produces most, if not all, of the commercially available hardtack under the "Sailor Boy" label—98 percent of its production goes to Alaskans. Originally imported as a food product that could stand the rigors of transportation throughout Alaska, like powdered milk, pilot bread has become a favored food even as other, less robust foods have become available. Alaskan law requires all light aircraft to carry "survival gear", including food. The blue-and-white Sailor Boy Pilot Bread boxes are ubiquitous at Alaskan airstrips, in cabins, and virtually every village.

Commercially available pilot bread is a significant source of food energy in a small, durable package. A store-bought 24-gram cracker can contain 100 calories (20 percent from fat), 2 grams of protein and practically no fiber.

In the fall of 2007, rumors spread throughout Alaska that Interbake Foods might stop producing pilot bread. An Anchorage Daily News article[8] published November 6, 2007, reported the rumor was false, to the relief of many. Alaskans enjoy warmed pilot bread with melted butter or with soup or moose stew. Pilot bread with peanut butter, honey, or apple sauce is often enjoyed by children.

Those who buy commercially baked pilot bread in the continental United States are often those who stock up on long-lived foods for disaster survival rations. Hardtack can comprise the bulk of dry food storage for some campers. Pilot bread, sometimes referred to as pilot crackers during advertising, is often sold in conjunction with freeze-dried foods as part of package deals by many freeze-dried survival food companies.

Hardtack was a staple of military servicemen in Japan and South Korea well into late 20th century. It is known as Kanpan (乾パン) in Japan and geonbbang (건빵) in South Korea, meaning 'dry bread', and is still sold as a fairly popular snack food in South Korea as well as in Japan. A harder hardtack than Kanpan called Katapan (堅パン) is historically popular in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka, Japan as one of its regional speciality foods.[9]

Many people who currently buy or bake hardtack in the United States are Civil War re-enactors.[10] One of the units that continually bakes hardtack for living history is the USS Tahoma Marine Guard Infantry of the Washington State Civil War Association. British and French re-enactors buy or bake hardtack as well.

Hardtack is also a mainstay in parts of Canada. Located in St John's, Newfoundland, Purity Factories currently bakes three varieties. The first variety, a cracker similar to a cross between an unsalted saltine and hardtack, is the "Crown Pilot Cracker". It was a popular item in much of New England and was manufactured by Nabisco until it was discontinued in the first quarter of 2008. It was discontinued once before, in 1996, but a small uprising by its supporters brought it back in 1997. This variety comes in two subvarieties, Flaky and Barge biscuits. The second is traditional hardtack and is the principal ingredient in fish and brewis, a traditional Newfoundland and Labrador meal. The third variety is known as Sweet Bread. This variety is slightly softer than regular hardtack due to a higher sugar and shortening content and is eaten as a snack food. Canawa is another Canadian maker of traditional hardtack. They specialize in a high density, high caloric product that is well suited for use by expeditions.
A package of Purity hard bread with one hard bread biscuit in front

Hardtack is also referred to as a staple food of Chinese hard-labor workers in Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution by Ma Bo in his memoir.[11]

Also, hardtack, baked with or without addition of fat, was and still is a staple in Russian military rations, especially in the Navy, as infantry traditionally preferred simple dried bread when the long life was needed. Called галета (galeta) in Russian, it is usually somewhat softer and crumblier than traditional hardtack, as most varieties made in Russia include at least some fat or shortening, making them closer to saltine crackers. One such variety, "Хлебцы армейские" ("Khlyebtsy armyeyskiye"), or "Army crackers", is currently included into modern Russian military rations, and other brands enjoy significant popularity among civilian population as well, both among the campers and the general crowd.

In Genoa it was and still is a traditional addition to a fish and vegetable salad called Cappon magro.

The Bundeswehr field manual mentions shoe cream covered "Hartkeks" as improvised firelighter in bad weather survival situations.
.........

Willsorr75

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2011, 04:12:35 PM »
Heres' a bit more on the history of hardtack, going back to the Egyptians, To soften it, it was often dunked in brine, coffee, or some other liquid or cooked into a skillet meal.

Kind of sounds like what my wife would normally eat when we lived in Australia, biscotti... But I think biscotti is more of a desert...
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Sunnybug

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2011, 04:19:54 AM »
Came across a couple of recipe's I thought would fit in here. The first one I think I got from this site, which is a great general survival resource.
http://www.survivaltopics.com/

How to Make Pemmican

Explorers through the ages have made a special food a staple in their diet that is high in calories and very rich in fat. So high in fat that it would make dietitians cringe, yet so nutritious that hard working men in arctic conditions have thrived on little else for many months without ill effect.
Just what is this magic food that keeps men fit and is so easy to make? The best survival food is pemmican.
Pemmican Ingredients
The Byrd and Ellsworth Antarctic expeditions lived on the following pemmican recipe for nearly six months under great physical hardship in very cold conditions. Learning how to make this kind of Pemmican as a survival food can be an excellent addition to your survival knowledge.
Pemmican   
Food Item   Percent Weight
Beef Suet   32.66
Whole Milk Powder   19.80
Dried Smoked Bacon   17.57
Powdered Beef Liver, Dehydrated   4.95
Granulated Dried Beef, Dehydrated   4.95
Tomato-Vegetable Concentrate, Dehydrated   4.95
Soy Bean Grits   4.95
Oatmeal, Quick Cooking   2.47
Pea Soup Powder, Dehydrated   2.47
Potatoes, Shredded, Blanched, Dehydrated   1.48
Granulated Bouillon   .99
Brewer's Yeast, type 50 B   .99
Onion Salt   .74
Paprika   .37
Lemon Powder   .37
Caraway Seed   .25
Cayenne Pepper, Ground   .025
Black Pepper, Ground   .025

Directions to Make Pemmican
Slice the bacon to at least 1/8 inch thick and dice it. Render the bacon until it turns light brown in color and is moisture free. You can tell when the bacon is moisture free by observing when the foam disappears. Strain the fat from the bacon grits and set it aside.
Melt the beef suet, add the bacon fat, and mix well.
Next add and mix all the other pemmican ingredients in this order:
1) Whole milk powder, powdered beef liver, tomato-vegetable concentrate, pea soup powder, soy bean grits, brewers yeast, granulated bouillon, onion salt, and lemon powder.
2 )Next add the black pepper, cayenne pepper, caraway seed, and ground paprika
3) Lastly, add the quick cooking oatmeal, dried bacon grits, granulated dried beef, and the shredded potatoes.
Best Survival Food
Pemmican has served as the foundation for survival rations for generations. It stores well for extended periods of time and provides a very high calorie meal for a minimum of wieght. Pemmican is proven. This makes pemmican one of the best survival foods you can make.

Not sure where I got this second one but it seems like good info.

FAMEAL: Famine Chow is a good way to introduce storage foods into your diet. This is a slang word for WSB or CSB (Wheat-Soy-Blend or Corn-Soy-Blend) used by NGOs in their feeding programs. Most Americans have never heard of (much less tried) this stuff. This is the same gruel fed to starving people in Africa and elsewhere. The only word that describes it is "foody". It's delicious. You can eat it as a thin paste or thicken it up and make dumplings or bread out of it. You can add it to soups and casseroles or even make cookies out of it. Best of all, it's healthy and cheap and made of storage foods. The NGOs buy it pre-made in big dog-food bags so they can just add water. The pre-made mix is extrusion cooked so it's easier to work with under primitive conditions. You are not going to find this stuff at your grocery store but here is how you can make your own:

50% (by volume) Corn meal or wheat meal. (I prefer meal to flour, but both work)
30% (by volume) Bean meal. Any kind..even soy. I use lentils because the are easy to grind.
10% (by volume) Oil. Any cooking oil works.
10% (by volume) Sugar or honey or syrup if you prefer.
Add salt to taste. You can also add vitamins by grinding a tablet with the mix.
(With multi-vitamin supplement, this is a fairly well balanced diet).
To cook it (it will be a powder) mix it slowly (it clumps) with boiling water (three cups of water per cup of meal). Turn off the heat and cover it and allow it to cook for 10 minutes. If you add the powder to the water and then try to heat it, it burns to the bottom of the pot, but a microwave oven works great for cooking the wet mixture. Or, use the powder just like flour for baking. It makes an awesome bean bread. It also makes a wonderful cake mix if you add more sugar and other flavorings. You can vary the amounts of everything, including water to suit your own tastes. Try it. You may find that you really like it. It's fairly tasty, filling and satisfying. My kids ate an awful lot of fameal muffins while they were growing up. They freeze well and make a good quick breakfast food if you are in a hurry.

Anyway I thought they would be a nice addition to this topic.  :) Or move to another if you think it would be a better fit.
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Yowbarb

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2011, 07:04:54 AM »
Sunnybug, you are right! Pemmican is a good item to add here.
Thanks for the recipes.  :)
Yowbarb

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2012, 08:19:51 AM »
Note: The ancients used to drizzle olive oil on their bread, grains and vegetables.
Olive oil, in portable container is a good on - the - run food, too. It is pretty stable;
does not get rancid easily. There is a large variety of strengths and flavors, so people
have to shop around for something which
they like OK. It's good to have something to moisturize your food with, with things like heavy breads, hardtack, etc.

This is just a suggestion light enough to be portable and (it looks like you can shut the pouring spout.
even so, I would pack it in plastic bag with rubber band around the top. - Yowbarb

Link:

http://www.target.com/OpenZoomLayer?template=scene7-image&image=Target/14172463_is&swCellSpacing=10,10&swHighlightThickness=1&swBorderThickness=0&itemTitle=Rachael+Ray+Oil+Dispensing+Bottle

steedy

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2012, 11:31:11 AM »
I always wanted to know what hardtack was!  I'm going to have to try these recipes.  I really like the civil war ones.  I've read other civil war recipes, and how they word the instructions is actually cute, I think.

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2012, 02:53:27 PM »
I always wanted to know what hardtack was!  I'm going to have to try these recipes.  I really like the civil war ones.  I've read other civil war recipes, and how they word the instructions is actually cute, I think.

I haven't tried baking them yet. If the earth changes start to heat up faster I will be making some hardtack etc. and sealing them up tight. Going to get one of those kitchen machines which seal up the foods tight in sturdy plastic.

steedy

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Re: Foods for on the road: Hardtack, Pemmican and other ancient foods
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2012, 08:14:01 AM »
A couple weeks ago I was at Walmart.  I normally don't go there, but I happened to see they were selling the plastic stuff that seals food.  I didn't see if they had the machine, but I didn't look either.  You could try there.